Latest British space programme Stories

2009-08-14 11:00:00

Satellite imagery from the recently launched UK-DMC2 satellite shows forest fires in the Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Maria at 11:10 local time on the 12th August. California is currently experiencing widespread forest fires, which has lead to evacuations in two areas. Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that more than 1,900 fire fighters were battling the blaze that has burned at least 48,457 acres in the Los Padres National Forest area of Santa Barbara County.The image was...

2009-07-30 18:29:36

A U.S. competitor in space tourism, Rocketplane Global, has abandoned its Oklahoma facilities and is struggling to stay in business, its chief executive said. The company fulfilled its 5-year, $18 million tax-break obligations to the state of Oklahoma by paying that much for 200,000 hours of design work, President and Chief Executive Officer George French told The Oklahoman. Falling short of its goal of bringing tourists into space, the company is moving to Wisconsin, the newspaper said. With...

2009-07-30 15:04:08

Two satellites were sent into space to improve the world's only space-based disaster monitoring system, the British company that makes the satellites said. Both satellites were expected to enhance the monitoring program, which provides Earth observation imagery for a variety of commercial and environmental applications in addition to disasters, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited said in a news release Thursday. These latest two satellites will advance the capability of the DMC ... to provide...

2009-07-23 10:08:06

SSTL's UK-DMC2 satellite has successfully completed pre-launch tests and is integrated with a Dnepr launch vehicle at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in readiness for launch on Wednesday, 29th July 2009 at 18:46 UTC, 19:46 BST.The new satellite will be operated by subsidiary company DMCii to provide an enhanced imaging capability and operational service to the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). UK-DMC2 has a number of enhancements over previous DMC spacecraft contributing to SSTL's continuing...

2009-05-20 10:39:42

The European Space Agency on Wednesday announced the acceptance of its first British astronaut. Timothy Peake, 37, was named alongside a roster of five new astronauts during a ceremony in Paris. The astronauts will begin training for missions to the International Space Station "and beyond", said the ESA. "We are at a turning point in ESA's human spaceflight activities," ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain said. "We are now entering a new phase of utilization of the unique capabilities...

2009-05-07 14:10:00

The president of Virgin Galactic says the company's plans to take passengers into space are just the beginning of a series of space exploration ploys. In an interview with Reuters, Virgin Galactic's Will Whitehorn said the company has collected $40 million from 300 people on a waiting list for space tourist flights. The list includes high-profile names including physicist Stephen Hawking and ex-racing driver Niki Lauda. Each person on that list was willing to give Virgin $200,000. "We needed...

2009-02-19 11:10:00

The European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday announced a deal with Reaction Engines Ltd that will invest £900,000 ($1,291,000) in the development of core technologies for its Skylon reusable runway space shuttle. The firm said it hopes to see reusable spaceplanes fly within 10 years. "Traditional throw-away rockets costing more than a $100 million per launch are a drag on the growth of this market. The Holy Grail to transform the economics of getting into space is to use a truly...

2009-02-03 13:15:00

Virgin Galactic is collaborating with UK firm Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) in hopes of developing low-cost rockets with the capability to put small satellites into orbit in a similar fashion to the US Pegasus system. The companies hope to use Galactic's White Knight Two system, which was unveiled last year and is intended to carry space tourists, as a more affordable means of delivering satellites into space."Hopefully we can do it for a lot less money than the current providers," Dr...

2009-01-13 14:30:38

EADS Astrium, Europe's largest space company, has successfully acquired British satellite maker Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). SSTL got its start in 1985 as a spin-off from the University of Surrey, and became the world's top manufacturer of small satellites, making low-cost platforms for Earth observation missions.  The deal, which was approved by the European Commission (EC), calls for Astrium to assume the majority the University of Surrey's 85% stake in SSTL, which will...

2008-12-18 09:20:00

According to New Scientist, Britain's unlucky Mars probe, Beagle 2, may have met its end due to a miscalculation. The probe, which was built to discover signs of life, disappeared in 2003 on Christmas Day. Scientists at Queensland University believe the probe lost control during a descent due to a miscalculation of the Martian atmosphere. Professor Colin Pillinger, team leader for Beagle 2, welcomed the new theory. "We are as interested as anybody to find out the truth," he said. "But until...

Word of the Day
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.