Lacuna Space Achieves Major Milestone for LoRa® in Space

OXFORDSHIRE, UK (Lacuna Space PR) — Lacuna Space is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the first phase of testing in its mission to provide complete global coverage for LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) to anywhere in the world, no matter how remote.

Lacuna Space is at the forefront of satellite IoT connectivity, with low-cost and high-scalability as its fundamental tenets in its system design. Over the course of the last two years, Lacuna has been collaborating with Semtech Corporation to extend LoRa Technology connectivity to the whole world.

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Lease Option Agreed for Space Hub Sutherland

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

INVERNESS, Scotland (Highlands and Islands Enterprise PR) — The owners of land earmarked for the Space Hub Sutherland development on the Moine Peninsula have agreed a lease option with developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Representatives of Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and HIE signed the agreement yesterday (Wednesday 31 July). It secures the option for HIE to lease the land once planning consent for the project has been granted.

HIE is leading the development, with a £2.5m grant from the UK Space Agency (UKSA), which is also funding two launch companies that plan to use the facility.

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Kits Designed to Extract Metals from Moon, Mars Launched to Space Station

The biomining reactors will use bacteria to recover minerals and metals from rocks. (Credit: UK Space Agency)

EDINBURGH, Scotland (UK Space Agency PR) — UK scientists lead international project to build world’s first space rock mining devices which use bacteria to recover minerals from rocks on the Moon and Mars.

Astronauts will test the devices on board the International Space Station, following the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last night (at 23:01 BST, Thursday 25 July) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral.

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NASA, UK Space Agency to Cooperate on Future Moon Missions

The moon rising over Half Moon Bay. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

LONDON (UKSA PR) — The UK and US space agencies have signed a statement of intent, which paves the way for UK commercial satellite communication and navigation services to be used by future NASA missions to the Moon.

The agreement was announced in a speech from Science Minister Chris Skidmore at the Policy Exchange in London on ‘Embracing the New Space Age’ on 16 July, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.

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Scottish Supercomputer Satellites Launched into Orbit

Pioneer satellites launch on board Soyuz. (Credit: Roscomos)

A pair of Glasgow-built satellites which could revolutionise how data is downloaded from space were successfully launched on July 5

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — Satellites are essential to modern life due to their application in navigation, finance, telecoms and in monitoring weather, climate change and air pollution. However, the data they collect can be slow to download due to the volume of traffic, with users often having to download very large files they don’t need just to obtain specific elements.

Spire Global operates a network of small satellites, known as nanosatellites, which collect and transmit a range of valuable data. The two new additions, supported by the UK Space Agency, will be able to process and cherry-pick data from other satellites in orbit before transmitting it to Earth, optimising and freeing up bandwidth for other tasks and users.

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UK Space Agency Teams with O2 on Driverless Cars

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency is joining forces with mobile communications giant O2 to develop next generation technology needed for driverless cars.

The new Darwin programme aims to test seamless highspeed data connections using 5G and satellites. Next generation telecoms satellites will ensure that vehicles stay connected outside of towns and cities which typically have good mobile signals.

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will transform travel with safer, smoother and smarter road journeys through high levels of automation facilitated by being able to communicate with other vehicles and to road infrastructure around them.

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UK Scientists to Lead ESA’s New Comet Interceptor Mission

Comet Interceptor concept (Credit: ESA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — A new mission called Comet Interceptor, which was proposed by the UK, has been targeted for launch by the European Space Agency in 2028.

Comet Interceptor would be the first mission to travel to a comet which has never previously encountered the inner Solar System.

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Virgin Orbit to Launch Satellites from Cornwall in England

Cosmic Girl performs first captive carry with LauncherOne. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

CORNWALL, United Kingdom (Virgin Orbit PR) — For a while now, we’ve been working with our friends in Cornwall on the prospect of using LauncherOne to bring launch back to Britain. Today, that project took a massive step forward, as the U.K. Space Agency announced it aims to invest £7.8m (~$10 million) into the development of Spaceport Cornwall as a key operating hub for horizontal launch system, working towards a first launch from British soil in the early 2020’s.

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Government Backs Ambitious Plans for UK in Space

  • Up to £20m could be made available from national and local government, subject to business case, for Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit as part of the Industrial Strategy spaceflight programme – LaunchUK
  • UK Space Agency to work with the United States to enhance space weather forecasting, with £7 million for UCL scientists to build key instruments
  • National Space Council to be established as part of upgrade to UK space strategy and governance.

LONDON (UKSA PR) — UK will play a leading role in the new space age, with new support for domestic satellite launch capability, space weather forecasting, and a National Space Council.

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UK Space Agency Provides More than £900,000 for Education and Range Control for Launch UK

Close to £1 million [$1.28 million] of government funding will be used to inspire the next generation of engineers and support future commercial range control services for UK spaceflight.

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency is awarding £325,000 [$415,357] to the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) to bring the latest space science to children and families across the UK.

This will help create new resources based on real scientific and engineering challenges, including those facing the operation of UK spaceports, rockets and spaceplanes.

Together, up to 14 UK science centres and museums will deliver activities to 200,000 children and adults until March 2021, building on the success of ASDC’s Destination Space education programme, which reached more than 900,000 people during Tim Peake’s Principia mission.

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New Multi-million Pound Satellite Investment Deal for the UK

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — A new multi-million-pound deal by European businesses Eutelsat and Airbus will see satellite components and major parts assembled in the UK.

  • Eutelsat and Airbus invest millions in new satellite components and assembly in the UK
  • Deal will support hundreds of high quality jobs in Portsmouth and Stevenage and thousands of jobs in the supply chain
  • A year since the launch of the modern Industrial Strategy, this deal represents a further vote of confidence in the UK’s future economy and growing space industry

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UK Space Agency Funds New Experiments Aboard International Space Station

The International Space Station as it appears in 2018. Zarya is visible at the center of the complex, identifiable by its partially retracted solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — UK science will be launched into space to help tackle the effects of ageing, thanks to funding from the UK Space Agency, the Science Minister Sam Gyimah has announced.

  • New funding for three UK-led experiments on the International Space Station
  • Research to improve our understanding of the ageing process and develop new materials as part of government’s Industrial Strategy.
  • Universities of Liverpool, Nottingham, Exeter and Strathclyde to benefit.

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Britain, Australia Sign Space Agreement

BREMEN, Germany (UKSA PR) — The United Kingdom and Australia will co-operate on activities including communications technologies, space situational awareness and satellite navigation, Science Minister Sam Gyimah announced today (3 October).

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, provides a framework for collaborative activities and the exchange of information, technology and personnel between both nations.

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Britain Competes for the Launch of an Estimated 2,000 Satellites by 2030

SUTHERLAND, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — This morning (9 August) at his first visit to the site of a future UK spaceport in Sutherland, Business Secretary Greg Clark expanded on the commercial opportunities to be gained.

  • New figures published today by the UK Space Agency reveal that the UK could compete in a high value market to launch an estimated 2,000 satellites by 2030
  • On his first visit to the site of a new spaceport at Sutherland, Business Secretary Greg Clark said that the spaceport could be worth 400 jobs to local Scottish economy
  • In July £31.5m of funding was announced to support the Sutherland spaceport. This is a key part of the Industrial Strategy to ensure the UK thrives in the commercial space age.
  • Commercial vertical and horizontal launch demand is worth a potential £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade and will support further growth of Britain’s space sector.

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UK Industry to Design a Future Mars Rover

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — UK industry will design a future Mars rover, Science Minister Sam Gyimah announced today after a visit to the Harwell space cluster with Tim Peake.

A new rover set to visit Mars and collect the first ever samples from the planet to be brought back safely to Earth, will be designed in Stevenage by Airbus following the award of a £3.9 million contract by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The sample fetch rover will retrieve samples left by NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and transfer them to an ascent vehicle. This will put them into orbit about the planet, where they will then be brought back to Earth by a separate spacecraft.

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