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Dubbed LaunchUK Nanosat, it’s aimed at younger people (16+) – the “next generation of British space scientists” – to design a nanosatellite.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall when he announced the contest during the G7 meeting, with the winning entry destined for space via a UK launch.
He reiterated the governments intention for the UK “to be at the global forefront of small satellite launch and emerging space transportation markets”.
“As hosts of the G7 and with the first space launches from British soil firmly within our grasp, I want to support the UK’s brightest minds and creative ideas to launch this exciting competition,” said Shapps. “This will help to secure a future spaceflight legacy for Great Britain, by inspiring young adults to build the skills needed to work within this growing sector.”
“With its ambition to double the UK’s global market share of the space sector to 10% by 2030, Britain’s space exploration programme is set to create new high-skilled jobs and economic benefits for communities and organisations across the country.”
A £600,000 prize fund will be in place, with the hope the winning satellite can be launched into space from UK soil.
With recent legislation, it is hoping that in 2022 the UK can become the first country in Europe to host small satellite launches, with Spaceport Cornwall, in Newquay, set to be the first operational spaceport.
Note that the competition isn’t yet officially open. At this stage, you can only register your interest for LaunchUK Nanosat online, to be notified of more details when the competition starts. You can also read the terms and conditions.