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In-Space Missions awarded UKSA funding for Faraday Dragon

In-Space Missions Ltd has been awarded further funding from the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to progress its Faraday Dragon rideshare satellite programme.

Image courtesy In-Space Missions
 
The funding from Phase 2 of the UK Space Agency’s International Bilateral Fund will be used in the development of novel Asia-Pacific payload technologies that will fly on Faraday Dragon, the world’s first multiagency Asia-Pacific regional rideshare satellite mission.

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The high-profile project brings together, for the first time, established and emerging space entities from Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand. It opens up additional opportunities for the UK to be at the forefront of future partnerships and procurement programmes in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
An initial funding grant last year enabled the team to hold discussions and workshops with organisations across the region which resulted in the signing of five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and the down-selection of payloads. Technologies selected from the regional partners to fly on-board Faraday Dragon include a hyperspectral imager, VHF Data Exchange System (VDES), inter-satellite links, a deep space astronomy payload and scientific and technological components.
 
Mutual areas of interest identified for the first mission include agriculture, maritime, connectivity and humanitarian applications.
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Tony Holt, Director of Business Development and Propositions, said: “The success of Faraday Dragon has exceeded our expectations and additional funding will enable us to progress the technology readiness levels for the down-selected payloads. With five organisations already interested in flying their innovative space technologies on the spacecraft, we’re confident we’ll have an interesting mix of complementary capabilities on our first Faraday Dragon rideshare mission. We hope that by encouraging multiple customers to participate in rideshare missions, we can offer a more cost effective and sustainable approach to space.”
 
Professor Anu Ojha OBE, Championing Space Director at the UK Space Agency, said: “Our International Bilateral Fund bolsters international collaboration that harnesses the UK’s national expertise, supports new space capabilities and catalyses investment. This mission showcases key UK strengths as a space faring nation. Firstly, as a global leader in launch support services and, secondly, in the manufacture and integration of small satellites with international partners and allies.”
 
Faraday Dragon is a 250kg class satellite system that will be designed, assembled, integrated and tested in the UK by In-Space Missions (a wholly owned subsidiary of BAE Systems). Due to launch in 2026 and with a five year mission lifetime, it will accommodate a suite of complementary payloads from the Asia-Pacific space agencies and their respective stakeholders from government, academia and the private sector, providing opportunities to share knowledge, data, training and mission insights.

Faraday Dragon’s open architecture can be fully customised, paving the way for partners to create a roadmap for future space capabilities.

 

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