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Welcome to the RAL Space website

RAL Space, based at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (link opens in a new window) (RAL), carries out an exciting range of world-class space research and technology development. We have significant involvement in over 200 space missions and are at the forefront of UK Space Research.

Our 200 staff are dedicated to supporting the programmes of the STFC and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC (link opens in a new window)), as well as undertaking a large number of space projects for UK and overseas agencies, universities and industrial companies.

We work alongside the UK Space Agency (link opens in a new window) who co-ordinate UK civil space activities.

We undertake world-leading space research and technology development, provide space test and ground-based facilities, design and build instruments, analyse and process data and operate S- and X-band ground-station facilities, as well as lead conceptual studies for future missions. We work with space and ground-based groups around the world.


Latest News


  • 16 February 2016

    Sentinel 3

    Sentinel 3A part of the ESA/EU Copernicus family of missions will launch from Plesetsk, Russia on 16th February at 17:57. Sentinel 3 is a multi- instrument mission to measure sea-surface topography, sea and land surface temperature, ocean colour and land colour and.....
  • 03 February 2016

    JWST instruments are coming in from the cold

    After being tested at extremely low temperatures for more than two months, the four instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope are preparing to come in from the cold. First indications from the NIRSpec and MIRI teams are that both instruments have performed remarkably.....
  • 19 January 2016

    STFC-supported scientists awarded for geophysics and astronomy work

    A number of STFC-supported scientists are celebrating after being recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) in its annual awards. The winners have all been acknowledged for their significant achievements in the fields of astronomy and geophysics and will be.....

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