The UK has announced plans to build and fund a new satellite aimed at monitoring climate change and natural disasters. The project, known as the Atlantic Constellation, is a collaborative effort involving the UK, Portugal, and Spain, with the aim of developing a group of satellites to monitor Earth.
The UK Space Agency will be providing £3m for the construction of a pathfinder satellite, with additional funding from Open Cosmos, a company based at the Harwell Space Campus in Oxfordshire. The satellite is expected to provide valuable and regularly updated data on the state of the planet.
One of the key objectives of the satellite is to assist in the detection, monitoring, and reduction of the risks associated with natural disasters. By providing real-time data, scientists and authorities will be better equipped to respond to such events and minimize their impact.
Andrew Griffith, a minister in the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, highlighted the role of Earth observation in addressing global challenges like climate change and disaster relief. The data obtained from the satellite will not only support efforts in these areas but also benefit key industries in the UK, such as agriculture and energy.
The UK’s involvement in the Atlantic Constellation project is seen as an opportunity to collaborate with partners in Spain and Portugal, promoting the sharing of expertise and resources. This collaboration not only serves shared goals but also contributes to the growth of the UK economy by creating new skills opportunities and jobs in the space technology sector.
The announcement of the satellite project coincided with the opening day of the UK Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Earlier this year, the UK Space Agency signed an agreement with Axiom Space, a Texas-based company working on the development of the first-ever commercial space station. This agreement opens up the possibility of future space flights involving British astronauts, enabling them to conduct scientific experiments and educational activities during their time in orbit.