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Scotland's first satellite is bound for space

Scotland's first satellite is to be launched into space in June, it was announced today.

Kevin Worrall, Senior Engineer at Clyde Space, with the UKube-1 satellite, Scotland's first satellite, at Clyde Space in Glasgow.
Kevin Worrall, Senior Engineer at Clyde Space, with the UKube-1 satellite, Scotland's first satellite, at Clyde Space in Glasgow.

The cutting-edge device is the first spacecraft to be designed and built in Scotland.

It will be launched on board a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Clyde Space, the Glasgow company behind the nanosatellite, is hoping it could be the first of many from Scotland.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond described the project as being "one small satellite for Clyde and a giant leap for their extraterrestrial export business and a new hope for space science in Scotland".

The UKube-1 satellite is said to be one of the most advanced of its kind. When it is launched it will take part in a UK Space Agency mission that will see it use GPS technology to measure plasmaspheric space weather, as well as testing how cosmic radiation could improve the security of communication satellites.

The satellite will also carry five experiments that students across the UK can become involved in.

Mr Salmond inspected the device today when he visited Clyde Space - which has just announced plans for a US base - with Sergey Krutikov, the consul general of the Russian Federation in Scotland and Lena Wilson, the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise.

The First Minister said: "By pioneering a cost-effective way of supporting more space research, the Clyde Space team is building on a strong heritage of engineering, ingenuity and innovation.

"I'm delighted that, through Scottish Enterprise, we've been able to support this exciting company as it has built the business globally, to a point now where it is planning a new base in the US.

"It is great to see up close Scotland's first space satellite - representing another successful Scottish export drive, but not as we know it."

Mr Salmond said Clyde Space chief executive officer Craig Clark and his team had "shown they have the right stuff to achieve a space mission and they're ready to make it so".

He added: "I'm delighted that the mission not only supports several research projects but will engage young people online and can help inspire the next generation of space scientists and engineers."

Clyde Space customers include the European Space Agency, Nasa and the US Air Force (USAF).

Mr Clark said: "Clyde Space has positioned itself as a world leader in the supply of subsystems, especially to organisations in the USA such as Nasa, USAF and MIT.

"With the development of our latest product, a complete satellite, Clyde Space aims to significantly grow the company over the next five years and expand further into the US market in particular.

"UKube-1 is the first spacecraft to be designed and built in Scotland - if we are successful in our business plan it will be the first of many more Scottish satellites."

Ms Wilson said: "The global space industry is forecast to be worth £400 billion by 2030, so there's huge opportunity for innovative companies like Clyde Space to grab a share of this international market."

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