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Another potential growth area for Glasgow.

Space business hub launched at Strathclyde University

A Scottish university is to host one of three hubs being developed to bring together key players in the UK's multi-billion pound space sector.

The Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications will be based at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

It is being developed by Satellite Applications Catapult, a firm promoting economic growth in the space industry.

The centre will allow businesses to tap into satellite data that could improve their products and services.

According to Strathclyde University, the space industries in the UK produce 40% of the world's small satellites and contribute about £8.2bn to the economy.

'Full potential'

The hub will be based at the university's new £89m Technology and Innovation Centre. It is one of three centres of excellence set up by Satellite Applications Catapult - with the other two in Durham and Leicester.

The centre aims to establish links between the scientists behind space and satellite technology and the business community.

It will encourage firms to use satellite data in new ways, from supporting the energy industry to planning future cities.

Prof Sir Jim McDonald, the principal of Strathclyde University, said: "Scotland's space sector is already driving the development of new technologies through leading-edge research and technology-driven companies.

"The challenge now is to bring universities, businesses and space agencies together to enable the sector to reach its full potential.

"The new centre of excellence will play an important role in helping companies to identify where satellite data can assist them in new and exciting ways, from measuring wind speeds from space to determine optimum locations for offshore wind farms, to using satellite navigation for integrated transport systems in future 'smart cities'."

The new centre will bring together expertise from other Scottish institutions including the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee and commercial companies such as Clyde Space Ltd, along with Scottish Enterprise.

The centre of excellence will be part of Strathclyde University's wider Space Institute.

The institute is made-up of a number of different facilities including the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, which carries out research on space systems, and the Scottish Space School, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
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Clyde Space looking to treble its manufacturing space in Glasgow

Clyde Space all set for major expansion

CLYDE Space, which has built Scotland's first satellite, has revealed plans to treble its manufacturing and design space and announced record annual orders of about £3 million

Craig Clark, founder and chief executive officer of Glasgow-based Clyde Space, yesterday unveiled new orders worth hundreds of thousands of pounds from the United States Air Force Academy and the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy.

He highlighted plans to open an office in the US, probably in California, within the next 12 months to capitalise on opportunities in that market-place.

Mr Clark outlined the company's desire to treble the size of its manufacturing and design space to 10,000 square feet on the back of increasing demand for its "pace-setting products". Clyde Space, founded in 2005 and located at West of Scotland Science Park, is currently looking for larger premises in Glasgow.

The company produces small satellite, nanosatellite and "CubeSat" systems - fully functional satellites which "piggy-back" on other launches to minimise costs and boost the commercial viability of space research.

Mr Clark, Clyde Space's largest shareholder, said the order total of about £3m achieved in the current financial year to April 30 was more than double the intake in the previous 12 months.

Confirming the company has been in the black this financial year, he added: "We are doing really quite well at the moment in terms of profit. We are finally making money from what we do, which is great. It is quite a high-tech company. There has been quite a lot of product development over the years."

Mr Clark is looking forward to the launch of Scotland's first satellite, UKube-1, which was designed and manufactured by Clyde Space. Having been put back from February 10, the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket is now scheduled for June 19.

UKube-1 is a collaboration between the UK Space Agency, industry and academia, and is envisaged as the pilot for a full national CubeSat programme. CubeSats have a typical mass of four kilogrammes and dimensions of around 100 millimetres by 100mm by 340mm.

Mr Clark said: "The sooner it's launched the better because it will show our capabilities."

Payloads in UKube-1 include the first Global Positioning System device to measure plasmaspheric space weather, and a camera that will take images of Earth and test the effect of radiation on space hardware using a new generation of imaging sensor. UKube-1 will also carry a payload comprising five experiments with which UK students and the public can interact.

Clyde Space said its order from the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, worth €300,000 (£250,000), was for a full-mission CubeSat.

The Belgian institute specialises in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of Earth, and other planets and outer space. The CubeSat's payload will include a hyperspectral imager, capable of measuring the composition of the atmosphere.

Clyde Space said the order from the US Air Force Academy was for solar panels and reaction wheels, which control the pointing direction of a satellite, for the FalconSAT-6 programme. It added that the order was worth several hundred thousand dollars.

The company, which employs about 30 people, said FalconSAT-6 included a multi-mode flight experiment designed to prove the effectiveness of multiple thrust modes.

Clyde Space also revealed it had recently won another order from a US company, for a five-kilowatt electrical power system for a small satellite project. It said that it could not name the US company because of commercial sensitivity.

Mr Clark said: "The increase in orders is not only an indication that the small satellite market is growing, but also that we are offering the right kind of products and services for that market. It's also very *encouraging to note that many of our new orders are from repeat customers."

Clyde Space has private equity investors Nevis Capital and Coralinn as minority shareholders.

Hugh Stewart, who is chairman of Clyde Space and managing partner of Coralinn, said: "Clyde Space is one of Scotland's most innovative companies.

"The growing number of prestigious contracts it is winning is a fantastic example of how a small Scottish company can compete globally in leading-edge manufacturing. Its strategy is for continued growth and we hope to open in the US in the next year."

Asked whether Clyde Space could obtain larger premises in West of Scotland Science Park, Mr Clark replied: "We are really trying to stay on the park but we are finding that quite difficult, so we are looking further afield now. We are finding that commercial property in Glasgow for the type of business we are - we are high-value manufacturing - is not easy to come by. It is either offices or warehouses."

However, highlighting Clyde Space's intention to remain in its home city, he added: "Definitely our plan is to stay in Glasgow."

Mr Clark said the planned US office was likely to employ one or two people initially.

He added: "The US is quite an interesting place to have a space business because they obviously have much larger budgets for space than we have in the UK, and there are more opportunities.

"There is work out there that can only be done in the US so you have to get your company out there."
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Thanks for great topic. But can we rename it to Space Industry?
Glasgow company Clyde Space, successful satellite launch.

the manufacturer says it could make hundreds, or thousands, more satellites

Scotland's first satellite has been launched successfully in Kazakhstan according to the team who built it.

UKube-1 is a cubesat, packing six payloads into a space not much bigger than a shoebox.

Its experiments include a study of space weather and a project to let school pupils interact with the satellite.

It was commissioned by the UK Space Agency and built by Glasgow company Clyde Space.

The firm has a big share of the market for cubesat components and already has orders for another two complete satellites.

It says it is planning to mass-manufacture hundreds or even thousands more.

Strictly speaking it is not Mission Control Maryhill but it is not far from it.

The headquarters of Clyde Space is up a flight of stairs in a neat but unassuming building at Kelvin Science Park in Glasgow's West End.

The satellite will be carried on a rocket taking off from Kazakhstan

They will not be running the mission from here but this is where they built the first Scottish satellite.

The basic cubesat concept is a cube ten by ten by ten centimetres. That's a litre into which, thanks to microelectronics, you can squeeze a lot of science.

The design of UKube-1 is based on three such boxes. It is what they call a 3U cubesat. Three litres of payload.

Clyde Space say this is the most advanced small satellite of its kind in the world and - they hope - the first of many. Because the economics of spaceflight are in their favour.

A cubesat could cost you around $250,000. Not the sort of thing you could buy out of the housekeeping money but in the satellite business it is close to peanuts.

The low weight means launch costs are also relatively low.

Universities, research institutes and - increasingly - businesses are seeing them as affordable options for getting experiments and services into Earth orbit.

A low orbit means the cubesat will burn up on re-entry after just a few years. But it should not cost too much to replace - and that is where Clyde Space foresee a huge growth area.

Mass manufacturer

They think cubesats will become a mass market, with some companies ordering hundreds at a time. Clyde Space think they could become the first mass manufacturer of small satellites with thousands of orders on their books.

But they are walking before they run. The publicity surrounding UKube-1 has helped them win orders for two more complete satellites. The business of building components and subsystems for cubesats has also continued to grow.

Turnover has doubled in a year. Staff numbers have increased by 50%. This is just part of a burgeoning Scottish space industry which many Scots don't yet realise exists.

A successful launch and deployment could change all that.

UKube-1 was launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

It was the Soyuz which lifted many Soviet space pioneers to orbit when Baikonur was still part of the USSR. Its 21st century incarnation continues to combine reliability with relatively low cost.

UKube-1 is one of eight large and small satellites aboard for this launch, further underlining the economic arguments for both the cubesat concept and Soyuz.

Baikonur occupies a hallowed place in the history of spaceflight. Sputnik 1, Earth's first artificial satellite, lifted off from there. So did Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space.

The launch of Scotland's first satellite is admittedly a smaller milestone. But in Maryhill they'll be watching just as intently as those first satellite builders.

Satellite manufacturer Clyde Space takes new 10,000 sq ft facility at Skypark

The company, which designed and manufactured Scotland's first satellite UKube-1, will almost treble its design and manufacturing space with the move to Finnieston business campus

Scottish satellite design firm Clyde Space is expanding its operations with a move to a new 10,000 sq ft bespoke facility at Skypark in Glasgow.

Clyde Space, the manufacturer of Scotland's first satellite UKube-1, will almost treble its manufacturing and design space when it moves to the new bespoke premises in Finnieston business campus.

The company, currently based at the West of Scotland Science Park in Maryhill, is expected to move its 34 staff to the new premises by the end of the year.

Clyde Space, which makes small spacecraft systems, designed and manufactured Scotland's first ever satellite Ukube-1, which was launched aboard a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan in July.

The shoebox-sized nanosatellite will fly educational packages, trial new technologies and undertake space research on a year-long mission.

Craig Clark, chief executive of Clyde Space, said: “We’re very excited to be moving to Skypark, as our new facilities will support the growth of both our business and our capabilities.

“UKube-1 was just the first of many satellites; we hope to help make Glasgow as famous for building spacecraft as it once was for shipbuilding.”

Angela Higgins, director of Resonance Capital, a joint venture partner in Skypark, said: “It’s great to welcome Clyde Space to Skypark.

“The company has established itself as a world-beating satellite system designer and manufacturer, and to have them here demonstrates that our combination of flexible packages and high quality working environment has been a success.

“We are sure that in its expanded facility at Skypark, Clyde Space will continue to break new ground on its mission to lead Scotland's growing space industry."
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Great to see these guys doing well. Genuine home-grown talent... the starships will be Clyde-built!
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A US headquartered satellite-powered data company announced plans to open a European headquarters at Skypark, Glasgow today. Speaking at an US investor event in New York, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the announcement which will see the company create over 50 new jobs to support the establishment of a Nano-Satelilte design, development manufacturing and data management facility in Scotland.

The Glasgow site will be the company’s third global office, further reinforcing Scotland’s growing importance to the space industry worldwide. This significant expansion is being supported by £1.9m in grant funding from Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.
That's, for what it's worth. Good to see them coming in.
Slightly off topic, but the ISS has been putting on a nice show the past couple of evenings. More tonight...

Glasgow has created more satellites in the last two years than any other European city, while Scotland’s space industry continues to grow, contributing £130m to the economy.

These figures were presented at Data Space, an event which took place February 1-2, bringing together industry players from across Europe interested in satellites and the data being collected from them.

It highlighted that although Scotland makes up only 9% of the UK population, it creates 18% of jobs in the UK space industry with almost 7,000 positions, and a lot of this is down to the work completed within Glasgow.

Glasgow-based Clyde Space, Scotland’s first micro-satellite company, quickly dominated the market by providing components for CubeSat, a type of miniaturized satellite for space research made up of multiples of cubic units no more than 1.33 kgs.

The small unit has created a large impact within the industry and Clyde Space were commissioned by the UK Space Agency to build Scotland’s first satellite.

Taking care of the manufacturing side of things is American Firm Spire, which was founded in San Francisco in 2012 but chose to open its European base in Glasgow.
Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire, said: “We have up there about 20 satellites, all exclusively built here in Glasgow.

“We have, I believe another 24 or 36 on the shelf ... that are waiting on their launch slot or sitting on their rocket right now.”
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Turn Prestwick into a space port and set phasers tae malky. :)
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A great win for the city, this is likely to be a nice growth sector in the years to come. Spire and Clyde Space will also be pleased, a Space Accelerator on the doorstep. May also help the case to bring the UK Spaceport to Prestwick.

Glasgow’s space sector takes off

SCOTLAND’S role in the UK Space Agency’s ambition to hold 10 per cent of the global space market by 2030 has been highlighted after the awarding of a grant to the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SoXSA), based at the University of Strathclyde, which will work with Tontine in Glasgow to support new start-up and scale up businesses.

Six space industry companies will be located at The Tontine, part of Glasgow’s City Deal-backed innovation hub, and will receive business support specific to the space sector, accommodation and administration costs covered for two years, and dedicated workshops and expertise.

The funding was awarded after the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Council approached the UK Space Agency for £50,000 of incubation funding to bring innovative companies to the city centre.

The partnership between the UK Space Agency, the council and SoXSA will give Scotland an even greater share of the UK space industry, which generates a total annual turnover of more than £11 billion.

Around 18 per cent of the UK’s space sector employment – the equivalent of around 7,000 jobs – is now based in Scotland.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, which is leading the partnership, said: “This investment from the UK Space Agency underlines the city of Glasgow’s international reputation as a thriving hub for businesses in the space sector, which play a vital role in the growth and advancement of the industry globally.

“As an entrepreneurial university and home to one of Europe’s largest space engineering research groups, it’s fitting that we work with Glasgow City Council to attract more innovative companies to the heart of our city – and to Scotland’s first Innovation District.

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Attracting such companies is great for the innovation clusters developing in Glasgow, underlining our growing status as a home for advanced industries and technologies, so critical to our long-term success. This is a fantastic day for the city and our economy, and the result of the hard work of the council and our partners.”
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You can tell you are getting old when policemen asteroid mining space tycoons start to look young

A Glasgow aerospace company has announced plans for the UK’s first space mining mission which aims to extract and process materials from asteroids.

Asteroid Mining Corporation, (AMC) founded by Mitch Hunter-Scullion, is working alongside academic partners to develop the Asteroid Prospecting Satellite One (APS1) with the goal of identifying platinum group metals deposits on Near Earth asteroids.

The company has received support from Business Gateway and plans to build the APS1 in Glasgow at a cost of £2.3m creating seven new jobs in the city’s thriving Space industry.
Judging from the Values statement on their website Mitch Hunter-Scullion must be young:

we foresee that there will be an Asteroid Mining Corporation colony on Ceres by the time our CEO retires.

Good luck with that though I like their Kim Stanley Robinson meets the Expanse style! :cheers:
I can believe it. The interesting over/under is whether candleriggs breaks ground before he retires
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NASA just successfully landed another spacecraft on Mars. But what's interesting is that they sent two cubesats along with it which are in orbit. They're not crucial to the mission but are being used to test the technology. They received positive signals back from them. It would be good to think that we could see Scottish technology on interplanetary missions in the future.
Two Glasgow built satellites successfully launched into orbit from a facility in India.

The article also mentions the future spaceport in Sutherland - has this definitely been chosen from the contenders? I kind of hoped Prestwick would get it as it could transform it into a global travel hub if we ever see flights going into suborbit. I remember seeing figures like 2 hours to Australia banded about.
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