British-Built DOVER Satellite Fills Virgin Line-up21st Jul 2022
The Oxfordshire-built DOVER research satellite from RHEA Group completes the satellite payload that will launch from Spaceport Cornwall this year.
Built by Open Cosmos, the ‘DOVER’ satellite is going to fly into space during Virgin Orbit’s maiden launch from the UK. It will share the ride with five other satellite missions, including the first satellite to ever be built in Wales.
What is the DOVER satellite?
Open Cosmos in Oxfordshire built DOVER on behalf of Rhea Group, an international engineering firm. The pathfinder satellite will transmit an innovative new signal type. RHEA engineers designed this signal to provide data from space for utilisation in obtaining an accurate time or position.
Broadcasts of these signals enable the researchers to assess the project’s performance.
CEO of the UK Space Agency, Dr. Paul Bate, said the following:
“The countdown is on to the first satellite launch from Spaceport Cornwall, with a full complement of satellites confirmed by Virgin Orbit for what promises to be a landmark moment for our thriving space sector.
“It’s fantastic that RHEA Group’s DOVER satellite is joining the launch, which showcases both our domestic satellite manufacturing expertise and the international interest in the UK as a launch destination.
“The ability to launch satellites from UK soil will support our work to catalyse investment into the space sector, deliver new capabilities and champion the incredible role of space to benefit life on Earth.”
Completing Spaceport Cornwall’s launch line-up
The new satellite announcement completes the line-up for the first launch from the UK. Companies such as Horizon Technologies, Satellite Applications Catapult, and Space Forge also built satellites for the Virgin Orbit launch.
The launch makes the UK the first European country this year to launch satellites into orbit from home soil. National Space Strategy, as implemented by the UK Government, places a special interest on this key capacity.