10 New Satellites to be Built in Glasgow as Part of New Innovative Constellation Service

10 new government-backed satellites the size of a shoebox are going to be built in Scotland after a signing between AAC Clyde Space UK and ESA

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — AAC Clyde manufacture a range of small satellites, ranging from 1kg to 50kg in weight, and offer space-as-a-service, which is an end-to-end mission service covering everything from mission design, launch and satellite operations to data delivery for companies including; Orbcomm, NSLComm, Eutelsat, Orbital Micro Systems, NASA and ESA.

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AAC Clyde Space to Develop Innovative Constellation Services with ESA, UK Space Agency

UPPSALA, Sweden (AAC Clyde Space PR) — AAC Clyde Space embarks on a 3-year project, named xSPANCION, with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop an innovative satellite constellation service, including the manufacturing of 10 spacecrafts. The UK Space Agency through ESA, will co-fund the project with 9.9 MEUR (approx. 101.4 MSEK). AAC Clyde Space intends to, outside this project, enter into customer service agreements for data delivery from the constellation.

During the first phase of the project running until mid-2021, AAC Clyde Space will deliver a preliminary design for its next generation space as a service offering. The value of this first phase is 1.8 MEUR (approx. 18.4 MSEK) of which 0.9 MEUR (approx. 9.2 MSEK) will be co-funded by UK Space Agency through ESA, providing sufficient resources to achieve comfortably this part of the project. The co-funding from UK Space Agency will be recognized as revenue with no net margin since AAC Clyde Space and partners will co-fund the remaining 0.9 MEUR (approx. 9.2 MEUR).

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UK Government Commissions Space Solar Power Stations Research

Artist’s impression of how a space-based solar power station might work. (Credit: Frazer-Nash Consultancy)

Solar energy harvested in space offers the potential for an unlimited and constant zero carbon power source

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power (SBSP) systems that would use very large solar power satellites to collect solar energy, convert it into high-frequency radio waves, and safely beam it back to ground-based receivers connected to the electrical power grid.

It is an idea first conjured by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941, and is now being studied by several nations because the lightweight solar panels and wireless power transmission technology is advancing rapidly. This, together with lower cost commercial space launch, may make the concept of solar power satellites more feasible and economically viable.

Now the UK in 2020 will explore whether this renewable technology could offer a resilient, safe and sustainable energy source.

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UK and NASA Sign Artemis Accords Ahead of Mission to the Moon

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency) — NASA’s Artemis programme aims to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. Commercial and international partners will collaborate to achieve a sustainable presence on the lunar surface as a steppingstone to the first human mission to Mars.

The UK will play a key role in this mission. Businesses across the UK will be involved in building the service module and habitation module of the Lunar Gateway, a new space station orbiting the moon, generating economic benefits and high-skilled jobs. The UK has already committed over £16 million for the first phase of the design of these elements.

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Government Backs UK Companies Tackling Dangerous Space Junk

Distribution of space debris around Earth (Credit: ESA)

Seven UK companies have been awarded a share of over £1 million [$1.3 million] to help track debris in space

  • Currently there are approximately 160 million objects in orbit – mainly debris – which could collide with satellites vital to services we use every day
  • UK Space Agency and Ministry of Defence sign formal agreement to work together on monitoring threats and hazards in orbit

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) –Seven pioneering projects which will develop new sensor technology or artificial intelligence to monitor hazardous space debris, have been announced today by the UK Space Agency.

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UK-built Nanosatellites Ready for Launch

Four shoebox-sized, British-funded satellites will join a global fleet in orbit in the next two months

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Government-backed ‘nanosatellites’ – built in Glasgow – will launch later this month, joining a fleet of more than 100 objects in low Earth orbit that predict global trade movements.

Two of four nanosatellites, made by Spire Global UK and backed by over £6 million of Government investment, will take off on the Russian Soyuz launcher on 24 September. The other two nanosatellites will be aboard an Indian PSLV launcher, due for launch on 1 November.

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UK Space Sector Working Together on Response to Coronavirus

LONDON (UK Government PR) — The Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency and the President and Chair of the UKspace trade body met virtually last week to discuss the space sector’s response to Covid-19.

The UK space sector employs 42,000 people and generates an income of £14.8 billion each year, while supporting £300 billion of wider economic activity through other industries with satellite services such as navigation, communications and Earth observation. Space is part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure and has in-built resilience due to the autonomous nature of many orbital operations, the relatively low number of specialist staff required for ongoing operations, and multiple contingencies.

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UK, Australian Space Agencies Agree to Develop a World’s First ‘Space Bridge’

NEWPORT, Wales (UK Space Agency PR) — The proposed ‘Space Bridge’, borne out of the highly successful ‘FinTech Bridge’ already in existence between the UK and Australia, will unlock greater collaboration between governments, regulators and industry.

The agreement, announced this morning at the UK Space Conference will further the ambitions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two agencies in October 2018 and lay the foundations for swift and amicable negotiations for space-related opportunities under any potential future UK-Australia trading arrangements.

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UK Delivers World’s Most Accurate Weather Satellite Instrument

SWINDON, England (UKSA PR) — Collaboration between the UK and France has developed a sophisticated forecasting instrument that will set new standards of accuracy in short term weather prediction.

Using high-performance infrared detectors made in Southampton, the new device will improve short-range weather forecasts by monitoring atmospheric instability and cloud structure. It will also analyse the content of the Earth’s atmosphere, detecting and tracking pollutants around the globe.
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UK Space Sector Created 3,400 New Jobs

LONDON (UK Government PR) — The UK’s space sector has seen significant growth in income, exports and employment with total income now standing at £14.8 billion [$19.4 billion], Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced today.

The main findings from the independent ‘UK Space Industry: Size and Health Report’ show that, compared to the 2016 survey:

  • income up from £13.7 billion to £14.8 billion [$18 billion to $19.4 billion]
  • employment up from 38,522 to 41,900
  • exports up from £5 billion to £5.5 billion [$6.6 billion to $7.2 billion]

The report also shows that an average of 39 new companies have been added to the UK space sector every year since 2012.

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UK Space Agency Appoints New CEO

SWINDON, England (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Graham Turnock.

Graham has been Chief Executive of the Better Regulation Executive, a unit within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, since 2011. He has a BA and a PhD in Particle Physics from Cambridge University for theoretical work on collision experiments at CERN. He also holds a diploma in public administration from the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA).

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