On the opening day of the UK Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, it was announced that an Oxfordshire-based space tech firm, OpenCosmos, will be building a new satellite to help scientists monitor climate change and natural disasters. 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 country will join Portugal and Spain in the Atlantic Constellation project, which is developing a group of satellites to monitor the Earth and provide early detection of climate change indicators. This collaboration between the UK and its European partners is expected to harness space technology for global goals while creating new skills opportunities and jobs for the future.
Andrew Griffith, minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said: “Earth observation will play an absolutely vital role in tackling global challenges like climate change and disaster relief. The data provided by these satellites will enable us to respond quickly to natural disasters and support key industries such as agriculture and energy.”
The new satellite is expected to provide valuable and regularly updated data on the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. It will also help detect, monitor, and reduce the risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. This will ultimately help governments make informed decisions on disaster relief efforts and resource allocation.