£1.2 Million Fund Will Help UK Make Space Safer


Reading time ( words)

One of the biggest challenges facing the space sector is orbital congestion and space debris. There are currently around 3,000 working satellites in orbit, and an estimated 130 million other pieces of debris, including old satellites, spent rocket bodies and even tools dropped by astronauts. 

One collision could create thousands of small, fast-moving fragments, damaging the satellites that provide everyday services such as communications, weather forecasting or satellite navigation. This funding will help bolster the UK’s capabilities to track, monitor and reduce the risks of potentially dangerous encounters with satellites or even the crewed International Space Station. 

Space debris is a global problem and the joint initiative announced today from the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) and Space, Surveillance and Tracking Programme (SST) will enable UK companies to mature technologies and early phase concepts to help tackle the issue. 

Projects should reduce the risks of dangerous collisions in space by monitoring, tracking or supporting the removal of potentially hazardous objects.

Proposals could include ideas to:

  • Advance our capabilities to detect, track or identify objects in orbit
  • Improve current approaches to compiling, cleaning or analysing data created by SST sensors
  • Improve algorithms used to determine objects’ orbits, allowing us to predict conjunctions, fragmenting or re-entering
  • Develop new technologies needed to conduct the removal of debris from orbit. This includes improving or developing new systems to help capture, manipulate, manoeuvre or de-orbit debris using another spacecraft

The deadline for applications is midday on 25 August 2021 and organisations can bid for up to £200,000. 

Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, “Tracking satellites and reducing space debris will safeguard the services we all use every day to communicate with loved ones, access online banking, and study our ever-changing planet. This funding will help grow our world-class space sector and provide pioneering minds with the resources they need to position the UK a global leader in Space Surveillance and Tracking.”

New figures released by the UK Space Agency this month show strong growth in the UK space sector. Income rose from £14.8 billion in 2016/17 to £16.4 billion in 2018/19, representing a growth of 5.7 per cent in real terms, while employment rose by 3,200 from 41,900 to 45,100. Research and development spending rose 18 per cent in real terms from £595 million in 2016/17 to £702 million in 2018/19.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Rosalind Franklin Mars Rover Passes Latest Tests Ahead of September Launch

01/19/2022 | ESA
The European Space Agency (ESA) rover starts the year with months of successful maintenance and functional tests behind it. All its instruments are go for flight, with some minor tuning left to complete this month.

NASA Prepares SLS Moon Rockets for First Crewed Artemis Missions

01/12/2022 | NASA
As teams continue to prepare NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for its debut flight with the launch of Artemis I, NASA and its partners across the country have made great progress building the rocket for Artemis II, the first crewed Artemis mission.

James Webb Space Telescope en Route to Discover Origins of the Universe, Study Exoplanets

01/06/2022 | Thales
A joint program between NASA and its counterparts in Europe (ESA) and Canada (CSA), Webb will observe the beginnings of our Universe by reaching back in time to just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. It will also observe exoplanets – planets outside the Solar System – that are comparable to our own, as well as the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. The ultimate aim of this successor to the iconic Hubble space telescope is to discover galaxies that reach back to the relative beginnings of the Universe. This state-of-the-art time machine is expected to revolutionize all aspects of modern astronomy. It will unveil the hidden side of the Universe, namely stars enveloped in clouds of dust, molecules in the atmosphere of other worlds, and the light issuing from the first stars and galaxies.



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.