U.K. Space Agency Announces CubeSat Pilot Program
[Satellite TODAY 07-26-10] The U.K. Space Agency has unveiled a one-year pilot program to design and launch miniature, cube-shaped satellites to test and research new space technologies, the agency announced July 22.
The pilot program, UKube 1 will involve a competition amongst companies and academic groups to come up with the most innovative ideas for payloads. The winning payloads will be launched on the satellite in mid-2011.
Scottish technology company Clyde Space has been contracted by the U.K. Space Agency to provide the platform for the micro-satellite. EADS Astrium also will play a role as a key supporter during the CubeSat program.
“As with all space related business, the best way to market space products is through their successful demonstration in orbit. By providing the Cubesat platform, we will benefit immensely from the opportunity and so it is vital to the growth of Clyde Space as a leading CubeSat company. I feel also that this program is vital for the U.K.’s commercial exploitation and export of CubeSat technology in this rapidly growing market,” Clyde Space CEO Craig Clark said in a statement.