The UK has announced its commitment to join the Atlantic Constellation, a global project focused on the development of a constellation of small satellites for Ocean, Earth, and Climate monitoring. As part of this commitment, the UK Space Agency will be providing £3 million in funding to support the construction of a new pathfinder satellite.
The pathfinder satellite, designed and built by a UK-based company called Open Cosmos, will be one of the first in the Constellation. It will be launched in the same orbital plane as three other satellites from Portugal, significantly increasing the frequency of revisit time and providing regularly updated data for critical services such as natural disaster detection and monitoring.
By joining the Atlantic Constellation, the UK aims to strengthen its national capabilities in Earth observation technology and support its contributions to the EU Copernicus programme, European Space Agency, and bilateral missions. Earth observation plays a crucial role in addressing global challenges like climate change and disaster relief, providing valuable data for industries such as agriculture and energy.
Open Cosmos, the company responsible for building the pathfinder satellite, has recently launched two additional satellite missions and raised $50 million in funding to accelerate its growth and expand its product offering.
The announcement of the UK’s commitment to the Atlantic Constellation comes during the UK Space Conference in Belfast, where the UK Space Agency is unveiling a package of 23 projects worth £4 million from its Enabling Technologies Programme. This programme aims to boost UK leadership in new space technologies and applications, addressing global problems and benefiting international space organizations.
Overall, the UK’s participation in the Atlantic Constellation and investment in satellite technology further solidify its position in the space industry and support its goals of environmental monitoring, disaster management, and economic growth.