The first all-UK mission to space has been agreed upon for the near future, the UK Space Agency (UKSA) has said.

UKSA has signed an agreement with the American-based company Axiom Space which sets out plans for the two organisations to work together.

The mission would see UK astronauts launched into space and spending up to two weeks in orbit.

When they are up there they would be conducting scientific research and demonstrating new technologies.

UK universities, research institutions and industry are being called on to share their ideas for experiments and technology demonstrators which could be conducted during a two-week period.

Hereford Times: UK astronauts will be spending two weeks in orbitUK astronauts will be spending two weeks in orbit (Image: Canva)

UK Space Agency excited for the future

Dr Paul Bate, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, discussed how the plan for the first all-UK space mission would help "push forward the frontiers of knowledge and innovation".

He added: “This agreement paves the way for UK astronauts to conduct scientific research in orbit, and to inspire millions of us here on Earth.

“It takes thousands of people to complete a crewed space mission and return the astronauts safely home, highlighting the huge variety of careers available in the UK space sector right now."

Hereford Times: Thousands of people will help run the crewed missionThousands of people will help run the crewed mission (Image: Canva)

The UK Space Agency is working with Axiom on plans for a commercial mission with the full support of the European Space Agency.

UKspace president Dr Alice Bunn said: “Since the first astronauts landed on the moon over 50 years ago, human spaceflight has captured the imagination of billions of people.

“But space is no longer for the privileged few; we have witnessed incredible growth in the application of space technology and data to everyday lives, and we recognise the immense and specific value of humans being able to push the boundaries of science and technology operating within the unique conditions of space.”

She added that the agreement is an “incredibly exciting one”.