The UK Space Agency
has announced new funding to support ambitious plans for the exploration of space. Proposals could include ideas such as the utilisation of resources beyond Earth’s atmosphere, the use of nuclear power in space or the exploration of the Moon, and Mars.
The funding call, which opened yesterday from the UK Space Agency’s Space Exploration programme, invites the space sector to bid for up to £500,000 to boost technology that will support and advance robotic and human exploration of Low Earth Orbit, the Moon, and Mars.
Proposals could include ideas to develop technologies in such areas as space-based nuclear power, human and robotic exploration, potential future exploration missions and techniques for extracting mineral resources in space.
The development of space-based nuclear reactors, for example, could potentially lead to the more efficient use of technology on Earth, such as quickly deployable micro-reactors to restore power to disaster-hit areas.
Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency, said: “Exploration of Low Earth Orbit and our surrounding celestial neighbours delivers important breakthroughs that advance our understanding of the universe, opens up economic possibilities and make life better back on Earth.
“The UK has provided expertise and equipment to some of the most high-profile space missions of recent times. This funding will help our world-class space sector kickstart new technological successes, allowing us to explore our solar system further.”
From supplying components for planetary orbiters to developing game-changing equipment to aid research in space, the UK space sector plays an important part in global space exploration, allowing scientists to discover more about the solar system and its formation.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on 31 August 2021. Organisations can bid for between £50,000-£500,000. Details on how to apply for funding can be found at the website