So far, the UK space agency hasn't gone in for any of that headline-grabbing stuff like landing people on the Moon or launching Martian probes that get stranded in orbit before plummeting back to Earth – it leaves that sort of stuff to NASA and Roscosmos. cubesat_ukube1 Willy Wonka's elevator Blighty's first-ever satellite …
How do they de-orbit these things at the end of their life?
That is one of the goals of getting the "right orbit" to piggyback on, one that serves the science requirements but is also low enough that the thing will de-orbit in 25-ish years simply due to atmospheric drag.
UKube 1 has this spoiler thing which is designed to limit the time it can stay in orbit, so it won't be up there forever, getting in the way.
Er, Blighty's first-ever satellite?
Surely 'Ariel 1', which was launched in 1962, is the first?
And Prospero was launched in 1971 on a British launcher Black Arrow.
for amateur experimenters, Black Arrow used paraffin and (high test) peroxide making the technology a bit too hairy for shed experiments
UKSA first ever satellite would have been better. I forgotten about Ariel1.
for shed experiments if you ask me!
I thought the first ever really British satellite was Ariel 3 in 1967. Ariel 1 and 2 were built in the US.
Yes I know Ariel 3 was launched in the US, but it was British built.
first UK satellite.. It WAS Prospero X3
@greameleggett has is right
Launched from Woomera in 1971,
incidentally, three years after WRESAT (also launched at Woomera)
We have no money and we're a bit useless, but we'll (badly) try and look like we're doing something!
Oh and tell the Government to stay the hell away from Skylon!
On the only way to save face at this point and jump forward as a contender of the space race would be to launch a plasma cannon into orbit
Only evil worldtakeover bearded people with an aristocratic bend bedding black amazons can do that!
Btw, has everyone forgotten about The Beagle?
@Destroy all monsters
Might be confusing your Bonds there, sir - but Grace Jones does kind of stick in the mind! Unless you mean Thumper from "Diamonds are Forever", of course, but the implication there is that Bambi and Thumper are only bedding each other. And Blofeld is pretty short on head hair.
Yes, the coat full of unusual Q-branch devices, thanks...
He might be referring to Richard Branson and a post-op Usain Bolt?
@Destroy All Monsters
Do you mean Beagle 2?
It wasn't a satellite - it was a Mars lander. Apparently it landed too heavily...
Skylon, why not?
Given the huge stacks of money wasted on other projects, why not spend it on Skylon? It has a much better chance of a return on investment, and lets face it, Skylon is a damn cool name.
Return on investment
"It has a much better chance of a return on investment"
Well, yes, sort of. But as soon as the investor is the government, there will be a negative return on investment. The spec would be changed every month. After a couple of years, the spec and design will look like each part was designed by someone wearing a blind-fold and not knowing what anything else in the project was like.
Eventually, there would be a series of reviews, and eventually hourly pregress reports at which point it would be dropped and everyone would say the idea was crap, or that the poor sods working on it were incompetent.
Keep the government out of our space projects.
The 200 people in the board room spending 2 months arguing about what colour they should paint the landing gear.
While the 3 people on the production line sit idle while they wait for an answer.
Watched over by 50 Health and Safety representatives.
Do the plans for Skylon have a scrolling red LED faceplate? Maybe it could respond to all signals from Earth with "By your command"
Easy way to fund this...
...just come up with a way to gather lots of personal information via a web page, come up with a way to make it *cough* cool *cough*, collect 800 million members and then IPO it. Hey presto, lots of money.
Anyone got an idea... oh, wait...
Red sweeping LEDs?
That'll be KITT, Michael.
Um..I realise the article is about the UKSA but perhaps it'd be nice if it mentioned somewhere that there are already many UK built satellites in orbit. We actually have a very strong and competent satellite manufacturing industry. It's only our government that is reluctant to get involved in space - UK private enterprise is heavily involved.
Yes, that's true, but also UKSA may be a new entity, but really is just the renamed BNSC (British National Space Centre) which was a club of all the departments interested in space. (and that had been going since '85 according to Wikipedia)
And yes, apart from building lots of satellites in the UK, there are also satellites owned and operated by the UK too (gov. or UK companies).
It's Doctor Who's T.A.R.D.I.S!
It's an IKEA display cabinet.
Does look a bit like
Someone orbited an old Server rack,
Based on the specs, you'd get a few Rasberry Pi boards racked up in there.
Mines the with the squidgy pockets dripping red juice.
Those Raspberry Pies were too cheap.
How long before the country itself adopts those initials? Got that nice 'American Satellite' [pun intended] ring to it.
Getting facts straight
"Blighty's first satellite", eh? What about Prospero, lauched in 1971 and operational until 1973, then?
Even Better Prospero is still alive and capable of being contacted shows how good British Sats are
Am I going crazy or does that look like a good ol' red telephone box?
"We're still in discussions with potential launch providers for UKube-1..."
I nearly choked when I read the name, I think they left-out an "L" after the "UK" part.
I guess that next on the drawing-board is UK-KY-1?
So thats what happened to the BT phone boxes....
and a Friday pint
looks surprisingly like Bill and Ted's time machine phone booth....Excellent!
Only just talking about Skylon, it's 61 years old and was the centrepiece of the 1951 Festival of Britain!
I'll get my zimmer frame
UKSA press release
Don't know what we're for really, but how about we justify our existence by booking space on someone's launch - we'll provide a wardrobe (red phone boxes are SO heavy), then anyone, schools etc, can put their stuff in it, OK?
So they plan on using NovaStar for deforestation? Is this part of the beam solar energy down to Earth plan? Fry large swathes of forest with the glorious "UK Death Beam From Above"?
Space Agency Collaboration
Easy way to get spooks into other countries and get info from other countries' boffins.