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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.

UCL Dept. Space & Climate Physics - Mullard Space Science Laboratory
UCL Dept. Space & Climate Physics - Mullard Space Science Laboratory

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.

MSSL News

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

Upflowing Gas from the Sun’s Active Regions – Can it Reach Earth?

Research presented last week at the European Solar Physics Meeting, held at Trinity College Dublin, shows how scientists are solving a 60-year old paradox relating to our Sun’s million degree atmosphere. A super-sonic solar wind blows out from the atmosphere in regions where a strong magnetic field should instead keep it confined. The key to unravelling the contradiction has been found to lie in magnetic wind tunnels that channel hot gas from regions where it is trapped, to regions where it can escape into the Solar System More...

Published: Sep 15, 2014 12:18:47 PM

Research Associate for Euclid Weak Lensing Science

We are seeking an experienced postdoctoral researcher in cosmology to make key contributions to the Euclid weak lensing science programme. Euclid is a paradigm-changing ESA satellite mission. It will survey 75% of the extra-galactic sky in optical and near infra-red bands, resulting in resolved observations of 1.5 billion galaxies for weak lensing measurements. This will enable the expansion history and growth of structure to be mapped to unprecedented accuracy allowing definitive statements on the nature of dark energy to be made, and to test Einstein gravity on cosmic scales.  More...

Published: Jul 4, 2014 1:34:28 PM

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 21 sep 11 10:24