back to article Space robot research station to land in Oxfordshire

The European Space Agency and Innovation minister Lord Drayson have signed an agreement to build a research centre at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. The centre will focus on space robots and innovative power sources including development of ExoMars - a robotic probe which will search for life on Mars …


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  1. Dennis
    Thumb Down

    There's trouble at t' mill

    Another example of the government ignoring the north (ie, anywhere not the south-east).

    While the Harwell site _may_ currently be best location why has there been a run-down of other sites? Why has Daresbury in Cheshire been ignored? The Diamond source was built at Harwell when property and building costs were cheaper in Cheshire. Now another research facility is to be built at Harwell. What happened to the other sites around the country involved in space research? Loughborough? Manchester? and others.

  2. Seán


    "The budget is slightly more than ESA asked for."

    What? Surely that goes against nature, what's the catch?

  3. Nicolas Charbonnier
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    Europe needs to fund Human mission to Mars

    For the same 10€ billion, Europe could ask US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia to pay each the same amount and that would pay for a Human mission to Mars within five years.

    Fact is Humans on Mars would search through the Martian ground about 300 times faster then a Rover or any other type of robot. So sure sending a Robot costs 100 times less then sending 4 crews of 4-6 Humans, but sending all those Humans up there, you can get 1000s of times more research done.

    Finding traces of previous life on Mars would be the biggest scientific discovery of the human kind. And going there would engage enough scientists which will by doing it invent new technologies which will be useful on earth to fix our environment and sustainability problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Space robots in Oxfordshire?

    I hope they're here to protect us, hope they're here to protect us from the terrible secret of space.

  5. It wasnt me


    Presumably practicalities is the answer to your question. Most of the design work for Exomars is being done in Stevenage, and theres a lot of space expertise in Portsmouth and Uni of Surrey. Other than that, theres not a lot left in the U.K. So if you're going to build it in Cheshire, you might as well build it in say Paris or Frankfurt. Theres not a lot of room for sentimentality here, you need the emplyees, and I for one wont be moving to Manchester for any money.

    Im up for Harwell though, if anyones reading !

  6. Dave

    Didcot vs Manchester

    You really would rather live in Harwell or Didcot than Manchester? Are you joking or just really boring?

  7. jeffrey


    Or they could have bought a third of northern rock. Makes you think if the gov didn't bother to prop up banks with crap management, then they could have quadrupled the budget and we could do something worthwhile. like build a spaceship.

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