The UK Space Agency has announced the launch of a new satellite to help monitor climate change and natural disasters. The satellite will be built by an Oxfordshire-based space tech firm, OpenCosmos, in collaboration with Portugal and Spain as part of the Atlantic Constellation project.
The country will join forces with its European partners to develop a group of satellites that will monitor the Earth and provide early detection of climate change indicators. The UK Space Agency is providing £3 million for a new pathfinder satellite, co-funded by Open Cosmos, which is located on the Harwell Space Campus in Didcot.
The new satellite is expected to provide valuable and regularly updated data on the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, helping scientists to detect, monitor and reduce the risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires.
Andrew Griffith, minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “Earth observation will play an absolutely vital role in tackling global challenges like climate change and disaster relief.” He added that this technology would also support key UK industries like agriculture and energy by providing real-time data on crop yields and weather patterns.
The announcement was made on the opening day of the UK Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It marks a significant step forward in our efforts to harness space technology for our shared goals while creating new skills opportunities and jobs for the future.