Iani Vallis, HRSC 50m DTM and multispectral image. From: Gupta, Muller et al. (in preparation)
Iani Vallis, HRSC 50m DTM and multispectral image. From: Gupta, Muller et al. (in preparation)

LEADING RESEARCH

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.

Lecture theatre at UCL
Lecture theatre at UCL

SHARING KNOWLEDGE

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 Gaia. Image: ESA
Artist's impression of Gaia. Image: ESA

DELIVERING TECHNOLOGY

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.

UV inspection for contamination on flight hardware
UV inspection for contamination on flight hardware

SUPPORTING INDUSTRY

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 with Comet Hale-Bopp
Mullard Space Science Laboratory with Comet Hale-Bopp

WELCOME TO MSSL

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.

MSSL News

Electronic Technician

The purpose of this particular post is to assist more senior engineers, so they can delegate straightforward and less demanding tasks whilst enabling the post holder to learn about electronic engineering for space science instruments and advance their own career. More...

Published: Nov 27, 2014 11:01:00 AM

Artist’s impression of the Square Kilometre Array at night (Credit: SKA Organisation)

Pioneering work helps to join the dots across the known universe… and the human brain

A team of astrophysicists, engineers and computer scientists are spearheading research on imaging techniques which will potentially not only unlock secrets from the far reaches of the universe, but also impact modern medicine. More...

Published: Nov 24, 2014 10:24:06 AM

Mars from Hubble Space Telescope (Credit: ESA/NASA Source: ESA)

Mars has macroweather too

But weather forecasting on the Red Planet is likely to be even trickier than on Earth More...

Published: Nov 13, 2014 5:04:24 PM

Philae descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. Image: ESA/ATG medialab

Waiting for the Philae landing...

The Planetary Science group at UCL-MSSL are eagerly awaiting the Philae landing planned for Wednesday this week. Professor Andrew Coates is a co-investigator in the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) on the orbiter, which will be monitoring the plasma environment during the descent and landing, and has already been making measurements of the comet plasma environment since achieving orbit in August. He will be an invited guest at ESOC for the landing itself. More...

Published: Nov 11, 2014 10:31:32 AM

'Arthur' Awards for MSSL's Harra and Green

Prof. Louise Harra and Dr. Lucie Green of MSSL's Solar Physics Group were each awarded an 'Arthur' by the British Interplanetary Society at an event held at the Royal Aeronautical Society on Wednesday. The Sir Arthur C Clarke Awards, sponsored by the Arthur C Clarke Foundation, are awarded annually and recognise notable or outstanding achievements and contributions to all space activites. More...

Published: Oct 9, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Upcoming Events

MAPS Post-Graduate Open Day

UCL's Postgraduate open day for Engineering and Mathematical & Physical Sciences will take place on 14 January 2015. More...

Starts: Jan 14, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Page last modified on 08 sep 11 16:33