UK Space Agency Gives Thumbs Up to Tiny CubeSat

By Sam Gibbs on at

The UK's first CubeSat has passed muster and gained approval from the UK Space Agency. The mini-satellite, UKube-1 from Clyde Space, uses off-the-shelf components and will launch next year.

The low-cost, easy-to-launch satellite will be able to perform experiments and test technologies in space. The grand idea is that you can launch many of these cheaper satellites up into orbit and get more science done, cheaper and faster. Particular target areas include space weather studies, atmospheric science, spacecraft damage studies and energetic particle studies, which frankly sounds the coolest of them all. Orbital ion cannon anyone?

Weighing in at around 1.3kg, UKube-1 is set to blast off this rock atop a Russian Dnepr rocket converted for small satellite launches. An exciting prospect for UK space fans. It's about time we got something decent space related to sing about other than Branson's Virgin Galactic. [UK Space Agency via The Register]