British astronaut Tim Peake hailed Space-Comm Expo 2023 as an important event in the space industry calendar as he highlighted how the entire sector is thriving.

Speaking to FINN, he said: “This event is growing. We’ve had some fantastic talks already … We’re learning a lot about what’s going on at the moment. And the UK space sector continues to thrive. So this really is one way of demonstrating that and enabling people to collaborate, communicate and share their experiences and share what they’re up to. I think space has the ability to inspire so many people and it is a growth sector, there are so many careers out there right now and also careers in the future that we don’t even know about yet.”

In January, the first official British astronaut to complete a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS), announced he was retiring.

First British ESA astronaut to visit the ISS

He has been an ESA astronaut since May 2009, and was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the ISS, launching on a Soyuz rocket on 15 December 2015 with crewmates Tim Kopra and Yuri Malenchenko.

Asked about what he was planning to do next, he said: “There’s so many things going on at the moment, I’ve just become a member of the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology’s non executive board. So that’s really exciting. And we have a first meeting later this year.

“I am writing books, I’ve got a television series coming out later this year. I’m doing education outreach programmes with the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency and when it comes to space flights my motto is never say never. So who knows.”Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter