Jay 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 Jay submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Defence and the British National Space Centre 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 Ministry of Defence dismissed the proposal, but the Department of Trade and Industry later decided that further study is 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.
Jay 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, the co-ordinator of the Comet and Asteroid Information Network (CAIN) and leads the National Near Earth Objects Information Centre. The Spaceguard Centre has become a leading focus for public outreach and education in all matters astronomical.
In recognition of his work Asteroid 15116, discovered by the Spacewatch programme in 2000 has been named “Jaytate”.
Anne Tate is a qualified teacher who has occupied a number of primary teaching posts in the UK and in Germany (with the British Forces Education Service). Since 1995 she has acquired qualifications in adult education, office and business administration and IT. Working at FOCUS, a Ministry of Defence sponsored organisation providing business related education to Army dependants, Anne was appointed administrator in 1997, and then director in 1999. In April 2000 Anne moved on to manage the office of an estate and fish farm in Wiltshire. Her duties involved financial and budgetary management, office administration and planning.
Being married to Jay, Anne has been deeply involved in the evolution of Spaceguard UK, and is ideally experienced and qualified to address the task of managing the business aspect of The Spaceguard Centre, as well as taking on an educational role, especially with school parties.
Although a physics teacher by training, these days David spends most of his time supporting and training other teachers.
David has a long-standing association with the Spaceguard Centre, and alongside Jay and Anne has helped organise and run a number of events for teachers, students and the public that have been run at the Centre. Asteroids, comets and in particular Near Earth Objects are an ideal way to get people's attention, and this particular subject has been at the heart of many of the education programmes David has developed for a number of different organisations.
With years of experience in astronomy education, astrophotography, website design and multimedia, Daniel has a multitude of roles with the Spaceguard Centre.
As Astronomical Imaging Advisor, he works with Jay to produce stunning images of the cosmos, including galaxies, nebulae and star clusters. Daniel also works to manage the Spaceguard Centre website, keeping it up-to-date and adding new content where required. His knowledge of astronomy and multimedia allowed him to work as 1st Assistant Director of the new Impact Video; and where his full-time work schedule will allow, Daniel also enjoys assisting in the numerous projects being run at the Spaceguard Centre.