Reaction Engines Secures New UK Government Funding for Space Access Programme

Science Minister Amanda Solloway at Reaction Engines. (Credit: Reaction Engines)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — New government funding will help leading UK space technology company Reaction Engines bring low-carbon space propulsion one step closer.

The £3.9 million [US $5.4 million] grant from the UK Space Agency will support the development of Reaction Engines’ ground-breaking SABRE technology, enabling low-carbon air-breathing space access propulsion technology to be applied more widely in the space sector and beyond.

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ESA-led Space Propulsion Test Facility Passed to UK Owner

National Space Propulsion Facility (Credit: ESA)

AYLESBURY, UK (ESA PR) — The UK’s new National Space Propulsion Facility has been declared open. ESA oversaw the design, assembly and commissioning of the facility – equipped to test-fire the most powerful classes of rocket engines used aboard spacecraft.

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G7 Nations Commit to the Safe and Sustainable Use of Space

CORNWALL, UK, 13 June 2021 (UK Space Agency PR) — Today at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, delegates from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA, the UK and the EU pledged to take action to tackle the growing hazard of space debris as our planet’s orbit becomes increasingly crowded.

One of the biggest global challenges facing the space sector is orbital congestion and space debris. There are currently an estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris including old satellites, spent rocket bodies and even tools dropped by astronauts orbiting Earth. Space debris could stay in orbit for hundreds of years and present a real danger to the rapidly increasing number of new satellites being launched each year.

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International Partners and Government Agencies Join Arqit’s Federated Quantum System

The Federated Quantum System developed and launched in the UK with support from the UK Space Agency

CORNWALL, UK, 11 June 2021 (Arqit PR) – Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a leader in quantum encryption technology, has today announced at the G7 Leaders Conference in Cornwall, that it has formed an international consortium of companies and government organisations to provide its quantum encryption technology to government customers in a federated system concept, called Federated Quantum System (FQS). The UK, USA, Japan, Canada, Italy, Belgium, and Austria are now represented.

Arqit invented a system which uses satellites to distribute quantum keys to data centres. These keys are delivered using a new patented protocol called ARQ19, which solves the “Global versus Trustless” problem which previously prevented the adoption of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). Arqit further invented a method, called QuantumCloud™ to translate the benefits of this quantum key distribution to any form of endpoint or cloud machine without the need for any special hardware. The first version of QuantumCloudTM launches for live service to commercial customers in 2021.

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Launch of Nanosat Competition for Young People to Help Make UK Spaceflight History

  • competition launched by government to inspire the next generation of British space scientists
  • young people asked to design a ‘nanosatellite’ with the winning entry destined for space
  • as G7 and COP26 hosts, the design will also support the UK’s ambitious net zero targets by helping to monitor the effects of climate change

CORNWALL, UK (Department of Transport PR) — Young people will have the chance to send their own small satellite into space as a competition to inspire the next generation of British space scientists and entrepreneurs launches today (9 June 2021).

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall today to announce the contest, which is looking for nanosatellite designs that can help support the UK’s ambitious decarbonisation targets.

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Paul Bate Appointed as UK Space Agency CEO

Paul Bate (Credit: UK Space Agency)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Science Minister Amanda Solloway has approved the appointment of Dr Paul Bate as CEO of the UK Space Agency, with a mission to continue the success of a sector that will play an increasingly vital role in the UK economy.

The new appointment underlines ambitions by the UK government to boost the commercial and scientific contribution of the £16.4 billion UK space industry, and ensure that innovation in space benefits everyone as we build back better.

Paul is currently Vice President, Commercial at Babylon Health, working with healthcare organisations in the NHS and across the world. Prior to Babylon, he was the Executive Director of Strategy and Intelligence at the Care Quality Commission.

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Worms on a Mission to Research Muscle Loss in Space

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — On June 3, hundreds of tiny worms are being flown to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of an experiment to understand more about human muscle loss and how to prevent it.

Funded by the UK Space Agency, a team of scientists led by scientists from Nottingham and Exeter University, with hardware designed by Oxford-based Kayser Space, aims to determine the causes of muscle changes during spaceflight and find ways to mitigate these biological changes.

Discovering more about muscle loss in space will expand our understanding of how ageing affects our muscles; this could lead to more effective therapies and new treatments for muscular dystrophies here on Earth.

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UK Companies Join Forces to Build Revolutionary Beam-hopping Satellite

Rendering of the ELSA-M satellite in orbit. (Credit: Astroscale)

LONDON, 24 May 2021 (OneWeb PR) — A group of UK space tech companies are developing a new beam-hopping satellite that will allow satellites to switch which part of the world they cover, managing real-time surges in commercial demand or responding to emergencies such as natural disasters, thanks to Government funding.

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British Spaceflight to Become Reality as Government Provides Launch Pad for Spaceports

Artist’s impression of a UK spaceport. (Credit: Perfect Circle PV)

Satellites and rockets could launch from UK soil in 2022, with spaceports planned for Cornwall, Wales and Scotland.

  • government paves the way for commercial space launches from UK soil with new regulations
  • planned spaceport sites across Great Britain to create hundreds of jobs as we build back better
  • regulations provide grounding for new business opportunities such as space tourism from newly established spaceports

LONDON (Department of Transport PR) — Another barrier to space exploration from UK soil is lifted today (24 May 2021), with spaceports expected to be in operation from next summer.

Developed with the UK Space Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority, new regulations being laid in Parliament today will mean satellites and rockets can launch from UK soil for the first time – with spaceports planned for Cornwall, Wales and Scotland.

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More than 3,000 Jobs Created as Space Sector Grows Across the UK

Findings from the latest ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Industry’ report reveal a growth in jobs and income

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK’s space sector has seen growth in jobs and income while investing more in research and development, leaving it well-placed to grow strongly as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, Science Minister Amanda Solloway announced today.

Findings from the latest ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Industry’ report, commissioned by the UK Space Agency and delivered by know.space, show the sector supports a highly skilled and productive workforce that’s growing across the country.

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New Government Funding Helps UK Companies Lead the Way for Future Moon Missions

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — UK companies are developing new communication and navigation services needed for future missions to the Moon, thanks to funding from the UK Space Agency

In what will be the world’s first commercial servicing of its kind, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), Inmarsat and MDA UK are among those who won contracts with the European Space Agency (ESA), worth just over £2 million in total, to shape the infrastructure for future lunar exploration.

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SSTL Lunar to Lead Consortium for ESA Moonlight

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a Phase A/B1 Study under ESA’s Moonlight initiative that will shape the service provision and infrastructure to provide sustainable commercial Lunar data-relay services for communication and navigation around the Moon.

The Moonlight Phase A/B1 Study will define the service infrastructure and clearly lay out the development path for a constellation of Lunar communication and navigation satellites. The Study will characterise the complete end to end system, including the Lunar Space Segment, the Moon Surface Segment, the Lunar User Segment and the Earth Ground Segment.

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OneWeb Launches 2021 Innovation Challenge to Identify New Ideas and Collaboration for Innovation in Space

  • Invites industrial and engineering partners, academia, and research professionals across sectors to present proposals to innovate a new generation of satellites.
  • The successful entrants will receive the opportunity to work on OneWeb’s satellite programme and drive the future of space communications.

LONDON, 23 April 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, today announced the launch of its first Innovation Challengean invitation to find innovative technologies, products and solutions, that will advance the world of satellite connectivity and spaced-based communications.

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From Monitoring Climate Change to Avoiding Space Debris – Pioneering Space Technology Gets UK Government Cash Boost

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Five UK organisations have been awarded a total of £300,000 [$416,884] from the UK Space Agency to speed up the development of innovative space technology.

Recipients include the University of Leeds, which will develop 3D printing methods and liquid-crystal technology, similar to that in our television screens at home, to develop far-infrared sensors for studying climate change and star formation.

Another project, led by Rocket Engineering in London, will create a compact propulsion system the size of a house brick for use in nano and small satellites. The engines use electromagnets to enable the satellites to move for in-orbit spacecraft servicing or space debris mitigation.

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Space Launch from British Soil One Step Closer

Sutherland launch complex. (Credit: HIE)
  • government on course to legislate for UK spaceflight by the end of this year
  • first-ever launch into space from British soil could have lift-off in the early 2020s
  • UK spaceflight plans would create high-skilled jobs in an industry worth £14.8 billion, as we build back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

LONDON, March 5, 2021 (UK Department for Transport PR) — A giant leap in British spaceflight history is being made today (5 March 2021) as the government publishes its commercial spaceflight consultation response, paving the way for space launches from UK soil.

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