Developing

Scotland Set To Launch Its First Satellite

Scotland's first satellite is to be launched into space in June.

The UKube-1 will be launched on board a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Clyde Space, the Glasgow company behind the nanosatellite, is hoping it could be the first of many from Scotland.

The UKube-1 satellite is said to be one of the most advanced of its kind.

When it is launched it will take part in a UK Space Agency mission that will see it use GPS technology to measure plasmaspheric space weather.

The plasmasphere, or inner magnetosphere, is a region of the Earth's magnetosphere consisting of low energy, or cool, plasma.

The satellite will also test how cosmic radiation could improve the security of communication satellites.

It will carry a further five experiments that students across the UK can become involved in.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the project was "one small satellite for Clyde and a giant leap for their extraterrestrial export business and a new hope for space science in Scotland".

He added: "It is great to see up close Scotland's first space satellite - representing another successful Scottish export drive, but not as we know it."

Clyde Space chief executive officer Craig Clark said: "UKube-1 is the first spacecraft to be designed and built in Scotland. If we are successful in our business plan it will be the first of many more Scottish satellites."

Lena Wilson, the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, pointed out that the global space industry is forecast to be worth £400bn by 2030.

She said there was a "huge opportunity for innovative companies like Clyde Space to grab a share of this international market".