GLASGOW-BUILT satellites which could revolutionise the way data is downloaded from space have been sent into orbit around the Earth, blasting off on a Russian rocket yesterday morning.

US data and aerospace firm Spire Global’s team, based in Glasgow, built the pair of supercomputer satellites with the aim of optimising and speeding up its ability to send information back to scientists on Earth.

The firm also has sites in San Francisco, Washington DC, Boulder, Singapore and Luxembourg. Satellites are essential to everything from navigation to weather monitoring, but data can be slow to download due to the amount of traffic, meaning more are needed to help companies process and cherry-pick data before sending it back.

The two new nanosatellites hitched a ride on Russian space agency Roscosmos’s Soyuz-2.1b rocket (pictured above) launching at 8.41am Moscow time (6.41am BST) from its Vostochny Cosmodrome spaceport.

UK Space Agency chief executive Graham Turnock said: “Over the past five years, Glasgow has become the best place in Europe to build these innovative, small satellites, with Spire Global alone manufacturing more than 100 on the Clyde.”

The two satellites were among 29 to ride-share into orbit. Peter Platzer, chief executive of Spire Global, said: “We see these parallel supercomputing scalable devices as a crucially important next step for a new level of accuracy and timeliness in space data analytics.

“The UK Space Agency and European Space Agency (ESA) have been extremely forward-looking and supportive of Spire’s innovative approach to deploying space technology to solve problems here on Earth.”