Surrey Satellite Technology to build new Lunar Pathfinder satellite27th Sep 2021
The UK’s leading satellite manufacturer, Surrey Satellite Technology, will design a Lunar Pathfinder satellite for improved communication. The tech should take the UK to a new level in navigation and telecommunications.
The Lunar Pathfinder satellite, a new generation technology for a new lunar mission
Surrey Satellite Technology has secured funding from the UK Space Agency via the European Space Agency to the sum of £11.6 million for their Lunar Pathfinder satellite. The company built its satellite with a second mission to the Moon in mind. The Lunar Pathfinder satellite will allow moon rovers to reach further distances, while still staying connected to the lander. Without this limitation, moon rovers will be able to freely explore the far side of the Moon without fear of losing connection and becoming stranded.
Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, expressed her excitement about the opportunity of expanding the parameters on the next Moon mission. She notes that Surrey Satellite Technology helps take the UK navigation and telecommunications to a new level. Ms. Solloway believes that the Lunar Pathfinder satellite will ensure a sustainable return to the Moon in about 50 years.
The Lunar Pathfinder satellite will improve the quality of future Moon missions
The Lunar Pathfinder satellite will be positioned close to Earth so as to facilitate missions on the near side of the Moon. This will increase the speed of data transfer and lower the costs of transmissions. Once placed into orbit, the Surrey Satellite Technology spacecraft will serve to optimise lunar landers on the surface of the Moon for future missions.
The UK Space Agency selected Surrey Satellite Technology in May 2021 to lead a study within the Moonlight initiative aiming to deliver a frigate of navigation satellites into Earth’s orbit.