Sue Horne: Head of Space Exploration, UKSA

Read our Q&A with Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency. Here she tells us about her career in the space industry and how she kept bees as a child!

Sue Horne: Head of Space Exploration, UKSA

Hi Sue Horne! What is your job and what is the most exciting part about the work that you do?

I am responsible for developing the strategy for the UK’s involvement in the international space exploration programme, making the case for funding to government and then managing the programme. This includes our participation in the European Space Agency Exploration Programme, building scientific instruments in industry and universities, technology development for future programmes, funding scientists to analyse the data and not forgetting outreach activities.

What motivated and inspired you to pursue a career in the STEM industry?

I just like learning new things!

What is the biggest misconception about your job?

That I actually build things. My job is now about managing projects, and sorting out the international collaborations.

What were you like as a child and what interests and hobbies did you have?

I was brought up in the countryside so was interested in wildlife, gardening and I kept bees.

What advice would you give your eight-year-old self about building a career in space?

Do what you enjoy then you will excel and when there are things that you don’t like as much just remember you need to do them to do the thing you enjoy.

Why do you think it’s important for humans travel and explore Mars?

It’s the challenge you develop by doing challenging things.

Where do you think we’ll be in 50 years in terms of Mars exploration?

I think in 50 years we will just have started getting humans on Mars.

Sue appears in Activity 1.3 Mars Quiz in Chapter One of the Mars Diary. View the activity here.


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