Two satellites built in Glasgow have successfully been launched into orbit from Sriharikota India.
The satellites were both designed and developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in their ARTES Pioneer programme, of which the UK is the biggest financial contributor.
The ARTES Pioneer programme aims to lower the entry barriers for private and public agencies wishing to carry out experiments or business endeavours in earth’s orbit.
The Glasgow-built satellites were constructed at a low cost and weigh only 5kg. Now in orbit the satellites will measure refracted radio signals passing through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Graham Turnock Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency commented in a released statement that: “These incredibly clever pint-sized satellites built in Glasgow could slash the complexity and cost of access to space, presenting an exciting opportunity for the UK to thrive in the commercial space age.”
“Through our £4m development funding in ESA’s ARTES programme, the government’s Industrial Strategy and by working closely with our international partners, we are helping Scottish businesses transform their ideas into commercial realities, resulting in jobs, growth and innovation.”
Using the satellites researchers will be able to measure the Earth’s atmospheric temperature, humidity and pressure, all of which can be used to predict weather forecasts and monitor global climate change.
Peter Platzer CEO of Spire Global commented that:: “Spire has been focused on developing unique data sources with high frequency updates for the entire Earth and has over 60 LEMUR-2 class satellites deployed in space with a complementary global ground station network.”
“Under Pioneer, we can offer our extensive experience in manufacturing and managing small spacecraft like these to those who cannot afford to waste money and time to do it themselves. This work with ESA helps further support the global development of commercial aerospace’s potential to make space access universal.”