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  • Space Park to incorporate Deep Space Centre

Space Park to incorporate Deep Space Centre

Aug 13 2020 Read 249 Times

A £500,000 Wolfson Foundation grant has helped to kick-start the development of a deep space centre at Space Park Leicester, that will foster collaboration between business and universities in space exploration.

Dr Nigel Bannister, Associate Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Missions to explore the planets are expensive, so they don’t happen very often. For example, our knowledge of the ice giants Uranus and Neptune is based on just a few hours of data taken as the Voyager-2 spacecraft flew past in the 1980s, carrying technology developed in the 1970s.

“The Wolfson Deep Space Centre will develop new technologies and methods, and adapt existing ones, to enable smaller, lower cost spacecraft to be used in deep space - to expand our exploration of the solar system, to visit planets more often and in ways not possible before and provide an opportunity for the UK to become a leader in a new generation of space exploration mission.”

Professor Richard Ambrosi, Professor of Space Instrumentation and Space Nuclear Power Systems in the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “The Wolfson Centre has the potential to transform how we access space for scientific missions. Through our close links with industry, agencies and international partners, it has the potential to open new paths to low earth orbit, the lunar surface and deeper into the solar system.

We are incredibly grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for their recognition of the world-leading research taking place at the University of Leicester. Their support, along with that of other partners, will enable us to develop innovative technologies and methods to transform the way we explore space in the future.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: "The Wolfson Foundation is a charity that funds buildings and equipment that support the highest quality research. This is a particularly impressive and intriguing research centre - a leader both nationally and internationally. We are delighted to be involved and to continue our funding in Leicester."

Opening in 2021, Space Park Leicester is a landmark international initiative being developed by the University of Leicester in collaboration with partners, including Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.

Working with the National Space Centre and National Space Academy it will provide exciting opportunities for university students to be involved in real space projects and develop new activities that support students and teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects at GCSE and A-level.

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