Airbus secures £95M for satellite in TRUTHS mission

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Airbus has clinched £95 million from the UK Space Agency, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, to spearhead the TRUTHS mission’s satellite design and development phase.

TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies) aims to revolutionise Earth observation and climate monitoring. The funding marks a crucial step towards creating a groundbreaking “climate and calibration observatory in space.” 

Airbus will leverage the financial support to advance the design and development of the satellite at the forefront of TRUTHS. Scheduled for launch in 2030, the TRUTHS satellite will collect precise measurements of solar energy reaching Earth and light reflected from its surface.

Data from the TRUTHS satellite will serve as a cornerstone for understanding changes in Earth’s climate, offering unparalleled insights that will inform global strategies to mitigate climate-related challenges.

Jean Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said: “This contract takes us one step closer to building a mission that will enable scientists and climatologists to cross-reference their measurements and data enabling much more accurate forecasts and analysis in a shorter time.

“TRUTHS will provide the gold standard of calibration for space-based Earth observation.”

The mission not only addresses critical climate issues but also contributes to the growth and development of the UK space sector.

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, commented: “This a major milestone for the TRUTHS mission and fantastic news for our world-leading Earth observation sector.   

“The mission will play a vital role in improving how we monitor climate change using satellite data and supporting the decisive climate action which global nations are negotiating at COP28.”

As the UK takes a leading role in TRUTHS, collaborating with European partners – including Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Romania, and the Czech Republic – the mission solidifies the UK’s position in advancing space exploration and climate science.

See also: NTT taps Amazon’s Project Kuiper for satellite connectivity in Japan

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