Reliance Apprentices Shortlisted to Compete for £600,000 Nanosat Challenge Fund

Feb 10, 2022

Reliance Precision Limited ‘Reliance’ is pleased to announce that its third and fourth-year apprentices have been chosen to compete for part of a £600,000 Challenge Fund in LaunchUK’s Nanosat Design Competition.

The competition challenges young people to design a nanosat (a small satellite with a mass of between 1 kg and 10 kg) capable of being sent into space to support the UK’s climate change and decarbonisation efforts. From 2022, small satellites will be launched from spaceports in the UK and the competition is designed to inspire a pipeline of young people to be involved in this industry.

In order to progress to the second phase of the competition, nine Reliance apprentices submitted their application with the help of Technical Director, Tom Worsley. In their application, they outlined their proposal – to create a nanosat that uses hyperspectral imaging to monitor seaweed found off the coast of the UK. Their entry is based upon the idea that seaweed is fast growing and able to trap and store carbon dioxide. Named NORI (Nanosat Ocean Research Instrument), their nanosat mission will provide useful data to monitor the extent of seaweed growth and to calculate just how effective seaweed is at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The apprentices taking part in the competition have completed the first two years of their apprenticeship and have begun focusing on one particular area of engineering to further develop their skills. Team NORI is therefore multi-talented, with team members specialising in design, manufacture and assembly as well as inspection and test.

Charles Mukoyi, Space Assembly Engineer, said:

“We’re all really looking forward to putting our problem-solving skills to the test and working on our proposal as a team – Team NORI. We’ve already attended some of the seminars on offer and we’ve been matched with our space industry mentors who will help us throughout the competition. We are also fortunate that, given Reliance’s experience in producing components and sub-assemblies for space applications, we can go to many of our colleagues for advice. For us as apprentices; this is a real opportunity for us to progress our careers, and to prove to the world what we are capable of achieving. Nothing is impossible, the sky is never the limit!”.

The apprentices are competing against five other teams to receive part of a £600,000 Challenge Fund. The winner of the LaunchUK Nanosat Design Competition will be announced in June 2022. Should they win, Team NORI will work with LaunchUK and industry space experts to build a launch-ready nanosat.

Tom Worsley, Mission Manager (and Technical Director at Reliance) comments:

“We are always on the look-out for opportunities that will provide useful, off-the-job learning experiences for our apprentices. Whilst our four-year apprenticeship scheme provides them with a well-rounded understanding of engineering, the competition is a fantastic opportunity for them to be involved with a space project from start to finish. With both internal and external support, they will lead and manage the project – from initial concept through to a detailed flight-ready satellite design, and hopefully, beyond.”

For more information about the NORI Mission, please visit

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