Moon, Mars, and Venus in Focus for New UK Funding

14th Feb 2024
Moon, Mars, and Venus in Focus for New UK Funding

UK Space Agency announced on 14th February a package of new funding totaling £7.4 million focused on Lunar exploration and beyond. The awardees include Royal Holloway, the Open University and the universities of Sussex, Aberdeen, Leicester, and Cambridge. The UK funding is associated with missions to the Moon, Mars, and Venus.

UK funding for international cooperation

Highlights of the funding announcement include:

  • Royal Holloway receiving a grant for developing software going to India’s Chandrayaan-2 orbiter to detect subsurface ice at the lunar south pole;
  • University of Leicester receiving funding for a raman spectroscopy instrument for iSpace, also destined for the search for water on the Moon;
  • The other universities mentioned obtaining funding for projects with NASA, CSA (Canada), and JAXA.

International cooperation highlighted

The announcement came along with UK Space Agency participation in Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC), currently being held in Singapore. A delegation from the UK is attending.

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

“From exploring water on Mars and the possibility of sustained human activity on the red planet, to how galaxies evolved over time, our more than £7m investment is pushing the boundaries of space discovery and putting the UK at the heart of some of the most important global space missions. 

“With top UK universities from Sussex to Aberdeen leading these groundbreaking endeavours, our country is at the heart of exploring beyond our planet, working with partners in Japan, India, North America and around the world, and growing our economies.” 

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:

“These projects present an opportunity for UK science to make crucial contributions to ground-breaking global missions that will deepen our understanding of the Moon and our neighbouring planets. 

“This funding, which builds on previous early-stage awards, will help catalyse international investment into the UK space sector and highlights the value we place on sharing knowledge and expertise with our counterparts overseas to break the boundaries of space exploration. 

“The Global Space and Technology Convention in Singapore is the ideal setting to share this news and showcase the benefits of expanding our work with global partners.” 

Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Related Articles

Explore Orbital Today