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LEADING RESEARCH

The UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics, also known as the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, is a world-leading research facility. We are the largest university-based space research department in the UK.

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

Our scientific research ranges from cosmology and the study of extra-galactic objects, to studies of our local Sun, the planets and the Earth. We also research and develop the next generation of space instrumentation and hardware. Our research is supported through European grants and by the UK research councils.

Space researchers make up approximately half of the staff and students at MSSL

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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.

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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 over 35 scientific space missions and over 200 rocket launches.

MSSL develops hardware and software for international space projects. Our technology development engineers work along side scientists to ensure that the instruments we produce are as relevant as possible. Post-launch support enables our scientists to understand the responses of the instrument, greatly benefitting our data analysis.

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

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WORKING WITH 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, 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 McNaught
Mullard Space Science Laboratory with comet McNaught

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 over 35 satellite missions and over 200 rocket experiments. We have the unique capability of designing, building and testing instruments and other spacecraft systems on site. 

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

MSSL, and the site on which we are based, has a rich history and can be explored on this site. Details of how to find us, up coming opportunities and our outreach programme can also be found.

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MSSL News

Prof. Louise Harra

Prof. Louise Harra to give 2018 Robinson Lecture at Armagh Observatory

MSSL's Prof. Louise Harra will be giving the prestigious 2018 Robinson Lecture for the Armagh Observatory. Louise, who is co-PI of the Extreme-UV Imager for the Solar Orbiter mission, will be talking about Solar Orbiter, its mission goals, how we will get there, and why we are doing it.  More...

Published: Nov 16, 2017 5:22:58 PM

MSSL Alumni Chris Rapley, John Zarnecki and Ken Pounds with former director Alan Smith at the launch of the Skylark exhibit

MSSL Alumni Celebrate 60 years of Skylark

MSSL Alumni Chris Rapley, John Zarnecki and Ken Pounds came together with former director Alan Smith to celebrate 60 years since the start of the UK's Skylark rocket programme at a new exhibit at the Science Museum. The Skylark programme signalled the start of the British space age. All four worked on numerous experiments launched on Skylark rockets during their times at MSSL. More...

Published: Nov 14, 2017 10:51:28 PM

Inspection of one of the tracker modules at UCL MSSL by members of the UCL team

Probing the nature of the neutrino using SuperNEMO

One mile beneath a mountain in the French Alps, an international team involving UCL scientists is hoping to unlock more secrets of the mysterious neutrino using a new, cutting-edge experiment called SuperNEMO. More...

Published: Nov 10, 2017 10:59:58 AM

Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers) (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles)

Jupiter’s X-ray auroras pulse independently

Jupiter’s intense northern and southern lights pulse independently of each other according to new UCL-led research using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatories. More...

Published: Nov 2, 2017 8:49:50 AM

SMILE mission gets £3 million boost

A space mission called SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer), jointly developed by the European Space Agency and the Chinese Academy of Sciences with major UK involvement from UCL, has received additional funding from the UK Space Agency. More...

Published: Oct 31, 2017 11:42:55 AM

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Page last modified on 21 sep 11 10:24