• Here is an image of the crab nebula
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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.

MSSL News

Research Associate in Solar Physics

A Research Associate position in solar physics is available in the UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory). This position is supported by a grant from the US Air Force Office for Scientific Research and is available in the first instance from 1 October 2014 for a period of 18 months. More...

Published: Aug 11, 2014 9:23:00 AM

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

Tom Pollard's winning post from UCL’s Festival for Digital Health (small)

Tom Pollard wins Best Doctoral Poster at UCL Festival for Digital Health

Tom Pollard, who works on an interdisciplinary project between the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and University College Hospital, won the prize for ‘Best Doctoral Poster' at the UCL’s Festival for Digital Health (http://www.fdh.ucl.ac.uk/). The Festival seeks to connect researchers across disciplines and features two weeks of events highlighting UCL’s world-class research in computer science, engineering, medicine and health service delivery.   More...

Published: Jul 1, 2014 9:48:31 AM

Image of the galaxy NGC 5548 taken at the MDM Observatory 1.3m telescope (Courtesy of Dr Misty Bentz)

Fast-flowing gas curtails galaxy’s glow

The bright core of a spiral galaxy has unexpectedly dimmed, according to a new study by an international team of astronomers including Graziella Branduardi-Raymont and Megan Whewell of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory.  More...

Published: Jun 23, 2014 9:19:24 AM

Model of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Credit: LSST Consortium

All the Sky – All the Time: UK astronomers debate involvement in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

Astronomers gathered in Portsmouth for the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting have today been excitedly discussing the possibility of widespread UK involvement in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project.  UCL MSSL joined LSST earlier this year through an institutional memorandum of agreement.  The LSST will be sited at Cerro Pachón in the Chilean Andes and will have a primary mirror 8.4 metres in diameter, making it one of the largest single telescopes in the world, as well as the world’s largest digital camera, comprising 3.2 billion pixels.   It will achieve first light in 2020 and its main sky survey will begin in 2022.   More...

Published: Jun 23, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Upcoming Events

National Astronomy Meeting, 2014

Starts: Jun 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Physics of Neutron Stars - 2014

This will be the 10th gathering on neutron star physics in Saint Petersburg (after those in 1988, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2008, and 2011). In 2014 the conference will commemorate the 100th birthday of Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich (1914—1987), the famous Soviet physicist and astrophysicist. More...

Starts: Jul 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Page last modified on 21 sep 11 10:24