Three satellites launched on the SpaceX Transporter-7, designed and built in Glasgow to improve earth and space sustainability and monitor weather.

Spire, a space and a service business with a manufacturing facility in Glasgow, successfully launched three satellites on Friday on SpaceX’s Transporter-7. 

Two of the satellites are aimed at serving customer missions on sustainability. The ALDER-2 is designed to increase the space debris detection rate by 80% in low Earth orbit. It will also expand atmospheric sensing capabilities to perform air quality measurements around the globe. The project is done in partnership with the Austrian Space Forum, and Findus Venture. 

“Space debris is a challenging issue we must address as quickly as possible. To develop solutions, we first need a better overview of the current situation in Earth orbit,” said Dr. Gernot Grömer, Director of the Austrian Space Forum.

The KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) satellite is aimed to map terrestrial habitats and explore coastal ecosystems and coral reefs to advance agroecological research. The satellite hosts a hyperspectral camera as well as a sensor payload that can collect intelligence on soil moisture. This gives researchers insight into high-resolution imagery for environmental science applications. 

“Both KAUST and ADLER-2 are prime examples of organisations that have leveraged our platform to build space-based applications and gather intelligence to promote sustainability on Earth and beyond,” Frank Frulio, General Manager of Space Services at Spire.

The last satellite launched by Spire will improve its data solutions business. The satellite will offer precise data about the Earth’s atmosphere such as temperature, humidity, and precipitation. This data is leveraged by government agencies to drive global weather predictions. Spire says it plans to launch additional satellites on SpaceX transporter missions later this year. 

“With Spire Space Services, our goal is to simplify space and make it accessible so that anyone is able to benefit from the insights and intelligence that can be garnered from the ultimate vantage point,” said Frulio

Spire says it is able to offer organisations satellite services through a subscription model that eliminates high upfront costs of building and maintaining infrastructure.