Feeds

Space boffins save BT's satellite station for Mars missions

Booming space industry to upgrade historic Goonhilly dishes

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Space scientists will redevelop BT's historic Goonhilly satellite station in Cornwall to allow communication with missions to Mars, it is revealed today.

The mothballed site will also become a centre of cutting-edge astronomical research as part of a network of huge radio telescopes.

Arthur, the world's first parabolic satellite comms dish.
By madnzany on flickr.

BT finally shut down most operations at Goonhilly in 2008. The first dish, Grade II-listed "Arthur", was built in 1962 to communicate with Telstar, which relayed the first live transatlantic TV broadcasts.

The new deal sees the creation of a new company, Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) Ltd, set up by Orbit Research Ltd and Oxford University. Qinetiq, the UK Space Agency and the International Space Innovation Centre are also backing the project.

Although they have plans to redevelop the vistor centre and launch community outreach programmes, consortium's first priority will be to upgrade the site's antennae for deep space communications and radio astronomy.

"We have plans to go one stage further [than before] and to use the antennas at Goonhilly to support space science missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond," said GES chief executive Ian Jones.

Goonhilly will be linked with the famous Jodrell Bank site, near Manchester, for radio telescopy, forming what is hoped will act as a stepping stone in the development of the Square Kilometre Array, a European plan to build the world's largest telescope in the southern hemisphere.

"Goonhilly telescopes can also be connected to global radio astronomy networks that will eventually include the Square Kilometre Array," said Steve Rawlings, professor of astrophysics at Oxford University.

"The Square Kilometre Array will attack truly fundamental questions: the origin and fate of galaxies, stars, planets and life; and the nature of the fundamental laws of the Universe, going beyond Einstein into the biggest unsolved problems like dark energy and quantum gravity."

The UK space industry has been a rare high technology success story in recent years. According to a report in November by the Oxford Economics consultancy, it has grown by 10 per cent annually since 2007, to £7.5bn, and provided 15 per cent more jobs each year.

Local MP Andrew George today called for the government to also back the Goonhilly project.

"There is still much more work to be done to bring this project online," he said.

"Government support will be crucial. It already has the backing of the private sector."

Under the deal, BT will retain a small research, development and satellite operations presence at Goonhilly. Located on the Lizard peninsula, the most southerly point of mainland Britain, it is also a landing site for undersea fibre optic cables. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.