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OU research among UK funding boost for international space projects

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Projects that showcase the best of UK space expertise on the international stage have secured a funding boost from the UK Space Agency, as the global space industry lands in Colorado Springs for the 39th Space Symposium on Monday 8 April.

The UK Space Agency’s £20 million International Bilateral Fund, focused on supporting the UK space sector to work directly with international partners on exciting and innovative projects, is supporting, amongst others, The Open University on two projects to enable better imaging of space:

1. The Open University (UK) and partners XCAM Ltd, University College London (UK), Teledyne UK Ltd (UK) and Indian Space Research Organisation (India) - £527,653.00

Development of a new X-ray imaging instrument, AXIS, targeted at studying the X-ray emission from Earth’s aurorae. The project arises from the European Space Agency’s Theseus programme and represent the first demonstration of this new technology in a space mission.

2. The Open University (UK) and partners Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (USA), University of Arizona (USA) and Ball Aerospace and Technologies (USA) - £1,314,709.00

The development of the next generation of ultra-high resolution imaging instruments, the Teledyne e2v CIS 125 detector. It will support US space agency Moon and Mars science and exploration objectives.

Space Minister at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Andrew Griffith MP, said:

“The UK is home to some of the brightest minds in space science, aerospace engineering and an entrepreneurial commercial space sector. It’s no wonder the world wants to collaborate with Britain when it comes to space.

“I am delighted that today we have been able to support new space collaborations with private organisations from countries like the US, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore.”

This is the second phase of investment awarded through the UK Space Agency’s £20 million International Bilateral Fund, following the first phase in August 2023. Phase 1 funded 32 projects up to £75,000 each, all of whom entered into a highly competitive process for further funding from Phase 2.

The total £13 million funding boost was announced on the opening day of the 39th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs (Monday 8 April). Space Symposium runs from 8-11 April in Colorado Springs and brings together over 10,000 people from the global space industry. The UK’s growing space sector is represented at the event by organisations including the UK Space Agency, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), various government departments, companies and universities.

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