UK backs solar-powered spacecraft

The UK has pledged support for a project focused on harnessing solar power to fuel returnable spacecraft and enable in-orbit servicing to extend the lifespan of satellites

The UK Space Agency has allocated funding to several space projects, including the Wales-based Space Forge’s Project Helios.

With an investment of £230,000, Project Helios aims to develop a retractable solar array that will power returnable spacecraft and enable in-orbit servicing to prolong the lifespan of satellites in space.

By partnering with Microlink Devices, Space Forge intends to harness the potential of solar power for spacecraft, revolutionising space exploration and satellite maintenance.

The development of Project Helios is expected to help understand how solar power can be utilised for space applications.

Craig Brown, UK Space Agency Director of Investment, said: “By supporting innovations in emerging and new areas of space technology, such as space-based solar power, extreme ultraviolet Integral Field Spectroscopy, electrothermal propulsion and more, we ensure that the UK stays at the forefront of global advances in space, generating more business opportunities and inspiring more people about the many career options that this thriving sector offers.”

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