Catapult celebrates first anniversary supporting TechDemoSat-1

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The Satellite Applications Catapult is delighted to be celebrating a year of successfully running payload operations and data collection from TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1), an innovative satellite launched by the UK in July 2014.

Based in the Catapult’s Mission Operations Centre in Harwell, the operations team has been responsible for payload planning, operations and long-term data archiving. This phase of work began on 22 October 2014, following TDS-1’s successful launch and the subsequent three-month payload test phase. The satellite has been monitored and controlled from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford.

Satellite Applications Catapult CEO, Stuart Martin, said: “Having supported the TDS-1 mission since pre-launch, this is a significant milestone for the Catapult. The innovative nature of TDS-1 and its objective to enable greater access for the next generation of space hardware in orbit, fit well with our own strategy of breaking down barriers to space. The whole team looks forward to continuing our work on TDS-1 through to its scheduled end of mission in January 2017.”

TDS-1, which features a new generation of star trackers, gyros, magnetometers and torque rods, was developed at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) with support from the Space Agency and Innovate UK. It is intended to be the first of a series of UK technology satellites aiming to provide a rapid affordable means of demonstrating, testing and proving the next generation of space hardware in orbit.