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Scottish solar panel to fly on UK space launch

12 June 2020

Glasgow-based AAC Clyde Space to manufacture new solar panel for space vehicles launched from UK spaceports.

Credit: AAC Clyde Space

In Reading, Berkshire, Moog are developing a Small Launch Orbital Manoeuvring vehicle (SL-OMV) on behalf of Lockheed Martin. The vehicle deploys from a rocket after launch to carry up to six different satellites. They have selected AAC Clyde Space to develop a new solar panel to power the vehicle. The contract is worth £340,000, with the first flight mode due in 2021.

AAC Clyde will play a major role in helping the UK to become Europe’s leading small satellite launch destination. The company has already highlighted Glasgow as a global hub for satellite manufacturing and it built the UK Space Agency’s first national satellite, launched in 2014. 

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO of the UK Space Agency, said: “This is a great example of how the UK government’s spaceflight programme is using national and international expertise to establish a strong and competitive commercial space launch industry in the UK. Scotland is home to a number of potential spaceport locations and some of the UK’s most innovative space companies, and the whole country will benefit from our ambition to make the UK the best place in Europe to launch small satellites.”

AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Moog to develop and manufacture the solar panel for their part of the UK Spaceflight Programme. The SL-OMV will be a game changer for small satellites and will enable the upcoming UK launchers to deploy the complex mega constellations that AAC Clyde Space and others are developing right now.”

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