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New funding ensures UK role in global exploration to the Moon, Mars and Venus

UK scientists and engineers will play a role in major global missions to the Moon, Mars and Venus, thanks to new funding from the UK Space Agency for work towards international space science and exploration projects.

UK-built camera used in ExoMars Raman Laser Spectrometer.

The Space Science and Exploration Bilateral Programme will help Royal Holloway develop software for the Indian Space Agency (ISRO) Chandrayaan-2 orbiter to detect ice under the surface of the lunar south pole.

Another project will see the University of Leicester lead on a Raman spectroscopy instrument for iSpace’s commercial rover and lander missions investigating water ice on the Moon, helping us to understand whether this is a resource that could be used for longer term lunar exploration.

Other projects to receive a share of the £7.4 million funding include the Open University and universities of Sussex, Aberdeen and Cambridge teaming up with NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The announcement coincides with the Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC), taking place in Singapore this week to showcase the rapidly growing sector in Asia and opportunities for international collaboration. These projects, alongside a UK delegation at the GSTC, highlight how the UK supports its world-class scientists to work with partners around the world as set out in the National Space Strategy.


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