Countdown to launch: British-built satellite tv for pc completes line-up for first launch from Spaceport Cornwall

  • Named ‘DOVER’, RHEA Group’s first satellite tv for pc will fly into house on Virgin Orbit’s maiden UK launch, sharing a journey with 5 extra satellite tv for pc missions, together with the primary ever satellite tv for pc to be in-built Wales.
  • Immediately’s announcement confirms the UK is on monitor to grow to be the primary nation in Europe to launch satellites into house from dwelling soil this 12 months, a key ambition of the Authorities’s Nationwide Area Technique.

A brand new analysis satellite tv for pc from worldwide engineering agency Rhea Group, in-built Oxfordshire by house firm Open Cosmos, will likely be launched from the UK later this 12 months.

Virgin Orbit will launch the ‘DOVER’ pathfinder satellite tv for pc from Spaceport Cornwall. The satellite tv for pc will transmit an modern new sign, specifically designed by engineers at RHEA, to supply information from house that can be utilized on the bottom to acquire a place or an correct time. It should broadcast these new alerts in order that their efficiency might be examined as a part of the analysis mission.

This new satellite tv for pc completes the line-up for the UK’s first launch, which additionally consists of satellites from organisations similar to Area Forge, the Satellite tv for pc Functions Catapult and Horizon Applied sciences, in addition to the Prometheus-2 analysis demonstration satellites. Prometheus-2 was co-funded and designed with Airbus Defence and Area and assembled by In-Area Missions, as a part of a collaboration between the UK’s Defence Science and Know-how Laboratory (Dstl) and worldwide companions, together with the US Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace.

The UK is poised to grow to be the primary nation in Europe to launch satellites into orbit this 12 months from dwelling soil, a key ambition of the UK Authorities’s Nationwide Area Technique. Spaceport Cornwall is on the coronary heart of a rising aerospace and house cluster and can create 150 jobs within the native space.

The event of a business launch functionality will give the UK entry to the rising international launch market, delivering an extra increase to the thriving house and satellite tv for pc sector, which is already dwelling to greater than 47,000 jobs throughout the nation and helps billions of kilos of wider financial exercise.

Countdown to launch: British-built satellite tv for pc completes line-up for first launch from Spaceport Cornwall

From left, Rebecca Evernden, Director of Area at BEIS, Dr Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Area Company, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, British ESA astronaut Tim Peake, and Lord Willetts, Chair of the UK Area Company on the UK Area Pavillion on the Farnborough Worldwide Airshow right now (18 July 2022)

Dr Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Area Company, stated:

The countdown is on to the primary satellite tv for pc launch from Spaceport Cornwall, with a full complement of satellites confirmed by Virgin Orbit for what guarantees to be a landmark second for our thriving house sector.

It’s unbelievable that RHEA Group’s DOVER satellite tv for pc is becoming a member of the launch, which showcases each our home satellite tv for pc manufacturing experience and the worldwide curiosity within the UK as a launch vacation spot.

The flexibility to launch satellites from UK soil will help our work to catalyse funding into the house sector, ship new capabilities and champion the unbelievable position of house to profit life on Earth.

The ‘DOVER’ pathfinder satellite tv for pc

RHEA Group’s Dover satellite tv for pc, the corporate’s first, was co-funded by the UK Area Company’s funding within the European Area Company’s Navigation Innovation and Assist Programme (NAVISP). It’s named after the Dover Strait, the place the English Channel is narrowest and transport lanes are busiest, as it is a key location for testing new methods and applied sciences for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT).

The satellite tv for pc is a powerful instance of UK experience in PNT know-how, which underpins huge swathes of financial exercise, in addition to small satellite tv for pc manufacturing, with Open Cosmos constructing the satellite tv for pc on the Harwell Area Cluster, Oxfordshire.

Emma Jones, RHEA’s UK Enterprise Director, stated:

This can be a momentous occasion for RHEA. This 12 months we’re celebrating our thirtieth anniversary and it’s a nice milestone to launch our first ever satellite tv for pc in the identical 12 months. The UK is within the very fascinating place of creating quite a few spaceports, and it’s thrilling to have a RHEA satellite tv for pc on board the primary launch to take off from UK soil.

Florian Deconinck, Vice President of Institutional Partnerships & Future Missions at Open Cosmos, stated:

DOVER is a superb instance of Open Cosmos’ capacity to design, manufacture, launch and function satellites in a responsive method. The timescales for this future mission are impressively aggressive: 8 months from the second of first contact with RHEA to getting an working satellite tv for pc in orbit. That is the results of an in depth partnership between Open Cosmos and RHEA, the very reactive help from UK Area Company and ESA-NAVISP groups, and the potential for delivering all of the phases from a single location, the UK.

The launch

In the course of the launch mission, a Virgin Orbit 747 will take off from the runway at Spaceport Cornwall, carrying a rocket beneath its wing. The airplane will fly out over the ocean earlier than blasting the rocket into house, delivering satellites into orbit across the Earth. Within the cockpit will likely be Squadron Chief Mathew ‘Stanny’ Stannard, an RAF Check Pilot serving on industrial placement as one in every of Virgin Orbit’s pilots.

This would be the first satellite tv for pc launch from UK soil and Virgin Orbit’s first mission outdoors the US. It follows the profitable ‘Straight Up’ mission, that delivered seven satellites into house from Mojave in California on Saturday 2nd July.

Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit, stated:

We’re more than happy to have been chosen by RHEA Group to launch its first satellite tv for pc. The DOVER satellite tv for pc, which was constructed within the UK, funded by the European Area Company, and now will likely be launched from Cornwall, is a superb instance of the ability that comes with the infusion of house collaboration going down throughout the globe.

The work RHEA will do with their DOVER satellite tv for pc will assist to guarantee dependable navigation, which touches all of us and might be important for every thing from environmentally-efficient transport to nationwide safety.

Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall, stated:

We’re thrilled to have ‘DOVER’ full the line-up of satellites onboard Virgin Orbit’s first launch from Cornwall. Every payload highlights the innovation occurring throughout the small satellite tv for pc trade, and the way it can profit life on earth, whereas showcasing the rising collaboration between UK Area and worldwide companions.

That is one other nice second within the countdown to launch from Cornwall.

UK spaceflight programme

With funding first introduced on the Farnborough Worldwide Airshow in 2018, the UK Area Company is supporting the event of economic and sustainable satellite tv for pc launch operations throughout the UK, working with a spread of companions together with Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit, Area Hub Sutherland and Orbex, and SaxaVord Spaceport, Lockheed Martin and ABL Area Programs.

The house sector has proven outstanding resilience within the face of worldwide challenges such because the pandemic, with greater than 1,700 satellites launched worldwide in 2021 alone. These present important applied sciences used day by day by individuals and companies, together with communications, Earth commentary and navigation providers.

The UK has world-leading experience in satellite tv for pc design, manufacturing, information and purposes however, till now, has not been in a position to launch them from dwelling soil.

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