Feeds

UK Space Agency OKs teeny-tiny satellite

Liftoff expected late 2012

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The UK Space Agency has approved the design of UKube-1, the UK's first CubeSat mission.

Last week, a team of engineers from Clyde Space, a microspacecraft maker, submitted their design for the UKube-1 to be reviewed by a team of experts, who concluded that the design was sound.

The chosen design is the first step on the mission that will eventually lead to UKube-1's launch on a Russian Dnepr rocket, which has been converted for small satellite launches, towards the end of next year.

A CubeSat is a type of mini-satellite for space research that usually has a volume of a litre, a mass of around 1.3kg and typically uses off-the-shelf components.

The advantage of building a spaceship like this is that it's cheap and it can be launched quickly, so a CubeSat programme yields "more launches, more science and more terrestrial applications", according to the UK Space Agency.

"A number of current CubeSat missions, operated by other countries, are targeted at science applications and especially at studies that can be carried out at low-Earth orbits such as space weather studies, atmospheric science, energetic particle studies and spacecraft damage studies," the agency said when it announced the plan for the first CubeSat.

The UKube-1 is being built to allow Britain to "test cutting-edge new technologies in space", according to its mission outline.

After a competition to decide what experiments would get to go up on UKube-1, a space imager, a "FUNCube" educational subsystem, a random number generator using single event upsets, TOPCAT, a GPS receiver to measure ionosphere and plasmasphere and myPocketQub, another education-linked experiment, will all be going up.

You can find out more about these experiments here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.