A new spacecraft aimed at helping scientists monitor climate change and natural disasters is being developed by an Oxfordshire-based space tech firm. The UK will be joining 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, a government body, is providing £3 million for a new pathfinder satellite, with co-funding from Open Cosmos, which is based on the Harwell Space Campus at Didcot. The new satellite is expected to 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, emphasized the vital role of earth observation in tackling global challenges like climate change and disaster relief, while also supporting key UK industries like agriculture and energy. Working with Open Cosmos on a new satellite and supporting partners in the Atlantic project will help harness space tech for shared goals and create new skills opportunities and jobs for the future to grow the UK economy.
The announcement of the new spacecraft and UK’s involvement in the Atlantic Constellation project was made on the opening day of the UK Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.