Scientists hunt for UK satellite in space

Last updated at 06:53

Scientists in the UK are trying to get into contact with a satellite that was sent into space 40 years ago.

Prospero went into orbit in October 1971 and is the only satellite ever launched by a UK rocket.

A team was in contact with Prospero every year until 1996, but the station that was keeping track of it shut down and the satellite went missing.

It's going to be a tough task to find it as most of the technology onboard is now out of date and does not work.

The batteries are also flat, which means the satellite has to rely on solar panels.

Scientist Roger Duthie said: "It's connected with a cable to our equipment and we're going to send up the right code to switch it on and hopefully hear something back. Hopefully we'll get some beeps."

Space is a lot more crowded than when Prospero was launched, making the hunt for the satellite more difficult.

There are now around 22,000 objects orbiting the Earth and the scientists aren't sure what new information they'll be able to get from Prospero.