One of the UK’s top astrophysics experts has been appointed to the executive committee of an organisation which is dedicated to understanding and incentivising sustainable activities in space.

The Earth∞Space Sustainability Initiative (ESSI) brings together industry, academia, governments and international organisations with finance and insurance communities to ensure space continues to support the environmental, economic and scientific interests of current and future generations.

It has appointed its new Executive Committee which includes Professor Martin Barstow, Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science at the University of Leicester and Director of Strategic Partnerships at Space Park Leicester.

The Executive Committee provides strategic leadership to the ESSI at an international level and will advise it on all aspects of work, providing expert and independent guidance on space sustainability to governments, companies and other organisations around the world.

Professor Barstow said: “The ESSI recognises that we are moving from the era of pioneering space exploration to one of intensive commercial, scientific and social utilisation.

“I feel hugely honoured to be appointed to its Executive Committee and look forward to working with my fellow Executive Committee Members.”
ESSI Director Joanne Wheeler added: “The global importance of ESSI’s role in helping to determine sustainable activities in space is reflected in the expertise of the people on our Executive Committee.

“Their interest in helping ESSI achieve success has been significant, and we are positively looking forward to collaborating with them all.”

The other Executive Committee Members are:

Marilena Ampelikioti, Consultant to the Secretary General of Ministry of Digital Governance, Greek Government
Richard Brook OBE FREng, Board Member, Satellite Finance Network and Vice President, AIRTO
Lord Cromwell, Cross-Bench Member, House of Lords
Dr Theunis Kotze, Head of Legal, Square Kilometre Array (SKAO)
Professor Hugh Lewis, Professor of Astronautics, University of Southampton
Dr Richard Linares, Associate Professor – Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT
Dr Peter Martinez, Executive Director, Secure World Foundation
Dr Robert Massey, Deputy Executive Director, Royal Astronomical Society
Professor Andy Mount, Professor of Physical Electrochemistry, University of Edinburgh
Mr Charles Mwangi, Ag. Director Space Sector & Technology Development, Kenya Space Agency
Dr Rainer Schnepfleitner, Director, Office for Communications in Liechtenstein
Mr Steve Spittle, Chief Technology Officer & Founder, GlobalTrust
Dr Hedley Stokes, Director, PHS Space Ltd
Mr David Wade, Space Underwriter, Atrium Space Insurance Consortium
Nobuo Yoshii-san, Space Insurance Underwriter, Tokio Marine Nichido Insurance
Professor Marek Ziebart, Professor of Space Geodesy, University College, London

To learn more about ESSI, visit

For more information about Space Park Leicester, visit or to learn about the University of Leicester, go to