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First Scottish-Built Satellite UKube-1 to launch 2013

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posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 09:01 PM
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www.bbc.co.uk...





The first satellite to be built in Scotland is due to be launched next year. UKube-1 is being built at the West of Scotland Science Park in Maryhill, Glasgow. The United Kingdom Universal Bus Experiment, to give it its proper name, is a pilot programme from the UK Space Agency to test new technologies in space.

A big idea, perhaps. But the trick is to think small.

The underlying CubeSat concept came originally from America: to create a satellite 10cm by 10cm by 10cm. That gives you a volume of just one litre, but that can contain a surprising amount of science in low Earth orbit. It's a package which costs, by space exploration standards, relatively little to build and launch.

Several Scottish firms supply the space industry. One of them, Clyde Space, has a big presence in the CubeSat sector. More than 600 CubeSats have been launched so far. The Glasgow firm has made components for 40% of them. They have customers worldwide and - if your credit card can take the strain - you can order the innards of your very own satellite from their online CubeSat shop.

Clyde Space have been in business for almost eight years. 'Different possibilities' They make components for other types of satellites too. But their chief executive, Craig Clark, says he's seen the CubeSat concept expand far beyond its initial concept. "A typical CubeSat mission was a student-built satellite that would maybe go beep or try something out that didn't cost a lot of money," he says. "But now it's serving a need, maybe for more communications or images from space. "If you can think of an application, there's a way of fitting it in a CubeSat. "It really opens the mind to lots of different possibilities."

Those possibilities include CubeSats which aren't cubes: the basic modules can be stacked to produce double or triple decker designs. UKube-1 is a three-cube platform. Three litres of orbital science overseen by the UK Space Agency. It will be the first complete satellite to be assembled by Clyde Space. Project manager Gillian Smith's job is to co-ordinate the company's own contributions to the satellite: power systems, solar panels and other hardware. "But we're also managing the payload teams," she says. "We've got four different payloads from different universities and organisations which will be on UKube-1." 'Have the pedigree' The payloads are coming from around the UK.

But mechanical design engineer Steven Kirk is well aware of its particular significance for Clyde Space - and for Scotland. "It's our first full platform," he says. "So by demonstrating this we can demonstrate that we can build a full satellite. "We'll have the pedigree." CubeSat is expected to enter orbit next year. If the launch is successful, perhaps people will start believing systems engineer Steve Greenland. "People often ask me what my job is and I tell them that I'm building satellites in Maryhill," he says. "Sometimes they don't believe it. Sometimes they laugh at me."


And no it probably won't be staggering around the universe, bumping into other space junk and swearing every five minutes. Just to clear that up


Link to UKube-1: www.bis.gov.uk...
Link to Clyde Space: www.clyde-space.com...




posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by Ramcheck
 


That's awesome, I live in Glasgow, very near Maryhill actually and I've never heard about this.....strange as i'm a big space buff. Thanks for posting, off to read up on it now!



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by Ramcheck


And no it probably won't be staggering around the universe, bumping into other space junk and swearing every five minutes. Just to clear that up


Link to UKube-1: www.bis.gov.uk...
Link to Clyde Space: www.clyde-space.com...



BUT will it have any of the following on board deep fried mars bar, d f creme egg, d f kebab or pizza crunch also does it run on Irn Bru or Whisky sorry couldn't resist with the stereotype being a Scot.



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 05:32 AM
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reply to post by wmd_2008
 


I heard Rab C. Nesbitt was one of the chief designers...............

On a serious note, I wonder where they will launch from, I'm pretty sure UK launches are done somewhere off the coast of Australia, but will something of this size, I wonder if it will be closer to home. It would be amazing to watch, especially over the Solway Firth.



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 05:36 AM
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Is it fuelled by bad blood and a serious inferiority complex?

No doubt paid for by the English taxpayer, like everything else that goes on in Scotland.



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by Justwork

Is it fuelled by bad blood and a serious inferiority complex?

No doubt paid for by the English taxpayer, like everything else that goes on in Scotland.


Look you English don't feel inferior and if you have a blood problem see the doctor I sure some of the North Sea oil revenue has been used to boost the health service, I mean we can't help it if our small country produces a greater than average number of people with some great ideas


www.magicdragon.com...



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 07:02 AM
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reply to post by wmd_2008
 


The majority of English don't have a Problem with the Scots, and I'm sure the same applies the other way round. The minority watch too much TV, or got stuck round about the 17th century.

My town has a history with Scotland as it was one of the last hosts to Mary Queen of Scots while she was fleeing before her execution, she stayed at Curwen Hall before being moved to Carlisle.

Living on the border I spend a lot of time in Scotland, and I think it is a beautiful country, with warm and friendly people.

If any Englishman says any different I will argue the toss with them and remind them that Scotland is still part of the UK, and the Scots in a sense are still their countrymen.

On a final note, I don't see England doing too much in the space industry these days, OK, we supply some of the higher end tech to the Americans to use in their space program, and Richard Branson is having a good go at it, but the UKSA is lacking a bit.
edit on 20/3/12 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by woogleuk
 


This pdf. tells us about the GPS system for measuring space weather conditions - created at the University of Bath - The satellite may be getting built here but it seems to be very much a UK project.

eandt.theiet.org...



posted on Mar, 20 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by Justwork
Is it fuelled by bad blood and a serious inferiority complex?

No doubt paid for by the English taxpayer, like everything else that goes on in Scotland.


Nah-Its fuelled by Haggis and deep fried mars bars.


Seriously though-this sounds cool.
I like the way its modular,so different amounts of cubes can be added for bigger tasks.
Good way to keep the cost down.




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