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Bringing back the Beagle

The Beagle 4 (R4) mission

The British Beagle 2 Mars lander launched in 2003 and was transported to Mars on the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission, it only weighed 33.2kg. The Beagle 2 lost contact in December 2003 and was declared lost by the ESA in February 2004, it was located in 2015 by NASA. The Beagle 2 had landed safely but two of its solar panels had failed to open, blocking its antenna.

The Beagle 3 was a proposed successor to the Beagle 2. However, the European Space Agency rejected all proposals in 2004 and the project was abandoned. We are bringing back the Beagle as a Mars exploration rover which will continue Beagle 2's Martian astrobiology mission on the surface of the red planet.

Beagle on Mars

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/University of Leicester

Moon of a gas giant

The Galileus mission

We are studying the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, from the volcanic Io to the heavily cratered Callisto. The aim of our research is to support future missions to the Galilean satellites by making all of our data and discoveries openly available to the public.

Io in front of Jupiter

Need for speed

The Hypersonic mission

Speed is everything in space, recently a black hole threw a star out of our galaxy at 3.7 million miles per hour! The escape velocity of Earth alone is around 25,020mph, anything less and you won't be able to pull away from Earth and will either fall to the ground or end up in orbit. The speed helps on Earth too, Concorde travelled from New York to London in less than three hours. We are working on designs of aircraft that will be capable of reaching speeds in excess of mach 10 (7,612mph).

Throttle Control

Sovereign GNSS

The GNSS mission

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) estimates a cost of £5bn to establish our own sovereign GNSS, which comes as Brexit means we'll no longer have access to the European Space Agency's Galileo GNSS. We believe it's possible to achieve for much less than this and are preparing proposals for an alternative mission with a significantly reduced cost.

Update: The GNSS plans have been formally scrapped by the government. We are no longer pursuing this mission.

UK from space

Image Credit: NASA/JSC

The SIA Revolution

The SIAR 25 mission

Many companies are setting up satellite networks in space to provide SIA (Satellite Internet Access). However, SIA is slow and high-latency, ideally suited to low bandwidth connections, this is opposite to your home broadband connection which is low-latency and high bandwidth. Satellite internet access is prohibitly expensive and the signals are affected by weather conditions. If satellite internet access is to become mainstream, these problems need to be addressed. Instead of attempting to launch our own SIA satellite network, we are researching technologies that will solve these fundamental issues

Satellite in orbit


Astronaut Radiation Protection

Protecting astronauts against cosmic radiation.
Learn More