Science

Space: Contest to design logo for rockets launching from UK spaceports opens to 4-11-year-olds

Attention all budding astronauts! UK Space Agency launches a competition for 4–11-year-olds to design a logo to go on rockets blasting off from UK spaceports in 2022

  • Entries to the competition can be submitted from now until March 11, 2020 
  • Winners will receive a special prize and may even attend the first rocket launch
  • A second contest — designing a climate satellite — is open to those aged 16+
  • The UK Space Agency hopes the contest will inspire interest in space missions


A competition is offering primary-school-age children a shot at designing the logo that will adorn the sides of rockets launched from UK spaceports next year.

The UK Space Agency’s contest is open to children all across the country and will run until March 11, 2022, ensuring kids, parents and teachers have time to enter. 

Children can enter either alone, or in teams of up to four people. Entries can be submitted as drawings, paintings or designs developed on a computer.

Winners from each region will receive a special prize, while all entrants will have the opportunity to download their own personalised LaunchUK participation certificate.

Finalists may also have the opportunity, the agency said, to attend the first launch, which will see small climate monitoring and comms satellites carried into orbit.

A second contest — which will see entrants design a satellite to help inform solutions to climate change — is also being opened to older students (aged 16+) and adults.

A competition is offering primary-school-age children a shot at designing the logo that will adorn the sides of rockets launched from UK spaceports next year

BRITAIN’S FIRST SPACEPORT 

The UK Space Agency selected Sutherland, on Scotland’s north coast, as the site for Britain’s first spaceport.

The site is being developed by US aerospace and defence behemoth Lockheed Martin.  

The port will boost Scotland’s already burgeoning satellite industry.

Outside of the US, Scotland produces more satellites than any country.

It is hoped the UK will launch an estimated 2,000 satellites by 2030.

Following from the Government’s National Space Strategy, the UK will be the first country in Europe to host small satellite launches. 

‘Next year, small satellites will launch from UK spaceports for the very first time, helping to support our world-leading Earth observation capabilities and create high-skilled jobs across the country,’ said UK Space Agency deputy CEO Ian Annett.

He added: ‘This competition offers young people the chance to learn more about this exciting activity and hopefully inspire them to be the next generation of space talent and be part of the UK’s thriving space sector.’ 

Logo designs submitted to the competition should reflect how data collected from small satellite missions can help us develop solutions to tackle climate change.

According to the UK Space Agency, around half of the different types of data needed to accurately monitor the Earth’s climate are presently collected by satellites.

They relay regular data to scientists on such measurements as the extent of the polar ice caps, shifts in global sea levels, the temperatures of the oceans and deserts — and even counts of endangered animals like walruses and whales. 

The UK is playing a key role in three upcoming satellite missions — MicroCarb, TRUTHS and Biomass — which will, respectively, measure carbon emissions, improve climate data and monitor the health of the world’s forests. 

The UK Space Agency selected Sutherland, on Scotland’s north coast, as the site for Britain’s first spaceport. 

Other proposed locations for the UK’s spaceports are Newquay in Cornwall, Snowdonia in North Wales and — in Scotland — the Western Isles, Glasgow, Machrihanish and Shetland. 

The UK Space Agency selected Sutherland, on Scotland's north coast, as the site for the UK's first spaceport. Pictured: an artist's impression of a British spaceport

The UK Space Agency selected Sutherland, on Scotland’s north coast, as the site for the UK’s first spaceport. Pictured: an artist’s impression of a British spaceport

‘2022 will be a historic year for the UK space and satellite industry, with the exciting prospect of the first small satellites launching from British soil,’ said UK Science Minister, George Freeman.

‘The continued strength of our growing space industry depends on finding and attracting future talent,’ he added.

‘This competition is a great way for children to learn about the importance of satellites and to showcase their creativity.’ 

The contest can be entered online via the UK Space Agency Logo Competition website. Postal entries will also be accepted.

NASA plans to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s after first landing on the Moon

Mars has become the next giant leap for mankind’s exploration of space.

But before humans get to the red planet, astronauts will take a series of small steps by returning to the moon for a year-long mission.

Details of a the mission in lunar orbit have been unveiled as part of a timeline of events leading to missions to Mars in the 2030s.

Nasa has outlined its four stage plan (pictured) which it hopes will one day allow humans to visit Mars at he Humans to Mars Summit held in Washington DC yesterday. This will entail multiple missions to the moon over coming decades

Nasa has outlined its four stage plan (pictured) which it hopes will one day allow humans to visit Mars at he Humans to Mars Summit held in Washington DC yesterday. This will entail multiple missions to the moon over coming decades

In May 2017, Greg Williams, deputy associate administrator for policy and plans at Nasa, outlined the space agency’s four stage plan that it hopes will one day allow humans to visit Mars, as well as its expected time-frame.

Phase one and two will involve multiple trips to lunar space, to allow for construction of a habitat which will provide a staging area for the journey.

The last piece of delivered hardware would be the actual Deep Space Transport vehicle that would later be used to carry a crew to Mars. 

And a year-long simulation of life on Mars will be conducted in 2027. 

Phase three and and four will begin after 2030 and will involve sustained crew expeditions to the Martian system and surface of Mars.

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