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Welcome to the UK Space Agency's News and Events pages.

Please select a news release from our latest news section or visit our events calendar relating to space activities in the UK and overseas.

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  • Earth Observation Advisory Committee town meeting 2014

    10 Apr 2014

    The UK Space Agency and its Earth Observation Advisory Committee are hosting an Earth Observation Town Meeting at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire.

  • Image of the week: Uluru dreaming

    8 Apr 2014

    Uluru/Ayers Rock in the Australian outback is featured in this image from the Kompsat-2 satellite. The rock formation is an Inselberg– German for ‘island mountain’ – a prominent geological structure that rises from the surrounding plain.

  • Europe lofts first Copernicus environmental satellite

    4 Apr 2014

    The ability of European citizens, policymakers and service providers to access key environmental data on a routine basis will take a major step forward following the launch last night (03 April 2014) of the Sentinel-1A satellite.

  • Scientists favour four ExoMars landing sites

    3 Apr 2014

    Some 60 scientists and engineers came together last month (26–28 March) for the first ExoMars 2018 Landing Site Selection Workshop, held at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre near Madrid. Their task was to begin the process of drawing up a shortlist of the most suitable landing locations for Europe’s first Mars rover.

  • Win business support for satellite navigation and remote sensing ideas!

    3 Apr 2014

    The UK Space Agency is supporting the Copernicus Masters competition and European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) with £25k of funding.

  • UK Space Agency steps up to the mark

    2 Apr 2014

    The UK Space Agency has announced a reorganisation taking effect 01 April 2014 .This is in response to the Government's commitment to support industry deliver a UK space sector worth £40bn a year by 2030.

  • Space Environments Working Group: Call for Nominations

    27 Mar 2014

    The UK Space Agency seeks nominations for membership of its Space Environments Working Group (SEWG).

  • Rosetta sets sights on destination comet

    27 Mar 2014

    Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation on 20 January.

  • Airbus Defence and Space opens state-of-the-art Mars Yard

    27 Mar 2014

    Airbus Defence and Space opened a new state-of-the-art extended Mars Yard test area at its Stevenage site today. The facility was opened by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable; Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, Dr David Parker; and Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency, Alvaro Giménez.

  • Image of the week: Wind and water

    24 Mar 2014

    A striking scene in and around Becquerel crater – the largest crater in this view – reveals both the power of wind and water in the turbulent history of Mars.

  • Herschel completes largest survey of cosmic dust in local Universe

    18 Mar 2014

    The largest census of dust in local galaxies has been completed using data from Europe’s Herschel space observatory, providing a huge legacy to the scientific community.

  • Image of the week: Happy 24th birthday Hubble!

    17 Mar 2014

    This image of the Monkey Head Nebular has been released to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

  • British Astronaut Needs Your Help

    14 Mar 2014

    Tim Peake needs help to name his inspirational six-month mission into space, the first visit by a British astronaut to the International Space Station.

  • Back with a bang!

    10 Mar 2014

    The Big Bang Fair, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK will be taking place at Birmingham’s NEC from 13-16 March 2014.

  • Government welcomes recommendations of Select Committee report on work of UK and European Space Agencies

    7 Mar 2014

    The UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Select Committee has this week (6 February 2014) published the Government’s response to its report on the work of the European and UK Space Agencies.

  • Image of the week: Mimas facing the night

    3 Mar 2014

    Saturn's lonely moon Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn's northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn's night side.

  • UK industry awarded share of contract to develop Europe’s next generation telecommunications satellite platform

    21 Feb 2014

    UK industry, led by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space, have been awarded roughly a third share of an €18 million European Space Agency (ESA) contract to develop Europe’s next generation satellite communications platform. The remainder of the €18 million contract will be distributed as the programme develops.

  • UK joins the planet hunt as Government pledges £25 million to Europe’s PLATO mission

    20 Feb 2014

    The UK is set to play a leading role in the search for habitable planets orbiting alien stars, following David Willetts’s announcement today (11 March 2014) that the UK Space Agency will invest £25 million in ESA’s PLATO mission.

  • Image of the week: Fluoro-beet

    19 Feb 2014

    Unlikely though it seems, agriculture and rave culture share an interest in fluorescence. Plants emit fluorescence through photosynthesis. Using satellites we could detect the fluorescence from vegetation on earth to measure plant efficiency and health.

  • Galileo works, and works well

    12 Feb 2014

    The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved: Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place – the world’s first civil-owned and operated satnav system.

  • Surveying storm damage from space: UK satellite provides images of Somerset floods

    12 Feb 2014

    Satellite images taken by the UK’s disaster monitoring satellite, UK-DMC2, are assisting UK agencies in their response to the severe flooding caused by recent storms.

  • Open meeting: International Life Sciences Research Announcement

    12 Feb 2014

    The European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency are pleased to announce an open meeting to provide information and advice about the forthcoming International Life Sciences Research Announcement (ILSRA).

  • Gaia comes into focus

    6 Feb 2014

    Europe’s billion-star surveyor Gaia is slowly being brought into focus.

  • Image of the week: Art attack by Hubble

    3 Feb 2014

    At first glance, this image looks nothing like the images that we are used to seeing from Hubble.

  • £15 million investment seals UK/ France space collaboration

    31 Jan 2014

    New agreement will see more joint working, including £15 million investment identified for instruments for weather satellites and a UK contribution to a global survey of Earth’s fresh water.

  • Mission X blast off: British astronaut Tim Peake launches ‘astronaut training’ at schools across the UK

    31 Jan 2014

    As the first official British astronaut is busy preparing for his 2015 mission to the ISS, students across the UK are embarking on their own astronaut training programme with the launch of Mission X 2014 (MX2014).

  • Rosetta wide awake as check-up continues

    31 Jan 2014

    Following last week’s wake-up of the Rosetta comet-chaser, ESA’s flight controllers have conducted the first in a series of health checks aimed at assessing how well it came through 31 months of hibernation.

  • Global Collaborative Space Programme: Information Day

    27 Jan 2014

    We are hosting an Information Day, to explain more about the recently announced Global Collaborative Space Programme.

  • CryoSat detects hidden Antarctic pattern

    21 Jan 2014

    Near the centre of Antarctica, measurements from CryoSat show an unusual pattern in the ice sheet’s elevation. Scientists have now found the reason for this pattern – and the discovery is leading to even more accurate measurements from Europe’s ice mission.

  • Europe’s ‘sleeping beauty’ wakes up from deep space hibernation

    20 Jan 2014

    This evening (20/01/14) saw a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter in the story of Europe’s Rosetta space mission when the spacecraft sent its first signal after 31 months of hibernation.

  • Gaia enters its operational orbit

    14 Jan 2014

    Europe’s billion-star surveyor Gaia is now in its operational orbit around a gravitationally stable virtual point in space called ‘L2’, 1.5 million km from Earth.

  • Achievement award for Herschel's SPIRE team

    14 Jan 2014

    The Royal Astronomy Society (RAS) has awarded its 2014 Group Achievement Award to the team behind the Herschel Space Observatory's SPIRE instrument.

  • Image of the week: Wide view of ‘Mystic Mountain’

    6 Jan 2014

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope photograph, which looks stranger than fiction, captures the chaotic activity on top of a pillar of gas and dust. The three light-years high pillar is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars.

  • UK Space Agency corporate performance

    19 Dec 2013

    Here at the UK Space Agency, we know that having a performance culture is vital to our ongoing success. Without one, it is near impossible to be efficient, effective in our delivery, and to build credibility and trust with our stakeholders.

  • UK Cubesat Forum

    19 Dec 2013

    As a result of recommendations from the January 2013 UK Cubesat Workshop, members of the UK Cubesat community have established a forum to provide an independent, community led discussion and networking platform for UK nanosatellite or Cubesat stakeholders.

  • Liftoff for Europe’s billion-star surveyor

    19 Dec 2013

    Europe’s Gaia mission blasted off this morning on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its exciting mission to study a billion suns.

  • Mission control ready for Gaia launch

    18 Dec 2013

    Shortly after a powerful Soyuz launcher lofts Gaia - Europe’s new star mapper - into space on Thursday, teams on the ground will establish initial radio contact. Even then, tension will run high in ESA’s mission control as Gaia must still perform a critical automatic sequence.

  • Training Like an Astronaut at the House of Commons

    17 Dec 2013

    Teacher training for Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut was rounded off this year with a briefing session at the House of Commons on 04 December. Veteran young astronauts from the programme shared their experiences of Mission X 2013 with new budding young astronauts.

  • Swift satellite catches a hundred thousand new cosmic X-ray sources

    16 Dec 2013

    An international team led from the University of Leicester has published a major list of celestial X-ray sources in the Astrophysical Journal. The result of many years work, this list of over 150,000 high-energy stars and galaxies will be a vital resource for future astronomical studies.

  • Seasons Greetings

    16 Dec 2013

    This image was taken over the UK from a high altitude balloon launched on Sunday 1 December 2013 and is the winning entry of this year’s UK Space Agency Holiday Card Competition. The competition was open to anyone and inspired some creative designs.

  • Galileo achieves its first airborne tracking

    13 Dec 2013

    Europe’s Galileo satellites have achieved their very first aerial fix of longitude, latitude and altitude, enabling the inflight tracking of a test aircraft.

  • Wake up, Rosetta!

    12 Dec 2013

    Think it’s tough getting up in the morning when the alarm clock sounds? Imagine what it must be like waking up 673 million kilometres from the warmth of the Sun and with no coffee. You might need some help…

  • CryoSat measures European strom surge

    12 Dec 2013

    ESA’s CryoSat satellite measured the storm surge from the recent North Sea storms, as high waters passed through the Kattegat sea between Denmark and Sweden.

  • Going global: UK Space Agency to build international partnerships using UK expertise

    12 Dec 2013

    £80m fund to create opportunities around the world for UK expertise in small satellites, satellite telecommunications and applications of space data, opening markets to UK business.

  • Government response to the Outer Space Act consultation published

    6 Dec 2013

    The UK Space Agency has issued a government response to the Outer Space Act consultation issued in May 2012.

  • UK centre stone-laying launches European space celebrations

    5 Dec 2013

    The first stones of ESA’s new establishment in the UK were laid in a ceremony today by Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, UK Minister of Universities and Science David Willets and the first ESA Director General, Roy Gibson.

  • Horizon 2020 coming closer

    5 Dec 2013

    The EU’s next seven year Research and Innovation Programme starts on 1 January 2014.

  • More national CanSat competitions than ever

    5 Dec 2013

    Across Europe, more student teams than ever before are drawing up their plans for launching CanSats. These tiny ‘satellites’ fit into a drinks can yet perform a scientific ‘mission’ when launched from a small rocket.

  • Image of the week: Grooves and ridges

    2 Dec 2013

    This scene shows a section of Ismeniae Fossae that straddles the southern highlands–northern lowlands of Mars. The distinct channels indicate that in the past, this was an icy, watery environment.

  • European constellation to watch over our planet’s magnetic shield

    22 Nov 2013

    Europe’s three-satellite Swarm constellation was lofted into a near-polar orbit by a Russian Rockot launcher this afternoon (22 November 2013). For four years, it will monitor Earth’s magnetic field, from the depth of our planet’s core to the heights of its upper atmosphere.

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