Space Park Leicester Phase Two Completed

Date posted: December 16, 2021
Leics Space Centre Phase 2

The keys to the second phase of a ground-breaking £100 million research, innovation and teaching hub for space-related high-tech companies and researchers in Leicester have been handed over.

Space Park Leicester, established by the University of Leicester in partnership with local, national and international partners, consists of a pioneering research, innovation and teaching hub, which will incorporate academic research, industrial space, and Earth observation research and development (R&D).

Building on Leicester’s 61-year history of space research, this project comprising of a 9,700 m2 facility including shared laboratories and teaching facilities, will put Leicester at the forefront of space technology in the UK.

Following completion of the building, the keys for the second phase were handed over last week to Professor Richard Ambrosi, by representatives from construction company Bowmer + Kirkland.

Housing laboratories, workshops and calibration facilities along with high technology projects such as the double-walled insulator for the Mars Sample Return 2026 NASA ESA Mission as well as one of the UK’s largest academic clean rooms for the assembling and testing of space equipment, the second phase is intended to be in operation and accommodating most of its occupants by Christmas.

Professor Richard Ambrosi, Professor of Space Instrumentation & Space Nuclear Power Systems at the University of Leicester, said:

“We are extremely proud of completing phase two of this project. This is another major step in consistently expanding our understanding and knowledge surrounding space and space-enabled sectors.

“With the opening of Space Park Leicester and other recent nearby developments, Leicester is well and truly on the map as a key place to be for forward-thinking, high-end technology and space science businesses.”

Phase two of the development will embrace combined work bringing together industry and academia including the new Space Research Centre.

A total of 14 state-of-the-art workshops and laboratories will incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) digital and advanced manufacturing technologies, and with partners, robot-assisted satellite production alongside research into novel solutions for downstream space data challenges.

The data obtained from the latter will be interpreted to help answer real world problems such as air pollution and mitigation of climate change.

The clean room, which measures a staggering 300sq m with a height of 6m, is located in an area designated for industry, which allows for horizontal payload entry prior to being lifted vertically by an in-built overhead crane.

Future plans include further development on the Leicester site, with a commercial Low Cost Access to Space (LoCAS) payload and satellite manufacturing facility for the manufacture of small to mid-range satellites.

LoCAS will address the UK’s need for capacity to scale manufacturing of payloads and satellite constellations and will provide a pipeline for burgeoning UK launch services, lower the barriers to new entrants in the market and support the development of new business models for downstream services.

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