Surrey Satellite to Lead UK Space Agency Project to Study Active De-orbit of Space Debris

Novel technology will be required for these ambitious steps, which are proposed as part of the new ‘Protect’ Accelerator, one of three currently being defined to help shape Europe’s future in space. (Credit: ESA)

The LEOPARD (Low Earth Orbit Pursuit for Active Debris Removal) study will define concepts for de-orbiting 2 uncooperative UK space assets from low earth orbit

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected to lead a UK Space Agency study to define the mission requirements for a complex mission to de-orbit two non-operational space debris targets. SSTL is a world-leader in the manufacture and in-orbit operation of small satellites, and has valuable experience in two previous Active Debris Removal (ADR) demonstration missions; RemoveDEBRIS, which concluded a series of debris retrieval demonstrations in January 2019, and Astroscale’s 2021 ELSA-d mission for which SSTL supplied the Client “target” satellite.

(more…)

AAC Clyde Space Advances xSPANCION Project

UPPSALA, Sweden, November 9, 2011 (AAC Clyde Space PR) — AAC Clyde Space and its partners, have successfully completed the first phase of the xSPANCION project with a successful Preliminary Design Review, conducted jointly with the European Space Agency (ESA). Together with the partners, the company has agreed to accelerate the project by kicking off the Spacecraft Manufacturing Preparation Phase. To achieve this, a Phase 2 has been introduced to the project valued at 5.6 MEUR (approx. 57.3 MSEK), of which the UK Space Agency, through the ESA’s Pioneer Partnership Projects, will contribute 2.8 MEUR (approx. 28.7 MSEK).

The 3-year project, previously announced 18th November 2020 by AAC Clyde Space aims to develop an innovative satellite constellation service. The total 19.7 M€ (approx. 201.7 MSEK) project is co-funded by the UK Space Agency, through ESA’s Pioneer Partnership Projects, with 9.9 M€ (approx. 100.9 MSEK).

(more…)

UK Working with Global Partners to Clear up Dangerous Space Debris

Location of the 24,000 debris larger than 10 cm in low orbit in 2020. (Credits: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency is today announcing a range of different initiatives aimed at supporting safe and sustainable space operations.

From developing our space tracking capabilities and promoting international efforts in space sustainability, to finding novel ways of removing space debris – the UK is leading the way to ensure the Earth’s orbit can continue to be used now and in the future.

(more…)

D-Orbit Signs Contract with ESA Under the Boost! Commercial Space Transportation Services

The UK branch of the orbital transportation company will focus on logistics coordination and process standardisation between different European spaceports and launcher providers

CORNWALL, UK, July 20th, 2021 (D-Orbit PR) — The UK branch of D-Orbit, a leader in the orbital transportation industry, has announced the signing of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Boost! Project with ESA’s Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support Programme.

The Responsive Microlauncher Service, which provides end-to-end delivery of payloads in orbit, is designed to utilise the upcoming small launchers that are due to be launching regularly from UK starting from 2022. The contract will focus on logistics coordination and process standardisation between different European spaceports and launcher providers.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Swedish Space Corporation Invests in GlobalTrust Data Analytics Company

SOLNA, Sweden (SSC PR) — SSC is pleased to announce investment in a new start-up data analytics business with offices in the UK and Sweden to address some of the most crucial environmental and social issues of the time. GlobalTrust will focus on supporting public policy and corporate social responsibility imperatives that are aligned with societies’ expectations and working towards a better and more sustainable planet.

This initiative is being led by SSC and is supported by the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult – a government established not-for-profit company with its core mandate focused on promoting and enabling industrial growth in the space sector.

(more…)

Government Unveils New Support for UK Space Hubs

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Government has backed the development of new ‘space hubs’ across England, as well as funding to support projects in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Each area, dubbed a ‘space hub’, will use government funding to bring together local authorities, expertise and businesses to create a strategy for how their area can take maximum advantage of the commercial space race. Harwell in Oxfordshire established itself as a space hub in the last 10 years, and ministers want to replicate this success in other areas.

Funding is going to seven locations – including the North West, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire – to ensure space is a priority for regional economic growth and attract commercial investment from space companies to these areas.

(more…)

Astroscale Announces March 2021 Launch Date for World’s First Commercial Active Debris Removal Demonstration Mission

End-of-Life Service by Astroscale demonstrator (ELSA-d) satellite. (Credit: Astroscale UK Ltd)

ELSA-d is the first mission to demonstrate the core technologies necessary for space debris docking and removal, a major step towards expanding on-orbit services and achieving Astroscale’s vision of safe and sustainable space for the benefit of future generations.

TOKYO, November 18, 2020 (Astroscale PR) – Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market-leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability, today announced that its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission will launch on a Soyuz rocket operated by GK Launch Services from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in March 2021.

(more…)

Kepler Announces Successful Launch of Third Satellite

TARS satellite (Credit: Kepler Communications)

TORONTO, ONTARIO, September 3, 2020 (Kepler Communications PR) – Kepler’s Low Earth Orbit constellation expanded earlier today with the successful launch of its third satellite. This satellite, internally referred to as TARS, was launched onboard the Arianespace Vega SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) from the Guiana Space Centre at approximately 01:51 UTC, with communication established shortly thereafter.

(more…)

OneWeb – The Opportunity for the UK

OneWeb satellite (Credit: OneWeb)

HARWELL, UK (Satellite Applications Catapult PR) — According to press reports, the UK government is a partner in a bid for OneWeb, the UK- headquartered satellite communications company which, following the well-publicised financial difficulties of a major investor, entered Chapter 11 in March. If these reports are true, and the bid is successful, then it is great news for the UK space sector and UK citizens.

(more…)

UK to Join Bidding for Bankrupt OneWeb

Huh.

The Financial Times reports that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to invest about £500 million ($621 million) as part of a wider consortium bid in bankrupt satellite provider OneWeb.

The company, which planned to offer satellite broadband services, launched 74 spacecraft in Earth orbit before it ran out of money in March. OneWeb has a manufacturing facility in Florida that is a joint venture with Airbus.

The British government is looking to develop its own satellite navigation system because UK companies were barred from being involved in the European Union’s (EU) Galileo system after Britain left the trade bloc.

However, developing and launching a separate system could cost more than £5 billion ($6.2 billion). U.S. defense officials were also opposed to the creating of a rival to the Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Financial Times reports that the Satellite Applications Catapult has proposed installing navigation technology on future OneWeb satellites. Spacecraft manufacturing would be moved from Florida to Britain.

The navigation system based on low orbiting OneWeb satellites would serve as a supplement, not a rival, to the GPS satellites.

Bids for OneWeb are due on Friday. There is reported interest from groups in France and China.

TriSept, Satellite Applications Catapult to Advance Space Access in UK

CHANTILLY, Virginia and OXFORD, England, December 10, 2019 (TriSept PR) – TriSept Corporation, a leading provider of launch integration management services for commercial and government missions, has signed a comprehensive teaming agreement with Satellite Applications Catapult, to explore and accelerate new innovations, missions and space access across the burgeoning UK space industry and beyond.

Satellite Applications Catapult, part of The Catapult network and one of dozens of innovative firms based at the Harwell Space Cluster, provides world-leading facilities and expertise for the benefit of the UK space sector. TriSept also announced its alliance with SA Catapult includes a full-time presence on the Harwell campus, where TriSept will expand its global launch integration services business in 2020.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Cornwall Council Cabinet to Vote on $14.8 Million for Spaceport

CORNWALL, UK ( Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership PR) — Business and space industry leaders are backing plans to create the UK’s first horizontal launch spaceport in Cornwall.

Spaceport Cornwall would use planes rather than vertical take-off rockets to put satellites into space from Cornwall Airport Newquay as early as next year, in partnership with California-based launch company Virgin Orbit.

(more…)

ÅAC Microtec Wins Upgrade Order from UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult

UPSALA, Sweden (ÅAC Microtec PR) — ÅAC Microtec AB’s subsidiary, Clyde Space, has signed a contract with the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult to upgrade an existing order for the IOD Program from an 3U CubeSat to an enhanced 6U CubeSat. The contract value is 0.2 MGBP (approx. 2.5 MSEK) [$270,513].

The satellite is part of the In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Program, funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, and led by the Satellite Applications Catapult. The spacecraft will be delivered as the IOD-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) through launch providers Nanoracks in the second half of 2020.

(more…)