What is the National Space Academy?

Anu Ojha OBE

Director, National Space Academy

Anu Ojha is Director of the UK’s National Space Academy programme and a Director of the National Space Centre – the UK’s largest visitor centre for space science and astronomy.  He co-led the development of the UK’s National Higher Apprenticeship programme for the space sector and is the lead for Skills/Training/Education for the ongoing strategic UK Government programmes of collaboration in Space Science and Technology with China and the Gulf States. Anu is a member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Skills and Engagement Advisory Board and was Principal Investigator for the Astro Academy: Principia educational experiment programme conducted by British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station. He has also worked as a consultant for ESA using data from the SOHO orbiting solar observatory and Mars Express and has written and presented numerous international teaching films for ESA targeted for European students and teachers.

In his 20-year teaching career, Anu was Assistant Headteacher of the largest school in the United Kingdom, was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) status by the UK Department for Education for excellence in teaching and was National Lead Practitioner (Physics) for the UK Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Since 2007 he has led the development and delivery of National and International teacher training and student programmes for the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and other leading science and education organisations across the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA and China.

Anu continues to teach physics on the National Space Academy’s Space Engineering (A level pre-University) and Higher Apprenticeship (undergraduate) courses run in partnership with Loughborough College and the University of Leicester and in 2010 was winner of the UK space sector’s Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Inspiration. In 2014 he was appointed OBE for services to science education and in 2016 was appointed as an Honorary Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester. He is currently President of the Astronautics Records Commission of the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) – the world governing body for airsports and human aerospace/astronautics achievements.

Over the last twenty years Anu has also continued his involvement in high-altitude expeditions, free-diving and scuba diving and has a deep interest in human performance/physiological science in extreme environments. A current skydiver with over 1300 jumps, Anu was involved as an independent science analyst for the Red Bull Stratos stratospheric jump programme and is supporting the development of the Blue Abyss project – to build the world’s largest neutral buoyancy facility in the United Kingdom.


"As a species we have always wondered what is over the horizon - that intellectual journey that humanity finds itself on has its greatest expression in space science. Who wouldn’t - or couldn’t - be inspired by this?"

More about Anu:

Board memberships and other roles:

STFC Skills and Engagement Advisory Board

President – Astronautic Records Commission (ICARE) and Vice-President, Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI)

Honorary Professor – Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester

Lloyds Register Foundation International Conference October 2016 –"Education, risk and inspiration – a view from space" :  keynote lecture on safety in human spaceflight and the work of the National Space Academy - watch the video.

Thanks to sponsorship from PPG we are offering £300 bursaries for schools towards one of our Masterclasses for 10 - 14 year olds - find out more here.