Russian rocket to launch Clyde Space satellite

Date Published: 20/12/2012

Scotland’s first satellite will be launched from a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket in March 2013.

 UKube-1, built by Clyde Space in Glasgow, is now completing final testing at the company’s headquarters before making the journey to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the launch.

 Confirming that agreement had been reached for the Russian rocket to carry UKube-1, Clyde Space CEO Craig Clark, said: “UKube-1 aims to be the first of many nanosatellites produced at Clyde Space, and is a fantastic mission for us to demonstrate our capabilities as a spacecraft mission lead.

 “I’m proud of the team here at Clyde Space in achieving such a critical milestone in the mission.”

 The UKube-1 nanosatellite has been designed and manufactured by Clyde Space at their high-tech facility at the West of Scotland Science Park.

 The satellite is one of the most advanced of its kind and the mission is the pilot for a collaborative, national CubeSat programme bringing together UK industry and academia to fly educational packages, test new technologies and carry out new space research quickly and efficiently.  

 Payloads in UKube-1 include the first GPS device aimed at measuring plasmaspheric space weather, a camera that will take images of the Earth and test the effect of radiation on space hardware using a new generation of imaging sensor and an experiment to demonstrate the feasibility of using cosmic radiation to improve the security of communications satellites and to flight test lower cost electronic systems.

 It will also carry a payload made up of five experiments that UK students and the public can interact with and an outreach programme that also allows school children to interact with the spacecraft.

 UKube-1 is a UK Space Agency mission. The mission has been funded jointly by Clyde Space (mission prime) and a number of funding partners including the UK Space Agency, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Technology Strategy Board and there has also been support from Scottish Enterprise.

 As well as the platform and payload elements of the mission, UKube-1 is being supported by three UK Ground Stations.

 Led by the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory’s Ground Segment in Oxfordshire, these crucial elements will provide the link to the orbiting spacecraft, as well as full planning of the operations.

 The supporting ground stations are provided by Dundee and Strathclyde Universities.  The university of Strathclyde groundstation was installed by Clyde Space during an earlier phase of the spacecraft development. 

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