FM praises Scottish satellite’s maiden voyage

9 Jul 2014 02:37 PM

Clyde Space boldly goes where no Scottish company has gone before. 

The First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed Clyde Space’s UKube-1 nanosatellite maiden launch into space, heralding it as ‘one nanosatellite and one giant leap for Scottish space exploration.’

The nanosatellite launched on board a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5pm yesterday (Tuesday, July 8). This comes on the same day as a report published by Dr Malcolm Macdonald from Strathclyde Space Institute at Strathclyde University finds independence could be worth £15 million to £20 million a year in the medium terms and as much as £100 million a year in the longer term to the space sector industry.

Scotland’s Future makes clear that an independent Scotland will continue to work with the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency.

The First Minister said:

“Clyde Space was running final tests from their headquarters at the West of Scotland Science Park in Maryhill when I had the opportunity to take a close-up look at Scotland’s first satellite: the UKube-1.

“The space sector offers huge economic potential for Scottish companies. Thelaunch of the UKube-1 is a landmark occasion for Clyde Space – and indeed for Scotland – and is another clear example of scientific and engineering excellence demonstrated by our country’s entrepreneurial innovators.

“The UKube-1 launch might be one nanosatellite, but it is one giant leap for Scottish space exploration which, as the report published today by Dr Macdonald shows, could be worth as much as £100 million a year in the longer term to the space sector industry.

“When I met astronaut Commander Hadfield in December at Liberton High in Edinburgh, I was stuck at how much the subject of space exploration captured the imagination of pupils and I hope the launch of Scotland’s first satellite today captures the imagination of the whole nation.”