RAF News

Women in Space

The past decade has seen remarkable scientific and technological advancements, as concepts of science fiction rapidly turn into reality.  Many of these have been driven by Women is Space, who work to protect and defend the UK and allies space capabilities; recruit and train defence personnel to work in the space domain; and deliver space equipment programmes. 

The Head of Space Policy in the MOD Space Directorate, Ms Natalie Moore, has the ambition to see the first female set foot on the moon within the next decade.

"With such rapid change and the corresponding ambition to keep pace, what better time to be involved in space, whether in Government, industry, academia or in our world class scientific community?"

Ms Natalie Moore
Head of Space Policy, MOD Space Directorate

Ms Natalie Moore smiling.
Ms Natalie Moore, Head of Space Policy MOD Space Directorate aspiring to set the first female on the moon.

Formed on the 1st April 2021, the UK Space Command Capability Operations is deputised by Group Captain Rayna Owens.  A diverse and rewarding career has seen her become one of the most experienced people in space Defence; having worked in 5 different jobs across 10 years. 

Rayna was the Stations Commander of RAF Fylingdales, who monitor objects in the atmosphere and provide early warning services that support the UK and US missile defence system.

Group Captain Rayna Owens sits at a computer desk.
Group Captain Rayna Owens, Deputy Head Space Capability Operations, UK Space Command has had an impressive and rewarding career in space.

She then became involved in the formation of the Space Directorate and Space Command, before co-Chairing the Capability and Architectures Working group.  For the past 8 years, Rayna has also led the UK participation in the annual US space wargaming activity thinking about future challenges, capabilities and concepts.

In July 2018, Rayna moved to Air Command to set up an RAF Space Capability team working on many innovative activities.  The team have been pivotal to determining the capability of Space Command and finding how industrial developments are relevant to Defence output – working closely with the Space Directorate, UK Stratcom, UK Space Agency and International partners.

"There is something about space that engenders passion in those involved and while the work is challenging it is very exciting as we are setting the foundations for the future."

Group Captain Rayna Owens
Deputy Head Space Capability Operations, UK Space Command

Ms Rachel Solomons is the Scientific Adviser at UK Space Command, making sure science, technology and innovation is maximised for UK defence space.  

Ms Rachel Solomons smiling.
Ms Rachel Solomons, Scientific Adviser at UK Space Command works closely with our industry space partners.

She studied astrophysics and radio astronomy during her Physics and Aerospace Engineering degree at Manchester University.  Rachel then went on to work closely with the vast network of scientists and engineers at Dstl, finding novel ways of engaging industry to ensure Space Command continues to grow and be efficient.

Squadron Leader Lou Page achieved a BSc (HONS) in equine science and business management before going into the space domain in 2014.  Lou took over as Project Manager in 2017, launching the CARBONITE-2 satellite owned by Surrey Satellite Technology and used by the RAF to explore ISR from space.  She also initiated and led the Programme ARTEMIS and is currently on exchange with the United States Space Force at the National Security Space Institute in Colorado.  Here, Lou is a Space Instructor for future space leaders across the US Armed Forces and allied partners – which requires the MODs highest space qualification.

Squadron Leader Lou Page.
Squadron Leader Lou Page, Exchange Officer at National Security Space Institute has launched a satellite into space. 

"It’s a hugely rewarding role, playing my part of that and an absolute privilege to learn not only from my United States Space Force colleagues, but from every student who walks through our doors."

Squadron Leader Lou Page
Exchange Officer at National Security Space Institute (Peterson SFB)

Read more at: UK Space Command

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