Queen visits the AAC Clyde Space and Spire in Glasgow
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The TRUTHS mission will see the UK Space Agency lead on a project to send a satellite into space to measure highly accurate data from the Sun as well as the energy reflected off Earth’s surface. The satellite will collect data more accurate and more reliable than anything that has ever been seen before. Britain’s leading role in the project will help cement the UK’s position as a science superpower.
The satellite will be sent into orbit by the European Space Agency (ESA) and is tipped to help climate scientists around the world better understand the human impact on the climate, which will help governments to make more informed policy decisions around climate change.
The idea was originally conceived by Professor Nigel Fox at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington – a world-leading centre for measurement science – to act as the first-ever “climate and calibration laboratory in space”.
Fox has been working on the ambitious project for 20 years now.
Airbus UK was awarded a contract to prepare the probes that will collect the measurements in November.
Professor Fox told Express.co.uk: “It’s a great statement of UK innovation and a flagship of the ambition for the UK to be a global leader.
“It is data and information that is the fuel and the energy not just for policy decisions and actions but also for economic growth.
“There will be a significant business on climate services based on exploiting better value of Earth observation data and the UK has many companies who are good at that kind of activity.
“While this mission is only a contributor to the whole bigger picture, the underpinning strand is that the UK has this vision of delivering to the world trustworthy Earth observation data which plays to all of the UK’s strengths.
“It’s not just the satellite but the exploitation of the data and the science that it enables, which helps steer the agenda scientifically, but also commercially and brings benefit and economics to the UK as part of the bigger Earth observing system.”
The project was also hailed by Science Minister Amanda Solloway for its ingenuity and contributions to British science.
She said: “Britain is at the forefront of using space to help us build back greener, essential as we get ready to host the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow later this year.
“I’m thrilled to see the UK-led TRUTHS mission giving our world-leading scientists the most reliable data and insight they have ever had – boosting our efforts to tackle climate change and reinforcing the UK’s status as a science superpower.”
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The TRUTHS mission was added to ESA’s programme in 2019 at the same time the UK placed its bid to host the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
Former Science Minister Chris Skidmore said at the time the UK Government is committed to supporting the space sector and cutting-edge research.
Support for the mission was part of the Government’s pledge to fighting the climate crisis.
Mr Skidmore said: “We’ve made clear our desire to host the critical COP26 climate conference in 2020 – and announcements such as these demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change.”
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