Climate satellite design competition opens for next generation of space scientists

Competition entrants will compete for a share of a £600,000 Challenge Fund, enabling them to develop and build their satellite design with the potential to launch from a UK spaceport from 2023.

Nanosatellites are small satellites that can be used to gather scientific data, such as information on climate change, ranging from sea level measurements to mapping deforestation.

The competition is inviting entrants to design a nanosatellite that will inform solutions to help tackle climate change.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said:

I am delighted to see the Nanosat Design Competition lift off today. I hope it inspires some of the UK’s brightest young minds to launch an exciting career in the UK’s thriving space sector.

As we enter a new commercial space age this is a remarkable opportunity to design the technology of the future and be a part of our all-important fight against climate change.

A panel of space experts will judge the competition entries, including Dr Suzie Imber, an Associate Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Leicester, who has worked on leading space missions such as the BepiColombo spacecraft, currently on its way to Mercury.

Entrants will also have the unique opportunity to receive mentorship from industry experts to help develop their designs as well as gain valuable skills to help progress a potential career in the UK space sector.

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO of the UK Space Agency said:

Space technology plays a crucial role in monitoring our climate, and this competition gives the next generation a unique opportunity to design their own satellite to help tackle the most pressing issue facing our planet.

The ability to launch small satellites from the UK will further support our world-leading Earth observation capabilities and create high-skilled jobs across the country.

As set out in the National Space Strategy, the UK is set to become the first country in Europe to host small satellite launches in 2022, building on the UK’s leading small satellite industry and creating highly skilled jobs across the country. This will also help UK scientists use space technology to help tackle global challenges, including climate change, which is a key part of the Government’s National Space Strategy.

Entry is encouraged from those aged 16+ from any background and with no requirement for previous knowledge, expertise, or experience in the space sector. Applications close on 7 January 2022.

Visit www.nanosatlaunch.uk to find out more about the competition.

You can also register to attend a virtual launch event on Thursday 11 November

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