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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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  • MARSBalloon mission launch success

    27 Mar 2013

    On Friday 22 March, 120 student experiments were launched 30km up into Earth's atmosphere on two high altitude balloons. The experiments experienced temperatures as low as -50°C, pressures 0.6% of that at sea level and increased levels of radiation - conditions which are very close to that of the surface of Mars.

  • The Open University hosts UK Space Agency Steering Board

    22 Mar 2013

    The Open University hosted the UK Space Agency's Steering Board for its meeting on 19 March.

  • Planck challenges our understanding of the Universe

    21 Mar 2013

    Europe’s Planck satellite - a flagship mission for the UK Space Agency - has compiled the most detailed map ever created of the cosmic microwave background (the relic radiation from the Big Bang). The new map refines our understanding of the Universe’s composition and evolution, and unveils new features that could challenge the foundations of our current understanding of its evolution.

  • Roscosmos signs up for ExoMars mission

    18 Mar 2013

    ESA and Roscosmos have signed a formal agreement to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions in 2016 and 2018.

  • Astrobiology & Dust: A Workshop Linking STFC and ELIPS Science in the UK

    18 Mar 2013

    Academics, research fellows, postdocs and PhD students are encouraged to attend, as well as other stakeholders and industrial participants. The European Space Agency’s ELIPS (European Life and Physical Sciences) programme presents new opportunities for UK researchers and this workshop will examine the facilities, application procedures, ELIPS and STFC science overlaps, and bring together the UK community who could benefit from ELIPS science.

  • Science Minister launches first ever higher apprenticeship in space engineering

    15 Mar 2013

    The launch of the first ever Higher Apprenticeship in Space Engineering was announced today (15 March 2013) by Loughborough College and the National Space Academy.

  • X-ray snapshots: from big black holes to tiny viruses

    12 Mar 2013

    X-ray camera technology developed by researchers at the University of Leicester, for capturing black holes, is now being used to explore a new frontier: it is helping us to get up close to viruses on Earth, opening the door to solving medical problems.

  • Image of the week: The Pearl

    12 Mar 2013

    This stunning image shows off the beautiful Pearl-Qatar in Doha, Qatar. Spanning nearly four million square metres, upon completion, this artificial island will create over 32 kilometres of new coastline and be home to 45,000 residents by 2015.

  • UK and Kazakhstan agree collaboration in space

    8 Mar 2013

    The UK Space Agency and the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KAZCOSMOS) have today (7 March 2013) signed an agreement outlining cooperation in the area of space activities.

  • Book now for the UK Space Conference 2013

    6 Mar 2013

    Space: Inspiration, impact and growth - making it happen.

  • Access to space - what will the UK need in the future?

    5 Mar 2013

    UK industrial team looking at the UK's future needs for launch systems and facilities.

  • Herschel about to lose its cool

    5 Mar 2013

    Europe’s Herschel space observatory is expected to exhaust its supply of liquid helium coolant in the coming weeks, after spending more than three exciting years studying the cool Universe.

  • ESA announces winners of Cassini Scientist for a Day 2012

    5 Mar 2013

    Students from across Europe have been selected as winners of the Cassini Scientist for a Day 2012 competition. Coordinated by ESA, national competitions were held in several European countries, including the UK.

  • International Space Apps registrations opening shortly

    1 Mar 2013

    Over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd April, teams around the UK will be participating in the International Space Apps Challenge, bringing together people on every continent to find innovative uses for satellite data in solving everyday problems.

  • Tweet the Expert! – Climate Week and National Science and Engineering Week

    1 Mar 2013

    Tweet the Expert is back for Climate Week and National Science and Engineering Week. Get your questions answered live by our experts!

  • Cooking up a spacecraft

    27 Feb 2013

    Mercury mission is baked at space test facility.

  • World’s first Smartphone in space on UK's first CubeSat

    25 Feb 2013

    The UK's first CubeSat, STRaND-1, successfully launched into space today, flying the world's first smartphone in orbit. Launched from India, on the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) PSLV launcher, the satellite hosts a Google Nexus One smartphone, a new Linux-based high-speed processor and attitude & orbit control system, and two novel propulsion systems (8 pulsed plasma thrusters and a water-alcohol propulsion system).

  • Image of the Week: At the mouth of the red valley

    25 Feb 2013

    This image captured by ESA’s Mars Express on 13 January shows some of the similarities between regions on Mars with those on our home planet. This natural colour view of the southeast corner of the Amenthes Planum features craters, lava channels and a valley from which water may have once flowed.

  • Alphasat passes thermal vacuum testing

    22 Feb 2013

    Astrium has successfully completed thermal testing of the Alphasat telecommunications satellite.

  • UK-led instrument selected for Europe’s Jupiter mission

    21 Feb 2013

    A UK led-led instrument has been selected to fly on Europe’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission, due for launch in 2022.

  • A cool discovery about the Sun’s next-door twin

    21 Feb 2013

    Europe’s Herschel space observatory has detected a cool layer in the atmosphere of Alpha Centauri A, the first time this has been seen in a star beyond our own Sun. The finding is not only important for understanding the Sun’s activity, but could also help in the quest to discover proto-planetary systems around other stars.

  • Congratulations to the Space for All grant winners 2012/2013!

    18 Feb 2013

    The UK Space Agency has recently announced the grant winners from the 2012/13 round of the Space for All funding scheme.

  • The James Webb Telescope - Space as a Context for Teaching Science

    18 Feb 2013

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is due to be launched from French Guiana in 2018, is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the biggest space astronomy project for a generation. It is an international project involving NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The telescope will look for the first bright objects in the universe and for the chemical signatures of life on distant planets.

  • Parliamentary inquiry announced into the work of the European and UK Space Agencies

    15 Feb 2013

    The House of Commons Science and Technology committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry into the work of the European and UK Space Agencies.

  • New Chairpersons Required for UK Space Agency Advisory Committees

    14 Feb 2013

    The UK Space Agency is seeking two new chairs for two advisory committees: the Science Programme Advisory Committee and the Space Exploration Advisory Committee (formerly known as the Aurora Advisory Committee or ‘AurAC’).

  • CryoSat reveals major loss of Arctic sea ice

    13 Feb 2013

    An international team of scientists using new measurements from Europe’s ice mission has discovered that the volume of Arctic sea ice has declined by 36% during autumn and 9% during winter between 2003 and 2012.

  • Scholarship funding available for International Space University (ISU)

    11 Feb 2013

    The UK Space Agency has just announced the new round of its competitive scholarship scheme to support UK citizens who wish to attend the International Space University's nine-week Space Studies Programme and one-year MSc programme.

  • Moon and Jupiter Watch

    11 Feb 2013

    Mission X registered schools are invited to a special stargazing evening at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.

  • Near-Earth Asteroid to pay us a flying visit

    8 Feb 2013

    A small asteroid going by the name of 2012 DA14 will pass within about 27,700 km of the Earth’s surface on February 15, 2013.

  • Mission X blast off!

    7 Feb 2013

    British astronaut Tim Peake launches astronaut training at schools around the UK.

  • Massive stellar winds are made of tiny pieces

    6 Feb 2013

    Europe’s XMM-Newton space observatory has completed the most detailed study ever of the fierce wind from a giant star, showing for the first time that it is not a uniform breeze but is fragmented into hundreds of thousands of pieces.

  • Betelgeuse braces for a collision

    6 Feb 2013

    Multiple arcs are revealed around Betelgeuse, the nearest red supergiant star to Earth, in this new image from Europe’s Herschel space observatory. The star and its arc-shaped shields could collide with an intriguing dusty ‘wall’ in 5000 years.

  • Climate markets to be driven by space technology

    1 Feb 2013

    The UK is set to build on its success as a leader in the provision of climate data and services, with a new strategy to increase the use of space technology in this growing market.

  • £2.5M for preliminary technology development

    31 Jan 2013

    The UK Space Agency is pleased to announce £2.5M of funding for the second Collaborative Research in Exploration Systems and Technology initiative – known as CREST-2.

  • Image of the Week: Inside Planck

    28 Jan 2013

    This image shows the complex set of detectors that make up Planck’s Low Frequency Instrument and High Frequency Instrument.

  • Building on the UK’s success in space

    24 Jan 2013

    £25 million investment targets growth in UK space industry.

  • New Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency Appointed

    22 Jan 2013

    Dr. David Parker has been appointed as the next Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency.

  • The Huygens experience - Eight years since touchdown on Titan

    17 Jan 2013

    It’s now eight years since ESA’s Huygens bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan - the first time a probe had touched down on an alien world in the outer Solar System.

  • Image of the week: Collage of paradise

    14 Jan 2013

    This stunning picture, taken by the MERIS instrument on Europe's recently retired satellite Envisat, is stitched together from a set of 3 images forming a collage of paradise - an almost cloudless view of Cuba.

  • Image of the week: A summary of 2012 for the UK in space

    8 Jan 2013

    2012 was a remarkable year for the UK space sector, with historic celebrations of past missions, scientific achievements for missions and landmark investments for the future. The images below represent some of the year’s highlights month-by-month.

  • New Year Honours for STFC's Richard Holdaway

    8 Jan 2013

    The UK Space Agency congratulates Director of RAL Space Professor Richard Holdaway who has been awarded a CBE in recognition of his remarkable services to Science and Technology.

  • Cubesat workshop registration now closed

    21 Dec 2012

    Registration for the Cubesat Community Workshop on Tuesday, 22nd January has now closed.

  • Seasons greetings

    14 Dec 2012

    Best wishes for the festive season from the staff at the UK Space Agency.

  • Herschel confirms the origin of cosmic dust

    14 Dec 2012

    The Herschel space observatory has produced an intricate view of the remains of a star that died in a stellar explosion a millennium ago. It has provided further proof that the interstellar dust which lies throughout our Galaxy is created when massive stars reach the end of their lives.

  • Image of the Week: Sungrazing comets plunge into the Sun’s corona

    10 Dec 2012

    A number of solar system bodies can be seen clustered around this image of the Sun captured the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

  • Cubesat Community Workshop

    5 Dec 2012

    The UK Space Agency will be running a Cubesat Community Workshop in January. Registration for the workshop is now open. This is a free event and is open to all, hosted by the Open University, Milton Keynes, on 22 January 2013. Please note that space is limited and places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

  • Reform of the Outer Space Act 1986 consultation update

    5 Dec 2012

    Due to the range of views received during the Reform of the Outer Space Act 1986 consultation the Government response has been delayed.

  • Space: Making lives better since the 1960s

    30 Nov 2012

    Companies and organisations from across Europe are gathering in London this week to find out how space can be brought down to Earth to benefit a wide range of businesses.

  • Space Expo draws in the crowds

    30 Nov 2012

    More than 11000 people visited the Space Expo earlier this month to find out how Europe's space programme improves life on Earth.

  • Herschel delves into dusty space debris to reveal the secrets of solar system formation

    27 Nov 2012

    Europe’s Herschel space observatory has discovered vast dust rings surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only relatively small worlds, with masses between Earth and Neptune. The discovery of these comet reservoirs, which could have delivered life-giving oceans to the system’s innermost planets, suggests that debris discs may survive more easily in planetary systems that don’t include massive, Jupiter-like planets.

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