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Principia post-flight tour: Cardiff

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This week (13 October 2016) we're touring the UK with British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake.  Today we're kicking off the tour in Cardiff. Find out how important Wales is to our thriving sector with the facts below.


  • Wales continues plays its part in supporting missions to Mars and the exploration of distant stars and galaxies. This including the Rosetta mission and downstream technologies helping to increase knowledge and understanding of our planet
  • the Aberystwyth Centre for Space and Earth Monitoring was launched at the 2015 UK Space Conference
  • Aberystwyth scientists helped discover the Beagle probe lost on the surface of Mars
  • the Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER) at Glyndŵr
    Get backstage access and show previous by adding us on Snapchat (spacegovuk)
    Get backstage access and show previews by adding us on Snapchat (spacegovuk)

    University’s OpTIC will test its flexible PV solar cells on UK Space Agency’s second CubeSat launch into space

  • Qioptiq Technology products have been used on a substantial number of major satellite programs including, the Rosetta mission, Huygens (designed to explore the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan and Orion) and for crew missions to the Moon, asteroids, and Mars
  • Aberporth is home to Watchkeeper, Europe’s largest RPAS programme. A flight test and evaluation programme run by the MOD
  • SPIRE - The Cardiff AIG is the lead institute for the Herschel-SPIRE instrument, which was built by an international consortium comprising more than 18 institutes from eight countries. SPIRE was assembled and tested at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire. It was then installed in the Herschel spacecraft and underwent further testing as part of the complete system prior to launch.
  • The SPIRE instrument contained an imaging photometer (camera) and an imaging spectrometer. The camera operated in three wavelength bands centred on 250, 350 and 500 µm, and made images of the sky simultaneously in these three submillimetre “colours”. The spectrometer covered the range 200 – 670 µm, allowing the spectral features of atoms and molecules to be measured.

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