The how and why of space missions, Leeds

2 June, 2016 | 10:30 - 13:45

This event will explore a range of issues and topics related to the successful launch of a space mission.
This event will explore a range of issues and topics related to the successful launch of a space mission.

About this event

What are the major elements of space missions, satellites and launch vehicles? Who are the users of space systems and why are their rapidly changing needs causing major shifts in historically conservative satellite and launch vehicle industries?

A discussion of these questions will be attempted during the presentation, beginning with a description of the process of mission development and execution and including the major functional systems of both launchers and satellites. The spectrum of mission types will be reviewed from the perspective of both application and budget. The widespread belief that “space launch is routine nowadays” will be challenged from the perspective of reliability, cost and availability. Current industry attempts to overcome such challenges will be presented.


10.30: Coffee and registration
11.00: Talk by Chris Pearson followed by questions and discussion
12.45: Buffet lunch
13.45: Depart


For more information and to book, please contact Hugh Allan at: by 30 May 2016 stating your lunch requirements. Buffet lunch per person is £9 plus £2 for dessert (pay on arrival).

Organised by the ICE Yorkshire and Humber Retired Members' group.


Chris Pearson

Chris is currently Vice President Advanced Programs at Excyte, a start-up company in Colorado which is developing a space business in the areas of deployable systems and thermal control. He has almost twenty years of experience in the space industry. Originally from Leeds, Chris studied mathematics at the University of Manchester and then obtained Masters degrees in Astronautics & Space Engineering and Control Engineering at Cranfield University and Imperial College respectively. He holds an Executive MBA from the University of Colorado and has published numerous technical papers at conferences in Europe and the USA.

His career began supporting orbital operations of the Ministry of Defence and NATO satellite communications fleet, training operators, supporting launch and early operations as well as being on-call technical support for operational spacecraft in the event of anomalies. He then moved into a business development role helping spacecraft and launch vehicle customers migrate from older battery technologies to Lithium-ion.

Success in Europe and growing interest from US customers led Chris to set up an American sales office that grew into a full scale production facility in Colorado under venture capital funding. Chris assisted a second UK space company with an American expansion before moving back to spacecraft systems engineering, supporting mission and architectural design activities for a diverse set of customers including Google, NASA and the US Department of Defence.