A giant spacewoman mural has been unveiled at Harwell Campus to mark the launch of the 19th annual Appleton Space Conference which will celebrate how advancements in space science, earth observation and technology at Harwell are helping to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Working with Marianne Dear, a creative designer, and Global Street Art the company which helped scale and bring-to-life Marianne’s design, the 45 ft. high mural depicts an astronaut and features a quote by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristofetti which reads, “Looking up I see the immensity of the cosmos”.

The mural was unveiled alongside the Appleton Space Conference which is bringing together academic and business leaders to discuss how innovation in the space sector can help ensure that we can look after the planet we call home and make the world a better place.

The conference will feature talks from Prof Dame Jane Francis, Director British Antarctic Survey, Dr Sarah Beardsley, Director STFC RAL Space and Prof Anu Ojha OBE, Director Championing Space at UK Space Agency and will cover topics including climate change, sustainability, and inclusivity.

Gemma Wilson, Space Cluster Manager at Harwell Campus, said: “I’m delighted to be able to unveil this giant piece of artwork which symbolises the pivotal role that Space plays in our daily lives. The organisations at Harwell are developing innovative solutions that help us to monitor and understand important issues like climate change from Space. We hope that the mural will not only inspire people to think more about space and the role it plays in protecting our planet.”

The Space Cluster at Harwell Campus has grown to more than a hundred organisations over the past 15 years, one of the largest in Europe. A mix of academic, public and private organisations, the cluster drives innovation and commercialisation by bringing together different skills and capabilities. The multidisciplinary nature of the campus which also has a health tech, energy and quantum cluster means that developments in space technology can lead to advancements in other sectors.

At the heart of our space cluster is RAL Space. With more than 60 years of expertise, it has flown over 210 instruments into space, including SPICE onboard Solar Orbiter to investigate the Sun close up. The European Space Agency (ESA) established a major hub for satellite communications at Harwell in 2009 and other key commercial organisations include Astroscale – a leading company tackling the critical problem of space debris, and Oxford Space systems a leader in deployable antennas for space.