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Stardust Reloaded programme attracts 25 international partners



Stardust Reloaded programme attracts 25 international partners

A University of Strathclyde-led research project investigating how to make the use of space sustainable has attracted a raft of new partners, including international space agencies and leading universities.

 heStardust Reloadedprogramme is a continuation of the original four-year Stardust 1 project, which kicked-off in 2013 and pioneered new techniques for asteroid and space debris monitoring, removal and deflection.

 The new four-year project goes a step further to understanding the evolution of the space environment around Earth.

Since it started this year it has accepted requests for new partners, including from theJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency(JAXA).

The Space Systems Laboratory from the prestigiousMassachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) and theEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), one of Europe's most famous science and technology institutions, have all also recently joined the project, which now has25 international partners.

The project lead,Professor Massimiliano Vasile,said: "Since we officially kicked off Stardust-R at the start of the year we have received a number of requests to join in, including from MIT and JAXA.

"We are proud to now be coordinating a network of 25 international partners, including four space agencies and five universities in the top 10 of the world."

TheEuropean Space Agency(ESA),theCNES- the National Centre for Space Studies in Franceand German space agencyDLRare all also on board, along with Europe'slargest aeronautics and space company, Airbus Defence and Space.

Other partners include the universities ofTexas at Austin,Stanford Universityand theUniversity of Arizonain the USA,TU Delftin the Netherlands, andPolitecnico di Milano-the largest technical university in Italy.

Stardust Reloaded is probing how increasing space traffic can be safely managed to prevent inevitable collisions and allow a sustainable use of space.

 The project also aims to increase knowledge of the shape, gravity, composition and dynamics of asteroids and comets in view of possible actions to prevent a catastrophic impact with the Earth.

It is also examining how mineral resources on these celestial minor bodies could be exploited to enhance exploration of the Solar System.

Dr Jean-Sebastien Ardaens at the German Space Operations Centre (DLR), said: "Joining an international network of recognised experts like this offers a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experience and accelerate the research and development roadmap and attract new talent willing to explore thrilling future space endeavours."

Dr Juan Carlos Dolado Perez, Head of the Space Debris Modelling and Risk Assessment Office at CNES said: "Our interest is focused on the development of synergies with academia, which are of paramount importance to develop innovative and effective methods to overcome barriers and increase our ability to detect, track and catalogue the increasing population of space debris."

Professor Simone D'Amico director of the Space Rendezvous Lab at Stanford University said: "The Stanford's Space Rendezvous Lab is thrilled to be a partner of Stardust-R due to the strong overlap in research activities at the forefront of astrodynamics and spacecraft autonomy."



Notes for Editor: For more information please contact Lynn McPherson, University of Strathclyde Corporate Communications E. T. 0141 548 4941