Tim Peake Joins Scottish Space Mission Event to Find and De-Orbit Prospero23rd Jul 2021
ESA astronaut Tim Peake joins the Scottish space mission to de-orbit the Prospero satellite. The mission, initiated by Edinburgh-based company Skyrora, aims to retrieve the only British-made satellite launched with a British rocket Black Arrow in 1971. Besides retrieving a spacecraft of historical importance, the mission aims to remove space junk from orbit.
Scottish Space Mission Importance
The latest Scottish space mission on retrieving Prospero is a joint effort of government, space agencies, and research institutions initiated by Skyrora. According to the company CEO, Volodymyr Levykin, the now-defunct Prospero is of vital historical heritage for the UK space industry. However, despite its historical importance, the 66-kg satellite still circling an elliptical orbit at 1,000 km is also a piece of space debris.
Space debris, aka space junk, is a growing concern for the new era of space exploration and a large obstacle in the way of new spacecraft. Right now, around 170 million pieces of space junk are circling our planet’s orbit. Levykin emphasises that recovering Prospero will show the country’s dedication to sustainable use of space resources.
Tim Peake and Other Event Guests
ESA Astronaut Tim Peake shares Skyrora’s belief about sustainable space use. He joined the Scottish Space Mission event as a speaker, along with Black Arrow engineer Terry Brooke. As a reminder, Skyrora already retrieved several parts of the rocket that landed after a launch in Australia, and de-orbiting Prospero satellite seems like a logical continuation of the effort.
Finding Prospero initiators, along with Tim Peake, believe that the event will inspire new generations of space experts to explore sustainable space solutions, which is why several Year 13 pupils, who won ESA’s National Cansat competition, also attended the Scottish space mission event.