UK Analogue Mission Research: The Case for STEAM Education and Outreach
With little access to practical opportunities within the space industry for UK students, we have founded the UK Analogue Mission (UKAM) to provide motivated students with the platform to develop their skills and knowledge for their future careers. We believe that by utilizing our network and expertise, we can use UK-led space analogue missions to connect students from various disciplines and elevate the potential of the next generation of students.
There is a rise in popularity and demand for analogue missions across the globe. Organizations in Austria and Israel  are using these initiatives to raise human spaceflight awareness to the public, as well as providing opportunities for students involving habitat design, experiments, and mission planning.
Our goal is to increase the UK's human spaceflight capabilities and collaborate on the global stage with our own British astronauts. The strength of this was demonstrated by Tim Peake and his Principia mission which invited hundreds of students to the Science Museum in London and spurred a new wave of interest into UK spaceflight activities. The UK Space Agency (UKSA) Space Environments and Human Spaceflight Strategy  was further evidence of this, where David Parker argued that the UK should be “exploiting the unique opportunities for growth which human spaceflight and associated research programs can offer”. Analogue missions provide a valuable niche and enrich the desire to go to space.
Setting aside the importance this platform has for students, analogue missions simultaneously benefits technology demonstrations to raise Technology Readiness Level (TLR) in preparation for future space exploration. Exposing students to these demonstrations is a great way to stimulate inspiration to develop current and future innovations for the advancement of the space industry.
With this ever-evolving industry and the rapid acceleration of innovation and technology, analogue missions provide a rich platform for students, young professionals, and organizations to come together for unique collaboration opportunities. Utilizing resources and expertise across all disciplines, we will elevate the UK space industry onto the international playing field.