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May Lecture 2017

“Space Debris – is it a Threat and are there Solutions”

Thursday 11th May 2017

Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm
Light Refreshments served from 7.00 pm

Speaker: Dr Jamie Reed, Airbus Defence & Space

Location: Lecture Theatre ‘0’, Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ.

Lecture Synopsis

The bulk of space debris consists of around 20,000 objects in low earth orbit threatening existing and future satellites. This ‘space junk’ comes from old launches, broken up satellites, and discarded items. This debris can be involved in collisions with operational satellites, not only causing a failure but also creating new debris. Many models predict that eventually low earth orbit could become unusable unless we prevent further debris creation and actively begin to remove what is already there. This talk will examine the problem and present some solutions which have been proposed and tested in the near future.

Dr Jaime Reed is Business Development Manager for UK Civil Space. He holds a Doctorate in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, an MPhys degree from the University of Oxford and is a Chartered Engineer. Jaime joined Airbus in 2005 leading the development of cryogenic coolers. Since then he has worked in both project management and technical roles on EO and Science missions for the European Space Agency, as well as managing the R&D portfolio for Earth Observation, Navigation and Science. He is also holder of several patents on the topics of earth observation and space debris mitigation.

2015 Spring Branch Visit


The 2015 Cambridge Branch spring visit is to RAF Regiment Heritage Centre RAF Honington & 7th Special Operations Squadron USAF, RAF Mildenhall.

Dates: Tuesday 31st March 2015 & Wednesday 1st April.

Join this visit to see one of Suffolk’s hidden gems, the RAF Regiment’s own museum, and the fascinating CV-22 Osprey tilt-wing aircraft used by the US Air Force for clandestine operations.  Perhaps your last chance to visit Mildenhall as a front-line operational airfield

We start this visit at the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre at RAF Honington, the Regiment’s current depot.  This museum covers the Regiment’s origins and its exploits from Iraq in the 1920s through WWII up to the present day.  Room after room is full of maps, photographs & equipment, including one of the only two remaining Rolls-Royce armoured cars.  Two-course lunch (main & dessert) with tea or coffee is at the Riverside Hotel, Mildenhall.  After lunch we will make the short journey to RAF Mildenhall to see the CV-22 Ospreys operated by the USAF.  Those who attended October’s branch lecture given by Lt Col James Peterson will recall the many fascinating features of this unique aircraft.  The Pentagon has announced the closure of RAF Mildenhall over the next few years.

Items of Interest

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BBC2 will show a repeat of Britain’s greatest Pilot, Royal Navy Captain Eric Brown.
Captain Brown gave a fantastic lecture last season and we were all fascinated by his exploits and this would be an opportunity to see him again.


The following BBC programmes might be of interest, considering October lecture on UAVs and November lecture on the WW1 Zeppelin Attacks.

Available on ‘Listen Again’ on Radio 4 via the iPlayer – ‘The Year of the Drone’, broadcast Monday 6th October, 11:00 to 11:30.

BBC 4 TV programme to be broadcast Tuesday 7th October, 20:30 to 21:00, entitled ‘World War One at Home: the Zeppelin Terror’, with archive film plus a helicopter flight tracing the route of the attacks.