Young people will have the chance to send their own small satellite into space, following the launch of a competition earlier this month aimed at inspiring the next generation of British space scientists and entrepreneurs.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall when he announced the contest, which is looking for nanosatellite designs that can help support the UK’s ‘ambitious decarbonisation targets’.
Nanosatellites are small satellites that can be used to gather scientific data, such as on climate change, as well as improving data for satellite navigation systems.
The £600,000 prize fund will enable the winner to further develop or build their satellite, making it launch-ready, with the potential for it to be launched into space from UK soil.
In 2022, the UK is set to become the first country in Europe to host small-satellite launches, with Spaceport Cornwall, in Newquay, set to be the first operational spaceport.
Mr Shapps said: “As hosts of the G7 and with the first space launches from British soil firmly within our grasp, I want to support the UK’s brightest minds and creative ideas to launch this exciting competition.
“This will help to secure a future spaceflight legacy for Great Britain, by inspiring young adults to build the skills needed to work within this growing sector.
“With its ambition to double the UK’s global market share of the space sector to 10% by 2030, Britain’s space exploration programme is set to create new high-skilled jobs and economic benefits for communities and organisations throughout the country.”
Science Minister Amanda Solloway added: “We are committed to putting British innovation at the heart of the global effort to understand and minimise the effects of climate change, cementing our position as a ‘science superpower’ and helping us to ‘build back greener’ from the pandemic.
“As we anticipate with excitement the first satellite launches from British soil next year, this competition gives young people across the UK an opportunity to be part of our country’s thriving space sector and shape a better future for everyone.”
Applications will be welcome from anyone in the UK 16 years or over, either individually or as part of a team. The competition will officially open in the autumn and close in February next year.
Entries must be suitable for launch from a UK spaceport and meet the necessary weight, size and licensing requirements and full details will be clearly outlined when the competition opens.
To register your interest click here
and further information will be sent when the competition opens for entries.