Last reviewed 25 June 2021

Three UK-built satellites designed to monitor climate change and track endangered wildlife will lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The UK Space Agency, in partnership with the European Space, have invested nearly £15 million in UK companies to develop the trio of satellites which will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Two of the satellites, built by analytics company, Spire in Glasgow, will develop optical intersatellite links (ISL) which will enable constellations of satellites to become integrated networks in space, capable of delivering very high volumes of data at speed to anywhere in the world. The system will provide better predictive analytics to improve our understanding of the environment and the impact we have on it.

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said the trio of satellites will “provide exciting innovation in remote sensing and tracking” to support UK climate ambitions.

“As we get ready to host the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow later this year, the UK is leading the way in exploiting space to tackle climate change, developing satellites that enable our world class scientists to monitor the environment in remarkable detail.”

Lacuna Space, based at the Harwell Space Cluster in Oxfordshire, which has revolutionised the process of connecting sensors to the internet, will install Lacuna sensors to monitor the environment, track wildlife and help farmers by providing data on water, soil and crop management.

Rob Spurrett, Lacuna’s CEO, said: “Much like the early days of the internet, when it was hard to imagine the impact of having everybody connected, it seems there is an endless world of possibilities from now connecting physical objects or “things”. In cities there are many possible ways to do that, but our service ensures that rural parts of the UK and even the most remote locations in the world are part of this data revolution.”

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which was due to lift off today from Cape Canaveral Space Station, has been delayed to allow more time to prepare the rocket and its payloads, according to US Florida Today News partner.