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
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.
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.
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.
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.
We seek to appoint two individuals to join the Operations team for the Solar Orbiter Solar Wind Analyser (SWA) Investigation. In the first instance (prior to launch), these posts will be centrally involved in the full software and hardware development of the SWA operations facility and capability, which must be designed and built to handle all SWA commanding, data handling, calibration and archiving, and instrument health monitoring activities prior to the launch of the mission. Close collaboration with the ESA Science Operations Centre and Mission Operations Centre teams and SWA partners in Rome, Toulouse, Texas and Michigan will be required. More...
Published: Jan 10, 2017 4:09:08 PM
By studying the light emitted from an extraordinarily dense and strongly magnetised neutron star using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarisation of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence.
Published: Nov 30, 2016 11:42:52 AM
Gaia, a European Space Agency satellite designed to unlock the secrets of the birth and evolution of the Milky Way, has released its first wave of data on the positions and brightness for about one billion stars.
Published: Sep 16, 2016 4:37:01 PM
UCL researchers have been applying their knowledge of “space weather” to help the the finance sector build their resilience to this natural phenomenon. Space weather refers to changes in the near-Earth space that are caused by the Sun. Huge explosions and eruptions in the Sun’s atmosphere reach out and cause changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, and this ultimately has knock-on effects to much of our modern technology, for example electricity distribution, satellite services and communications. A new report led by UCL lays out guidance on how to factor space weather risks into business resiliency planning for the finance sector, and discusses how businesses might be impacted. More...
Published: Sep 7, 2016 9:18:43 AM
Dhiren Kataria (centre-right) sets off to deliver the first of 12 Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometers (INMS) to the QB50 project. INMS is the latest in a long line of space particle detectors designed, built and tested by MSSL and follows the successful operation of a similar instrument on the UK's TechDemoSat-1 launched in 2014. More...
Published: Aug 17, 2016 2:33:31 PM
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