Unlimited Space Agency (2010-2023)

Unlimited Space Agency (UNSA) was our sister company producing work for children and family audiences. As well as working with many of the UK’s leading science and space organisations, UNSA’s patron was the astronaut Tim Peake

“I’m proud to serve with them on their mission to inspire the next generation of scientists and space explorers.” Astronaut and UNSA Patron, Tim Peake
UNSA won many awards for its work including a National Charity Award, The Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Achievement in Space Outreach & Education, NASA’s ‘Best Mission Concept’ in their global Space Apps Challenge and the ‘Unique’ category in the Shed of the Year awards.

Ian Wainwright of Ecclesiastical Insurance (category sponsor), Liz Margree (Unlimited trustee), Jon, and actress Olivia Coleman after presenting National Charity Award – Arts, Culture, Heritage category 2011.

UNSA was created when we were commissioned by Polka Theatre to make a show to inspire children aged 7-11 in science – 2010’s Mission To Mars – co-written by Unlimited’s Core Artists at the time Clare Duffy, J Spooner and Chris Thorpe. We wanted to root the play in a ‘recklessly optimistic’ version of reality and so the story was set in 2035 when the Unlimited Space Agency (established by three theatre artists in 2010 who were unconstrained by politics or funding thanks to a VERY generous donation by a shy philanthropist) became the first space agency to send a crewed mission to Mars. On the final night of the tour, J (who had directed the show) suggested that they could “look after” one of the space suit costumes. And so J started attending space industry events telling people they were the Director of Human Spaceflight Operations for the Unlimited Space Agency (UNSA). And enough people played along to make UNSA… real!
UNSA is maybe best known and loved for touring its spectacular mobile HQ The Space Shed, releasing interviews with super cool space and science people through its podcast Live From The Space Shed and running a dedicated astronaut training programme The Astro Science Challenge.

In 2020, with the Space Shed tour cancelled due to the global COVID19 pandemic, UNSA responded to the national lockdown by running a live version of The Astro Science Challenge, broadcasting regularly from our virtual Space Shed on YouTube. Interviews with live Q&A’s include the European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Charlie Bolden.

You can watch them all on UNSA’s YouTube channel.

One of UNSA and Unlimited’s most performed shows EVER was J’s story of how they ‘hacked’ their way into space which was called How I Hacked My Way Into Space. Watch the full show here: