The government has announced plans to fund the design and manufacture of the first satellite built in Cornwall – and which will be launched from the Duchy’s spaceport in 2022.
Following a visit to Spaceport Cornwall, in Newquay, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to support the design, manufacture and launch of Kernow Sat 1, which is intended to be the first payload launched via The first take-off of Virgin Orbit next year..
Government funding will be used to support research and development teams during the construction of Kernow Sat 1. In line with Spaceport’s mission to “democratize space” and promote the use of satellites for surveillance of the environment, the G7 project to solve problems related to Cornwall’s marine health and its “blue economy”.
The project, announced as world leaders gathered for the G7 powwow in Carbis Bay, will be a community enterprise across the Southwest and in collaboration with Oregon State University, where its CubeSat and KISPE Space teams will work. alongside Truro and Penwith College and Spaceport The Cornwall Outreach Team.
The research will be undertaken by the University of Exeter who will lead a think tank with marine experts to establish the exact data required to effectively research and implement activities surrounding the health of Cornish coasts and the associated economy. .
To engage and inspire the next generation, Spaceport Cornwall’s recently awarded UK Space Agency SPINTERN (Space Intern) will work alongside consulting firm KISPE Space on the specific optical payload design.
With this project, Spaceport Cornwall hopes to set a precedent for future missions while building relationships across the industry and highlighting the importance of space in hopes of shaping a better future for all.
It is expected that Kernow Sat 1 will bring the value of space to earth by engaging audiences across Cornwall – from universities to businesses, charities and school children.
Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall, said: “We are delighted that this payload can be part of the first launch from Spaceport Cornwall. Engaging with the community and protecting the environment through Earth observation are integral to Spaceport’s mission and we hope to create a framework for community launches, helping to influence local politics through fundraising. key data.
Will Pomerantz, Vice President of Special Projects, Virgin Orbit, said, “Virgin Orbit exists to make room for everyone everywhere. We are very excited about the potential opportunity to transport Kernow Sat 1 as part of our first launch from Spaceport Cornwall, and we hope this is the first of many payloads designed and built here in Cornwall.
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“When innovators have the power to launch their own satellites close to their homes, there is a clear path to harness the ideas and applications that will have the most impact for the local community. “
Glenn Caplin-Gray, Managing Director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Kernow Sat 1 will be a true team effort, designed, built and launched right here in Cornwall, with its data used to inform the decision. decision-making. on the ground. It is an extremely exciting project that will inspire a new generation on the importance of space and the environment, while strengthening our space economy.
Ian Annett, Deputy Director General of the UK Space Agency, said: “Space technology is at the heart of national and global efforts to understand and minimize the effects of climate change.
‘From next year, small satellites such as Kernow Sat 1 will be launched from UK space ports and will play a vital role in promoting UK efforts to protect our environment and rebuild greener after the pandemic .
“Kernow Sat 1 is an extremely exciting project. This will not only help improve the environment, but also inspire communities on the importance of space, demonstrate strong UK academic interest and illustrate how space is becoming increasingly accessible to help shape a better future. for everyone. “