Two UK-built nanosatellites will be launched into orbit this month

Two UK-built nanosatellites no heavier than a piece of cabin luggage will be launched into orbit this month to track global ship movements thanks to £6 million government grant A UK Space Agency £6 million grant helped fund the nanosatellite development Two sets nanosatellites will be launched into orbit by Scottish-form Spire Global  The first pair of satellites will go up on a Russian Soyuz rocket on September 24  The second set of spacecraft will launch on an Indian PSLV rocket in November 

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline

Published: 00:01 BST, 11 September 2020 | Updated: 00:01 BST, 11 September 2020

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A pair of shoebox sized nanosatellites built in the UK thanks to a £6million government grant will launch from a Russian Soyuz rocket later this month.

The spacecraft will join a fleet of more than 100 objects in low Earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global ocean traffic.

The two satellites are made by Spire Global UK and are part of a set of four equipped with a machine learning algorithm to estimate the times vessels will arrive in ports.

The first pair will go up on a Soyuz rocket on September 24 and the other two are expected to launch on an Indian PSLV launcher on November 1.  

The British-made satellites are designed, built, tested, integrated and assembled by Spire Global staff at the firms headquarters in Glasgow. 

The spacecraft will join a fleet of more than 100 objects in low Earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global ocean traffic

The spacecraft will join a fleet of more than 100 objects in low Earth orbit that work together to track the whereabouts of ships and predict global ocean traffic

Despite being the size of a shoebox and weighing no more than standard cabin baggage, the nanosatellites have all the functionality of a conventional satellite. 

Graham

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