Monthly Archives: December 2013

Aspirations following UKube-1

The UK CubeSat Forum are seeking thoughts on the future format of the UK Space Agency CubeSat programme (aka UKube). Specifically, we are interested in thoughts regarding the mission applications, budget, timelines, and competitiveness in the market.

For example, should CubeSats stay within the education and training sphere or should the UK compete with NASA-style missions: e.g. EDSN (a network of CubeSats)?

Can we progress science further for example into MEO or GEO to investigate radiation belts or focus on industrial problems – e.g. cheaper platforms towards real navigation and Earth observation  applications like PlanetLabs‘ Flock?

Should the UK implement a similar programme to the NASA CubeSat Initiative where government funds the launch of prebuilt CubeSats? Or should we focus on funding full missions?

Please comment below!

Space Regulation & Legislation: .gov response

Click to enlargeThis thread is to highlight the government response to the consultation on Outer Space Act (OSA) reform regarding CubeSat regulation and legislation. The document can be found here:

As discussed in the document, government is planning to reconsider their policy towards CubeSats in the future and the UK CubeSat Forum committee is seeking opinions on this topic to fed into a collective response to be signed and published on this website.

Update 16/01/2014: Here are some of your views:

“The current legislation has effectively prevented the development and launch of any UK registered CubeSats up to now.”

“If people want to fly CubeSats, then it’s tough – they need to cough up the costs”

“We are losing sales to companies abroad.”

“CubeSats offer a wide range of educational benefits to encourage young people to become engineers and to aid them in their development when at university or college. This has already been demonstrated in many other countries both large and small and the UK is presently at a disadvantage.”

“Irrespective of mass, all need 3rd party insurance. If it’s 1 kg or 100 kg, the paperwork costs and times are the same – and perhaps there’s an acceptable trade-off to ensure we’re competitive with the EU and US missions.”

“There needs to be further amendment to the regulations and it should ideally be extended to small spacecraft of less than 200 kg in mass. The changes to license and insurance should also encompass constellations of small spacecraft and be aimed at making it possible for a commercial or research organisation to practicably implement a small spacecraft system from the UK. A good example is the Planetlabs system – currently you couldn’t do this in the UK as it would be cost prohibitive due to government regulation requirements.”

“Is there a good implementation of the OSA to follow from another country?”

“We should be aiming for a level playing field with the US in terms of how commercial space activities are licensed and insured otherwise the UK will be left behind.  This is the way the market will go.”

“Our position is fairly simple, we would like a level playing field for Sat Licensing with the US/France/China etc.”

“We would like the consultation published which hopefully backs Cubesat exemption but with a rewrite for any sat under 5 kg rather than a specific form factor. Current wording excludes 0.5U and  >4U CubeSats or PocketQubes.”

Please comment below!