Scottish ‘pint-sized’ satellites to help tackle climate change

Two “pint-sized” satellites built in Scotland will be sent into orbit to help combat climate change.

The 5kg devices were created by Spire Global in Glasgow and are believed to be a first of their kind due to their function, tiny size, low cost and quick build time.

It is hoped the UK Space Agency-funded project could revolutionise work in the cosmos, which has traditionally been slow and expensive for business and science to access.

Rocket launch site
Rocket launch site

Graham Turnock, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “These incredibly clever pint-sized satellites built in Glasgow could slash the complexity and cost of access to space, presenting an exciting opportunity for the UK to thrive in the commercial space age.

“Through our £4 million development funding in (the European Space Agency) ESA’s ARTES programme, the government’s industrial strategy and by working closely with our international partners, we are helping Scottish businesses transform their ideas into commercial realities, resulting in jobs, growth and innovation.”

Both will aim to prove the value of “nanosats” – very small satellites – in weather monitoring.

They will do this by measuring refracted radio signals passing through the Earth’s atmosphere.

The launch, taking place in India just before 4.30am GMT on Thursday, is available to view online.