Water and dust plumes emanating from the "tiger stripes" on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Adapted from Coates (2012). Courtesy: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Water and dust plumes emanating from the "tiger stripes" on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Adapted from Coates (2012). Courtesy: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

LEADING RESEARCH

UCL's Department of Space and Climate Physics, (Mullard Space Science Laboratory - MSSL), is a world-leading research organisation and is the UK's largest university-based space research group.

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

Our scientific research ranges from cosmology and the study of extra-galactic objects, to studies of the Sun, the planets and their moons, the Earth, and humans working and living in space. We also research and develop the next generation of space instrumentation. Our research is supported through UK research councils, the UK Space Agency, European and other grants and contracts.

Student graduation at UCL's campus
Student graduation at UCL's campus

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.

Engineering model of the Solar Orbiter SWA-EAS at ESTEC for EMC testing
Engineering model of the Solar Orbiter SWA-EAS at ESTEC for EMC testing

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 more than 35 scientific space missions and over 200 rocket launches.

MSSL develops and tests hardware and software, usually as part of an international consortium. Our engineers work along side scientists to ensure that the instruments we produce optimally address key questions in modern space science. Post-launch support that is linked to pre-flight and flight calibrations enables scientists to understand the responses of the instrument, greatly benefitting the analysis of the data.

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

The MSSL ISO Class 8 clean room
The MSSL ISO Class 8 clean room

SUPPORTING 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 (UCLse), 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 more than 35 satellite missions and over 200 rocket experiments.

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

MSSL and its location have a rich heritage that can be explored further on this site.

Feed icon

MSSL News

Eleni Bohacek, PhD student at MSSL, talking to secondary school students about her work on the PanCam camera that will take 3D images of the surface of Mars

Reaching out to schools for the International Day of Light

On May 15th 2018, MSSL organised a secondary schools event to celebrate UNESCO’s International Day of Light. The event was sponsored by Nature Communications and Nature and was attended by 240 year 7 and 8 students. During the day students were able to listen to talks that discussed the chemistry of how light is made, the importance of light in the development of modern humans and how light is generated and used by animals. A series of hands-on activities were also run during the day by scientists, engineers and archaeologists from across UCL.  More...

Published: May 16, 2018 4:02:57 PM

Euclid spacecraft illustration

UCL led team awarded prestigious EU grant to prepare for data from ESA’s Euclid

A team of cosmologists from nine countries, led by UCL, have been awarded €1.6m in a prestigious EU Horizon 2020 grant to work across Europe in order to prepare for the next generation of astronomical data that will come from the European Space Agency Euclid mission.  More...

Published: May 2, 2018 10:53:01 AM

Gaia's sky in colour (Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC)

Gaia's 3D census of over one billion stars in our Milky Way

The positions and distances of over one billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy have been released by the European Space Agency Gaia mission involving UCL researchers, creating the first 3D census of our home galaxy and opening a new window on the Universe. More...

Published: Apr 26, 2018 12:44:43 PM

Cleanroom Assistant

 An exciting opportunity has arisen to recruit a Cleanroom Assistant in the Flight Test Facilities Group at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. The group is currently involved in testing hardware for a number of ESA space missions, including Exomars, Solar Orbiter, Euclid and Plato. The successful applicant will provide support to these space flight hardware test campaigns by ensuring that the MSSL cleanrooms meet the required cleanliness and contamination control standards. This is a key role within the Flight Test Facilities Group as successful delivery of flight instrumentation depends on the laboratory's ability to maintain cleanliness and contamination control levels within the cleanrooms.  More...

Published: Apr 9, 2018 1:35:50 PM

Technician in Flight Test Facilities Group

An exciting opportunity has arisen to recruit a Technician in the Flight Test Facilities Group at the Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory), University College London. The group is currently involved in testing hardware for a number of ESA space missions, including Exomars, Solar Orbiter, Euclid and Plato. The successful applicant will, in the first instance, provide support to the Euclid VIS flight hardware test campaign, as well as being responsible for the maintenance and day-to-day running of the Euclid flight test facilities and cleanrooms.  The post is for two years in the first instance and continuation is subject to grant funding. More...

Published: Mar 16, 2018 9:08:36 AM

Feed icon

Upcoming Events

Gaia Second Data Release Workshop

More info and registration here: https://www.gaia.ac.uk/science/gaia-dr2-workshops More...

Starts: May 22, 2018 12:00:00 AM

institute of Physics Project Juno Support
institute of Physics Project Juno Support
institute of Physics Project Juno Support

Page last modified on 20 feb 18 11:26