As far as I know, most agencies in His Majesty's Government have a name in the format Ministry of Xyz. However, the space agency is called the UK Space Agency (UKSA). Why?

Is it a case of copying the Americans, was the acronym MoS already taken, or something else?

Feel free to suggest a migration to Politics.SE if you think this would be more appropriate there.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ it couldn't be a case of copying the Americans. we have a National Aeronautics and Space Administration $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 8:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't know if this is really true, but my first instinct is that if it was a ministry there'd have to be an MP in government with the title "Minister for Space". $\endgroup$
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 13:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @N.Virgo yep, that's the definition of a Ministry, it's led by a minister $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ If there's a Ministry of Space, there should also be a Ministry of Time. $\endgroup$
    – Ruslan
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Ruslan Space is a big job, I wonder if it needs to be broken down into 3 separate ministries for each dimension. $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


There aren't many Ministries in the UK government any more, just:

  1. Ministry of Defence
  2. Ministry of Justice

The rest have been renamed to "Office" or "Department"

The UKSA is an Executive Agency of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, not a Ministerial Department so wouldn't be called a ministry anyway.

See also https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations and Why has the UK Government moved away from "Ministry of..." names?

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. So, unless in the future the UKSA gets split out of the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, it would never even be able to be renamed the Ministry of Space? (Though from reading your linked answer, it seems more likely if that happened it would be Department or Office, rather than Ministry.) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 21:32
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Yep, i don't think space is a big enough part of the UK economy to become it's own department any time soon $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ First I'd expect it to move to the Department for Transport when it goes from mostly experimental to mostly routine. I doubt it would ever get it's own department - even trains / buses / cars / planes don't get their own departments right now. $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 17:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.