UK to Play Major Role in Space Weather Mission Concept

Artist illustration of events on the sun changing the conditions in Near-Earth space. A new study finds daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars. (Credit: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — Teams from across the UK will work on a concept for a future European mission to help reduce the global risk of damage caused by space weather.

Space weather occurs when the sun ejects material which can be highly charged, super heated and hazardous to manmade infrastructure and human life in space.

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UK Announces £2 Million for Earth Observation Technologies

UK_space_agencySWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has today unveiled new support to help the UK space and satellite technology sector maintain their leading position in earth observation and help tackle global issues such as deforestation and disaster monitoring. This support includes a new £2m joint programme for UK companies and academia to develop innovative technologies to observe Earth from space. A new online portal will also provide businesses and academics with access to real-time high quality satellite data to help them monitor changes in our planet.

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UK Space Agency Invests in National Propulsion Test Facility

UK_space_agencyFARNSBOROUGH, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency is investing £4.12m in a National Propulsion Test Facility, giving the UK a new facility for space technology testing. The facility will allow UK companies and academia to test and develop space propulsion engines. The planned facility will be based at Westcott in Buckinghamshire, with its strong history of rocketry research for defence and space development, building on existing facilities.

The UK Space Agency investment will add new capabilities for the UK space sector. Government funding will:

  • Create a new vacuum facility at the Westcott propulsion test site. When used together with the existing industry owned rocket firing test cells, this will allow the simulation of high altitude testing of thrusters up to 2kN.
  • Upgrade an existing industry owned test chamber to improve capabilities in the 25N thrust range.
  • Open the facilities, alongside a smaller 1N thruster test chamber at the site, for the community to use. The UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), through its RAL Space facility will act as an independent broker for facility access. The European Space Agency (ESA) will be advising and overseeing the initial detailed design phase before a review in the autumn to move to full implementation.

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UKube-1 Completes Mission

UKube-1 satellite
UKube-1 satellite (Credit: Clyde Space)

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR)– UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first national spacecraft, has now completed its nominal mission following over 14 months of operations.

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GLXP: Earthrise Space Adds New Partner

ORLANDO, FLA., Earthrise Space PR (Oct. 12, 2012) – Earthrise Space Inc. (ESI), the parent company for Omega Envoy, the Florida team competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP), is extremely proud to announce that RAL Space has joined the Omega Envoy family of partners and sponsors.

“It is very exciting to have RAL Space as the first international partner that will be working with us on the mission,” said Earthrise Space Inc.’s President and Founder, Ruben D. Nunez. “Getting from Earth to the Moon can be quite the challenge and with their expertise, we will reach our destination on the lunar surface.”

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