An Oxfordshire-based space tech firm, OpenCosmos, is set to build a new spacecraft that will help scientists monitor climate change and natural disasters. The UK has joined Portugal and Spain in the Atlantic Constellation project, which aims to develop a group of satellites that will monitor the Earth and provide early detection of climate change indicators.
The UK Space Agency has provided £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 detect, monitor and reduce the risk of natural disasters.
Andrew Griffith, Minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said: “Earth observation plays an absolutely vital role in tackling global challenges like climate change and disaster relief. It provides us with the data we need at speed while supporting key UK industries such as agriculture and energy.”
By working with Open Cosmos on a new satellite and supporting our Atlantic partners, Spain and Portugal, we can harness space technology 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.