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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.

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MSSL News

MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

MAPS Faculty PhesDival - 15th June

A celebration of research, for researchers.

On Wednesday 15th June from 5:30pm, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and staff from across the faculty will come together in the Main Quad Pavilion to celebrate all things related to Maths and Physical Sciences.
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Published: May 24, 2016 12:16:12 PM

Prof. Martin Rees delivers MAPS Colloquium

Prof. Martin Rees - Real and Counterfactual Universes


In his recent UCL Maths and Physical Sciences Colloquium, Prof. Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow) delivered a commanding history of our universe. In keeping with the title of his talk - Real and Counterfactual Universes - Prof. Rees described the hierarchal structure of our own universe.  More...

Published: May 23, 2016 11:00:18 AM

A simulated night sky provides a background for the LSST facilities building on Cerro Pachón. The LSST will carry out a deep, ten-year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. Credit LSST

The greatest movie ever made, directed by astronomers, starring Our Universe

The World’s first motion picture of our Universe, being dubbed the ‘greatest movie ever made’, is to be produced by international astronomers. More...

Published: May 19, 2016 1:20:02 PM

Beagle-2 landing site (credit: Yu Tao and Jan-Peter Muller, UCL)

Mars’ surface revealed in unprecedented detail

The surface of Mars – including the location of Beagle-2 – has been shown in unprecedented detail by UCL scientists using a revolutionary image stacking and matching technique. More...

Published: Apr 26, 2016 9:25:57 AM

BBC Inside Science visits MSSL to talk QB50

MSSL's Prof. Andrew Coates joined host Adam Rutherford on BBC Radio 4's Inside Science programme to talk about missions to other stars and multi-spacecraft missions to our own planet. As well, roving report Marnie Chesterton visited MSSL to explore the grounds and talk to Dhiren Kataria about the upcoming QB50 mission and MSSL's involvement in its design and build. More...

Published: Apr 22, 2016 5:03:55 PM

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Upcoming Events

Laboratory Literature

In preparation for the setting up of MSSL at Holmbury House in 1965, its first director, Sir Robert Boyd, had to promise the local planning committee he would not launch any rockets from the MSSL grounds. However, the promise did not include book launches! So MSSL is having a laboratory literature evening to celebrate the Sun and space through writing. MSSL staff and poet-in-residence Simon Barraclough have recently launched poetry books and a popular science book and you can find out about these books during the evening. More...

Starts: Jun 16, 2016 6:30:00 PM

Page last modified on 21 sep 11 10:24