In a significant step towards tackling global challenges such as climate change and natural disasters, an Oxfordshire-based space technology company has been announced as a partner in a new satellite project. The UK Space Agency, a government body, is providing £3m for the project, with co-funding from Open Cosmos, which is based at the Harwell Space Campus in 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. The new satellite will be built by Open Cosmos and will provide “valuable and regularly updated data” on Earth, helping detect, monitor and reduce the risk of natural disasters.
Andrew Griffith, minister at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “Earth observation will play an absolutely vital role in tackling global challenges such as climate change and disaster relief. It will provide us with the data we need urgently while supporting key UK industries such as agriculture and energy.”
The announcement comes on the opening day of the Great Britain Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The conference aims to bring together experts from industry, academia, government and other sectors to discuss how space technology can be used to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.