Bangkok, the Thai capital, flooded in 2011. From Gale and Saunders (2013): The 2011 Thailand floods - causes and rainfall return periods.
Bangkok, the Thai capital, flooded in 2011. From Gale and Saunders (2013): The 2011 Thailand floods - causes and rainfall return periods.


UCL's Department of Space and Climate Physics, (Mullard Space Science Laboratory - MSSL), is a world-leading research organisation and is the UK's largest university-based space research group.

MSSL delivers a broad, cutting-edge science programme, underpinned by a strong capability in space science instrumentation, space-domain engineering, space medicine, systems engineering and project management. 

Our scientific research ranges from cosmology and the study of extra-galactic objects, to studies of the Sun, the planets and their moons, the Earth, and humans working and living in space. We also research and develop the next generation of space instrumentation. Our research is supported through UK research councils, the UK Space Agency, European and other grants and contracts.

Student graduation at UCL's campus
Student graduation at UCL's campus


As a department of UCL, members of staff are actively involved in teaching both undergraduates and post-graduates. Our post-graduate education programme consists of taught courses, leading to an M.Sc., and research degrees, leading to an M.Phil or Ph.D.

Students studying at MSSL become active members of their research groups and wider research communities. Research projects in our taught courses give students the opportunity to be involved in the development of new space hardware and future missions. 

The research undertaken at MSSL drives an active outreach programme. Scientists and engineers are happy to talk about their work and run activities for groups of all ages and interests.

Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter. Image: ESA
Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter. Image: ESA


MSSL has a long heritage of providing high-quality space instrumentation for international space research missions. In our >40 year history we have been involved in more than 35 scientific space missions and over 200 rocket launches.

MSSL develops and tests hardware and software, usually as part of an international consortium. Our engineers work along side scientists to ensure that the instruments we produce optimally address key questions in modern space science. Post-launch support that is linked to pre-flight and flight calibrations enables scientists to understand the responses of the instrument, greatly benefitting the analysis of the data.

Engineers and project support staff make up around half the staff and students at MSSL.

One of the twin materials screening chambers at MSSL
One of the twin materials screening chambers at MSSL


As a builder of scientific instruments, MSSL has developed expertise and facilities for manufacturing and testing of space hardware. We make these facilities and expertise available for industrial contracts. 

Through UCL Centre for Systems Engineering (UCLse), we offer a range of industrial training courses in areas including systems engineering, project management, risk management and system design, and conduct consultancy projects for industry in systems engineering and technology management.

Mullard Space Science Laboratory in the snow
Mullard Space Science Laboratory in the snow


UCL was one of the first universities in the world to become involved in making scientific observations in space. Since MSSL was established in 1966, we have participated in more than 35 satellite missions and over 200 rocket experiments.

Our groups of research scientists and development engineers work together to ensure that the instruments we produce are as relevant and competitive as possible. The subsequent data analysis and scientific interpretation of data benefits from the fundamental understanding of the instruments gained from their development and testing.

MSSL and its location have a rich heritage that can be explored further on this site.

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How did Mars lose its habitable climate? The answer is blowing in the solar wind

Professor Andrew Coates (UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory) explains how the solar wind has stripped Mars of its atmosphere, making it a lot less habitable than it once was. Read: The ConversationMore: Discover Magazine More...

Published: Nov 6, 2015 2:27:19 PM

Tutor in Technology Management

The successful applicant will contribute significantly to the teaching and training activities of the Technology Management Group at MSSL, dedicating most of their time to academic Masters-level teaching at UCL’s main campus in London, and to industrial training at various locations in the UK and overseas. The successful applicant may also have the opportunity to conduct project management or systems engineering for one or more instrumentation development projects at MSSL. The post will be based at Holmbury St Mary (Surrey) or central London, to suit the applicant’s circumstances (although travel to both sites will be necessary).  More...

Published: Nov 2, 2015 2:48:19 PM

Staff Survey 2015 logo

UCL Staff Engagement Survey 2015

UCL is launching the 2015 Staff Engagement Survey on 9 November. Participating in the staff survey helps the Senior Management Team (SMT) to understand your experience of work and the working environment and how this impacts on achieving UCL’s goals. More...

Published: Oct 15, 2015 10:38:59 AM

Prizes for the 2014/15 MSc Programmes in Systems Engineering Management and MSc in Technology Management.

MSSL is proud to announce the winners of this year's student awards on its Systems Engineering Management and Technology Management MSc Programmes. More...

Published: Oct 12, 2015 10:40:02 AM

Mars (credit: NASA, ESA)

Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches new era of planetary collaboration in Europe

A €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe has been launched.

Published: Sep 15, 2015 10:37:26 AM

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Page last modified on 08 sep 11 16:33