Jonathan R. Tate

Jonathan R. Tate
Director, The Spaceguard Centre
Jonathan Tate was a serving Army Officer for 26 years, specialising in surface to air missile systems. He served in UK, Germany and Canada, and also worked in many other countries.

In June 1996 Tate submitted a proposal to the British government proposing the establishment of a British National Spaceguard Centre to study the threat posed to the UK by the impact of an asteroid or comet. Scientists worldwide lent their support, including Dr Arthur C Clarke, Dr Gene Shoemaker, Professor Edward Teller and many others. The government decided that further study would be appropriate and established a Task Force to investigate the threat. The subsequent report validated the hazard, and made significant recommendations for action. Implementation of these recommendations did not happen.

In January 1997 Tate established Spaceguard UK, which became the largest independent Spaceguard organisation in the world. Tate has been a regular contributor on television and radio, also in professional and popular journals. He and other members of Spaceguard UK advised the government Task Force on NEOs.

Tate is a member of the Board of Directors of the international Spaceguard Foundation, a consultant to the International Astronomical Union Working Group on Near Earth Objects, an associate of COSPAR, the vice-president of the Space Development Council and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is the Director of the Spaceguard Centre in mid-Wales, and took over the role of National Near Earth Objects Information Centre in October 2013.

In 2013 Tate was awarded the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement in Planetary Science.

In recognition of his work Asteroid 15116, discovered by the Spacewatch programme in 2000. has been named “Jaytate”.

After two decades of promoting planetary defence through Spaceguard UK and the Spaceguard Centre Jay Tate fully supports the EADP to defend the planet against short notice asteroid threats.