New funding for space projects ensures the UK’s role in global missions | Space

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Due to new funding for UK space projects, scientists and engineers from the UK are set to play a major role in global missions to the Moon, Mars, and Venus.

The £7.4m funding from the UK Space Agency will accelerate work towards international space science and exploration projects.

Among the projects set to receive funding is the Space Science and Exploration Bilateral Programme, where Royal Holloway will develop software for the Indian Space Agency Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. This technology will help to detect ice under the surface of the lunar south pole.

Another project will see the University of Leicester lead on a Raman spectroscopy instrument for iSpace’s commercial rover and lander missions investigating water ice on the Moon. The space exploration project aims to improve understanding of whether the resource could be used for longer-term lunar exploration.

Other projects to receive a share of the funding include the Open University and universities of Sussex, Aberdeen and Cambridge teaming up with NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “These projects present an opportunity for UK science to make crucial contributions to ground-breaking global missions that will deepen our understanding of the Moon and our neighbouring planets.”

Collaboration with partners across the globe

The announcement coincides with the Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC), taking place in Singapore this week. The convention is set to showcase Asia’s growing space sector and opportunities for international collaboration.

The space exploration projects and a UK delegation at the GSTC highlight how the UK supports its scientists to work with partners around the world, as implemented in the National Space Strategy.

Marie-Claire Perkinson, Chair of the Space, Science and Exploration Committee at UKspace said: “Developing strong relationships through these…

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