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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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  • Webb’s cool instrument enters payload module

    9 Jul 2013

    Inside the cleanrooms of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the international James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is beginning to take shape.

  • Last piece of the puzzle for ESA dark Universe mission

    9 Jul 2013

    Europe’s ‘dark Universe’ mission Euclid is ready for construction after the European Space Agency today announced Thales as prime contractor.

  • Image of the Week: Galactic glow worm

    1 Jul 2013

    This charming and bright galaxy, known as IRAS 23436+5257, was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. It is located in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia, which is named after an arrogant, vain, and yet beautiful mythical queen.

  • Europe bids GAIA a safe journey

    26 Jun 2013

    Europe’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, has completed final preparations in Europe and is ready to depart for its launch site in French Guiana.

  • Space Studies Programme 2013 kicks off at the International Space University

    26 Jun 2013

    Seven UK Space Agency-sponsored participants start the two-month Space Studies Programme (SSP13) this week at the International Space University’s Strasbourg campus.

  • Space plane regulation - stakeholder engagement event

    25 Jun 2013

    At the third Space Plane Regulation Workshop held on 10 December 2012, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) provided an overview of the UKSA / DfT / CAA study to determine the steps needed for a regulatory framework to enable space plane certification and operations in the UK, including the characteristics of a spaceport. This commenced on 1 April and will be carried out over the course of a year, with a report being presented to UK Government thereafter.

  • Image of the week: Super Moon

    24 Jun 2013

    In honour of the Moon reaching its closest point to the Earth in 2013, this image of the week brings you that bit closer to the surface of our nearest neighbour.

  • Register for Living Planet Symposium School Lab

    19 Jun 2013

    ESA, the UK Space Agency and DLR (German Space Agency) are offering 16-18 year old students and educators the chance to take part in the 2013 Living Planet Symposium in Edinburgh.

  • Super-hurricane-force winds on Venus are getting stronger

    19 Jun 2013

    As the closest planet to Earth, Venus is a relatively easy object to observe. However, many mysteries remain, not least the super-rotation of Venus' atmosphere, which enables high altitude winds to circle the planet in only four days. Now images of cloud features sent back by Europe's Venus Express orbiter have revealed that these remarkably rapid winds are becoming even faster.

  • Europe’s mission to Mars in 2016 has entered the final stage of construction with the signing of new contracts at the Paris Air & Space Show

    18 Jun 2013

    Europe’s mission to Mars in 2016 has entered the final stage of construction with the signing of new contracts at the Paris Air & Space Show.

  • New funding for Martian science

    14 Jun 2013

    The UK Space Agency is pleased to announce six funding awards, totalling over £900, 000, for science associated with Mars exploration. This scheme will enhance the UK’s capabilities and cross‐disciplinary approach to planetary science.

  • SSTL completes delivery of first four Galileo FOC satellite payloads

    14 Jun 2013

    Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has successfully completed the delivery of the payloads for the first four Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites of the European Galileo GNSS system to prime contractor OHB System AG.

  • Innovation success at the Satellite Applications Catapult #AppsInSpace Hackathon

    14 Jun 2013

    The Satellite Applications Catapult #AppsInSpace Hackathon which took place over the weekend of 8/9 June 2013 proved to be a great success.

  • Moonraker Moment

    14 Jun 2013

    School pupils complete Mission X programme at QinetiQ’s Centrifuge facility.

  • Getting ready for the Living Planet Symposium

    12 Jun 2013

    Start planning your week in Edinburgh – the programme for ESA’s largest scientific event of the year, September’s Living Planet Symposium, is now available online.

  • Materials Research in Microgravity workshop

    12 Jun 2013

    New opportunities in the ELIPS programme.

  • Studentships available for the European Planetary Science Congress

    11 Jun 2013

    The UK Space Agency is pleased to offer grants for UK students interested in attending the European Planetary Science Congress 2013.

  • Image of the week: Obscure and hidden gems

    10 Jun 2013

    Globular clusters are relatively common in our sky, and generally look similar. However, this image, taken using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a unique example of such a cluster - Palomar 2.

  • Paving the way for the world’s first gravitational wave detector

    6 Jun 2013

    New space technology vital for detecting the elusive phenomenon of gravitational waves is now ready to endure the tremendous forces of a rocket launch, after passing vital tests right here in the UK.

  • Image of the week: Solar chromosphere

    3 Jun 2013

    This image of the solar chromosphere was obtained on 12 January 2007 by the Hinode solar observatory. The image reveals the filamentary nature of the plasma (gas of charged particles) connecting regions of different magnetic polarity.

  • Image of the week: Tim Peake to fly on the ISS

    29 May 2013

    Last week (Monday 20th May), it was announced that British astronaut Tim Peake, would fly to the International Space Station in November 2015.

  • Rare merger reveals secrets of galaxy evolution

    24 May 2013

    A rare encounter between two gas-rich galaxies spotted by Europe’s Herschel space observatory indicates a solution to an outstanding problem: how did massive, passive galaxies form in the early Universe?

  • Tessella selected as a key supplier to the Solar Orbiter mission

    20 May 2013

    UK company Tessella has received a contract for the development and design of the Attitude and Orbit Control Subsystem (AOCS) for ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission. The project will last for approximately 4 years and be worth in excess of €4M.

  • Tim Peake to be first British astronaut in space for over 20 years

    20 May 2013

    Former Apache helicopter pilot Tim Peake is to become the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station, making him the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years.

  • Does the EU influence your work?

    16 May 2013

    The review of competence covers aspects of space and innovation, therefore, for good or ill? Let us know!

  • European Space Agency opens its doors in UK

    14 May 2013

    David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, today unveiled the Agency’s first UK facility: ECSAT, the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, located at the Harwell Oxford campus.

  • European BIOMASS mission set for 2020 launch

    10 May 2013

    The UK is set to take part in a European space mission to map and monitor the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the world’s forests. Named BIOMASS, the new mission will provide information essential to our understanding of the role of forests in Earth’s carbon cycle and in climate change.

  • Herschel finds hot gas on the menu for Milky Way’s black hole

    7 May 2013

    Astronomers using Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory have spotted a cloud of incredibly hot gas very close to the supermassive black hole that lies at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

  • Image of the Week: Purple Haze

    7 May 2013

    Two thin layers of haze float in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. The surface of the moon remained a mystery to scientists until the arrival of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft.

  • Herschel shows galaxies had cool beginnings

    2 May 2013

    Observations from the Herschel Space Observatory have shown that galaxies in the early Universe were cooler than those we see around us today. This indicates that early galaxies were more bloated, containing more dust, distributed over larger regions.

  • UK Space Agency and NASA join forces to explore the Solar System

    2 May 2013

    The Sun and our neighbouring planet Mars are two destinations that the UK and US will be exploring together in the coming years, following recent agreements for collaboration on three big space projects.

  • Should the Galileo satellite navigation system be mandatory?

    1 May 2013

    The European Commission has launched a public questionnaire on how to maximise the market uptake of the EU's satellite navigation systems Galileo and EGNOS.

  • Cassini eyes a hurricane

    1 May 2013

    The international Cassini spacecraft has found a powerful hurricane at Saturn's north pole, surrounded by a curious rotating hexagonal band of clouds.

  • Image of the week: The branching of beauty

    30 Apr 2013

    As night blankets the Northern hemisphere, the UK and Ireland shimmer brightly as networks of lighting branch across the landscape.

  • Herschel loses its cool, but the work continues

    30 Apr 2013

    Europe's Herschel Space Observatory has exhausted its supply of liquid helium coolant, after three and a half years of scientific observations. Using Herschel data, astronomers have already made ground-breaking discoveries about the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and planets. But this has only scratched the surface, and there is far more still to come from the immense archive.

  • Bring Your Own Board - CubeSat workshop

    29 Apr 2013

    Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and AMSAT-UK invite anyone with CubeSat equipment to a ‘Bring Your Own Board’ (BYOB) workshop. The aims are to demonstrate your latest CubeSat developments, to foster new partnerships and links within the UK and EU community, and encouraging more interaction with AMSAT-UK and the Colloquium.

  • Image of the week: Green planet

    22 Apr 2013

    The French SPOT-4 satellite captured this image of the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 26 June 2011. The satellite image shows contrasts been settlements, forested and deforested areas, giving us a glimpse of our changing planet.

  • Early galaxies were ahead of their time

    18 Apr 2013

    Astronomers using Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory have discovered a distant galaxy that challenges the current theories of galaxy evolution. Seen when the Universe was less than a billion years old, it is forming stars at a much faster rate than should be possible according to existing predictions.

  • Image of the week: One born every megaannum

    15 Apr 2013

    The Herschel Space Observatory's view of W3, an enormous star-forming cloud spanning 200 lightyears. This stellar nursery, some 6,200 light-years away, is helping Herschel tell the story of how massive stars are born.

  • Retired star found with planets and debris disc

    10 Apr 2013

    Europe’s Herschel space observatory has provided the first images of a dust belt – produced by colliding comets or asteroids – orbiting a subgiant star known to host a planetary system.

  • ESA Briefing for UK Organisations: Space Situational Awareness

    9 Apr 2013

    UK organisations concerned with space weather (industry, SMEs, research institutes and universities) are invited to take part in a meeting with UK Space Agency and ESA to learn more about the opportunities presented by the ESA Space Situational Awareness programme.

  • Earth Observation Town Meeting

    9 Apr 2013

    This meeting has now taken place. The Earth Observation team and Advisory Committee are very grateful for the inputs provided during this consultation. Typical comments were:

  • Image of the week: Burn scar from Scottish wild fires

    9 Apr 2013

    A number of wildfires have been raging recently over the western highlands, Skye and the Western Isles. This image shows the burn scar of a huge wildfire north of Fort William.

  • Bringing Space to Earth at the Big Bang Fair 2013

    5 Apr 2013

    Thousands of school children got a satellite’s eye view of the Earth during Science and Engineering Week at the Big Bang Fair. The UK Space Agency was one of hundreds of organisations providing code breaking activities, explosions and robotics.

  • SSTL CEO Matt Perkins appointed Vice-Chair of UKspace

    5 Apr 2013

    Dr. Matt Perkins, CEO of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), has been elected Vice-Chair of the UK Industry Association for Space (UKspace), the trade association of the UK space industry.

  • Win business support for satellite navigation ideas!

    4 Apr 2013

    The 10th annual European Satellite Navigation Competition has opened. Ideas are invited by 30 June for services, products, and business innovations that use satellite navigation in everyday life.

  • Students produce plans for lunar orbit spaceport in 2013 UK Space Design Competition

    4 Apr 2013

    This weekend saw the fifth annual UK Space Design Competition, where almost 200 school students competed to come up with the best design for a spaceport in lunar orbit. The winners will go on to compete in an international final at NASA later this year. The UK round of the competition is organised by Imperial College London and sponsored by the UK Space Agency.

  • Image of the Week: Golden cells

    2 Apr 2013

    The internal structure of a human cell in simulated gravity taken on the International Space Station.

  • New Chairs for two UK Space Agency Advisory Committees

    27 Mar 2013

    The UK Space Agency is pleased to announce new chairpersons for two of its advisory committees: the Science Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC) and Space Exploration Advisory Committee (SEAC).

  • Research on Ageing Using Bedrest Facilities: New Opportunities in the ELIPS Programme

    27 Mar 2013

    The UK’s recent decision to subscribe to the European Space Agency’s ELIPS (European Life and Physical Sciences) programme has opened the way for UK-based researchers to participate in this unique, cross-disciplinary programme, making use of a diverse range of facilities including centrifuges, parabolic flights and bedrest facilities. This meeting will examine the bedrest facilities: how they are managed, how ESA defines AOs and selects experiments, and how UK researchers might get involved.

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