UKSA funding to drive growth in British cubesat technology

UKSA funding to drive growth in British cubesat technology
Sixteen UK space labs and companies are set to benefit from the latest round of the UK Space Agency's National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), which will spur innovation in the fast moving area of space technology known as cubesats.

Cubesats are tiny, low cost spacecraft weighing only a few kilos which can be launched on larger spacecraft. Many of today's cubesats are being used to help students hone practical skills in building and operating satellites. However, with advances in technology, many experts believe they will also be used for cutting edge science or operational uses in the future.

According to the UK Space Agency, eleven new research projects will now be supported by £310,000 of grants from the National Space Technology Programme to drive the next steps in British cubesat know how.

Dr Chris Castelli, programme manager at the UK Space Agency, explained: "We received 30 proposals to our recent competition and have now selected the best ones to fund. We've got a great range of ideas – from new technology such as wireless on-board monitoring and tiny thrusters to give cubesats their own manoeuvring capability; to practical uses such as bioscience and space-weather monitoring. It's going to be exciting to see what emerges."

Author
Laura Hopperton

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