Roy Gibson: jobs in space

Roy Gibson discusses how jobs in the space industry are distant from space itself.

Listen to the full interview track and all other tracks from this interview on British Library Sounds

One of the things you have to do nowadays with people is to disenchant them about space. The jobs in space are mainly nothing to do with space. Most of the jobs in the remote sensing area are really more on computing than they are on [laughs] on satellites. And a boy who has dreamed of being an astronaut and can’t be an astronaut, so wants to go into space, finds himself very frustrated, finding himself in a laboratory eight hours a day looking at computer printouts. But many of them, many people are able to keep the enthusiasm about space, but see that it’s changed its nature. I remember Hermann Bondi, when he became Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence, he gave a talk at a conference where Prince Charles was chairman, and he wandered onto the stage in his usual way, with no notes and looking as though he’d come to repair the piano. And he looked round at the audience and said, ‘Well, I feel quite qualified to talk to you today because well I am the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Defence, in space. And before that I was three years in space. Oh, by that I don’t mean I was in space, but of course, come to think of it, if you say a man’s in oil, you don’t necessarily think of him as a sardine.’ There’s a lot of truth in that, you know. When you’re in space, you are nowadays in all sorts of industries and disciplines that don’t really at first blush seem to have anything to do with space.

  • Interviewee Roy Gibson
  • Duration 00:02:12
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Thomas Lean
  • Date of interview 5/23/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/19

Related Audio Clips

The following clips are short extracts from an in-depth interview.
To listen to the full interview visit

Related themes

Related disciplines