GLASGOW, Scotland (Clyde Space PR) — Clyde Space, Scotland’s leading-edge space technology company, is to provide the satellites for a new pilot programme offering quick, regular and more affordable access to space.
The Glasgow-based company announced today it has been commissioned by the Satellite Applications Catapult and Innovate UK to build four CubeSats for the £1.5 million project.
The satellites will eventually be launched from the International Space Station (ISS) in an ‘in-orbit demonstration’ (IOD) of technical and business propositions that have a high projected return on investment. The Launch opportunities from the ISS are provided by NanoRacks, via its Space Act Agreement with NASA’s U.S. National Lab.
Clyde Space, which designed, manufactured and launched Scotland’s first satellite, UKube-1, recently acquired additional floor space at its headquarters at Skypark in Glasgow to meet demand for its
It is currently building around six flight-ready CubeSats a month for customers primarily in Europe and the United States, where the company recently formed a subsidiary, Clyde Space Inc, to take advantage of the rapidly growing US market.
The satellites being built for Catapult will be used to offer flight-proven CubeSat platforms and regular launch opportunities from the ISS.
Clyde Space Founder Craig Clark said: “The Satellite Applications Catapult In-Orbit Demonstration programme is an exciting opportunity for the UK Space Sector and one which Clyde Space is delighted to support. Our CubeSats will deliver highly capable, reliable platforms which will enable the demonstration of new and advanced space applications as part of the IoD project. These applications and subsequent data generation could benefit a number of industries from agriculture and energy to the government for town planning.”
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “The growing importance of space technologies is leading to ever more impact on our lives on earth.”
“This IOD pilot programme therefore offers a great opportunity for the whole UK space industry and marks another major milestone on its continued journey and ambition to become a global player in the sector,” Martin added.
The acquisition of more space at its current headquarters follows Clyde Space’s most successful year and comes just a little over a year after moving from its previous base because it was too small.
In just over a year the Clyde Space team has more than doubled to 80 and that is expected to increase to 100 this year. The recruitment will bolster spacecraft development, manufacturing, business development and back-office functions.
Craig said the demand for mass-produced spacecraft and systems was driving the company’s rapid growth and is making Clyde Space a global leader in the design and manufacture of CubeSats.
Clyde Space produces small satellite, nanosatellite and CubeSat systems – fully functional satellites that ‘piggy-back’ on other launches to minimise costs and boost the commercial viability of space research.
UKube-1, Scotland’s first satellite, was designed and built by Clyde Space in Glasgow. It was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in July 2014. It has completed its primary mission for the UK Space Agency and now continues with its next phase of operations.
Clyde Space is backed by private equity specialists Coralinn and Nevis Captial, the investment vehicles of leading Scottish entrepreneurs Hugh Stewart and John and James Pirrie.