UK’s First £116M Satellite Testing Facility Opens in Oxfordshire

Table of Contents

Insider Brief:

  • The National Satellite Test Facility at Harwell, a £116 million satellite testing facility is now open in Oxfordshire.
  • The facility enables comprehensive pre-launch satellite testing, including a chamber that simulates space conditions and acoustic testing for launch noise and vibrations.
  • The facility has created 30 new jobs and will welcome its first commercial customer in July.

 

A new £116 million satellite testing facility has opened in Oxfordshire. The National Satellite Test Facility at Harwell, the UK’s first of its kind, took seven years to build with government funding. This initiative followed requests from the UK space sector to consolidate testing facilities. Dr. Sarah Beardsley, Director of RAL Space, noted the creation of 30 new jobs and anticipated growth in the region’s space sector.

The facility enables comprehensive pre-launch satellite testing, including a chamber that simulates space conditions and acoustic testing for launch noise and vibrations. Beardsley further explained that they bring in the satellite and test it by shaking it, baking it, and ensuring it can withstand the rigors of space.

It will welcome its first commercial customer in July.

RAL Space, part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, told the BBC that the new facility would “bolster the UK’s status as a global leader in satellite manufacturing.”

Responsive Image

“The fact that the facility is based here at Harwell is really great for Oxfordshire — it shows that we are the beating heart of the UK space sector,” Beardsley said. “We have over a hundred companies here at the Harwell space cluster, with the number of jobs growing every day.”

Featured image: The site includes a test chamber where conditions found in space are simulated. Credit: BBC

Share this article:

Keep track of everything going on in the Space Technology Market. In one place.

Search