Daniel Sors Raurell of OpenCosmos satellite tech firm at Harwell Space Campus (Image: Ed Nix)
The UK is set to launch a new spacecraft that will help scientists monitor climate change and natural disasters. The country has joined Portugal and Spain in the Atlantic Constellation project, which aims to develop a group of satellites to monitor the Earth and provide early detection of climate change indicators.
The UK Space Agency is providing £3 million for a new pathfinder satellite, with co-funding from Open Cosmos, based on the Harwell Space Campus at Didcot. The new satellite will provide valuable and regularly updated data on the Earth, helping to detect, monitor and reduce the risk of natural disasters.
Andrew Griffith, minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “Earth observation will play an absolutely vital role in tackling global challenges like climate change and disaster relief, providing the data we need at speed while supporting key UK industries like agriculture and energy.” By working with Open Cosmos on a new satellite and supporting our Atlantic partners, Spain and Portugal, we can harness space tech for our shared goals while creating new skills opportunities and jobs for the future to grow the UK economy.”
The announcement was made on the opening day of the UK Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.