Shrewsbury School, in Shropshire, beat five other groups from around the UK in the final stage of the competition which was announced at an awards ceremony at the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow (IAC) today (Friday 3 October).
The winning experiment is expected to measure variations in the ionosphere, which can affect the accuracy and safety of satellite navigation systems, and might also help to provide indications of impending earthquakes.
The competition, launched earlier this year, challenged teams of 14 – 19 year olds to design and build a small, compact satellite instrument. The experiment will be flown as an additional payload on a low Earth orbiting satellite being built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, (SSTL), the world’s leading manufacturer of small satellites based in Guildford.
The winning team had to overcome significant challenges to design their experiment within the tight constraints of the competition. Their instrument could be no larger than the size of a lunch box, weigh no more than one kilogram and operate on less than one Watt of power.
The competition has been sponsored by the British National Space Centre (BNSC), a cross-Government organisation that co-ordinates civil space activities in the UK.
Ian Pearson, the Minister for Science and Innovation, said:
“We have some fantastically creative and talented young people in the country. It’s staggering to see the effort and imagination that has been generated by this competition.
“Shrewsbury School is to be congratulated on winning this innovative joint BNSC/SSTL school competition. I had the opportunity to meet some of the finalists earlier this summer and all of their ideas were excellent evidence of innovative thinking in our schools.
“I offer my commiserations to the runners-up. For the winners, the hard work starts now. The winning instrument will go into space on an SSTL satellite and I look forward to being invited to the launch.”
The students from Shrewsbury School will now work with SSTL’s scientists and engineers to refine the design of their experiment. The experiment will fly on board an SSTL satellite mission which is currently planned for launch in late 2010.
Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, founder of SSTL, emphasised the educational potential of the mission: “SSTL was founded by the University of Surrey and we have always had very strong links with academia, so we’re delighted to extend this opportunity to UK schools. I hope that the experiment will encourage more of our young people to take up careers in science and engineering.”
Dr David Williams, Director General of BNSC, said: “The UK has a fantastic capability in the space arena and ambitious plans for exciting programmes such as the lunar exploration mission, MoonLITE. We hope this competition will help to inspire the next generation of space scientists who will make those plans a reality.”
The judging panel included Professor Colin Pillinger and Keith Mans, the Chief Executive of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
The winning team was announced at IAC by South Korea's first astronaut, Soyeon Yi. She recently returned from a trip to the International Space Station, having been chosen from about 36,000 applicants for the mission.
Robin Wolstenholme | alfa
Breakthrough Prize for Kim Nasmyth
04.12.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH
The key to chemical transformations
29.11.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2017 | Life Sciences