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Welcome to the RAL Space website

RAL Space, based at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (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


  • 10 July 2015

    New Space science laboratory offers 27.7m pound boost to UK's space industry

    9 July 2015 - Today marks a giant leap for the UK space industry as 2 major new space facilities are opened at the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire including the new STFC RAL Space integration and test facility ‘R100’......
  • 23 June 2015

    Next Generation Climate Instrument Calibrated in the UK

    A next generation satellite based sensor that is designed to advance our understanding of climate change has left the UK after a series of very challenging tests, and is en-route to the south of France for installation on the Sentinel 3 spacecraft....
  • 09 June 2015

    Professor Bruce Swinyard

    It is with great sadness that we report the death of Professor Bruce Swinyard, who lost his battle with cancer on the 22nd of May. Bruce joined RAL in 1987 and became the leading figure in RAL Space’s highly successful infrared astronomy programme over many years......

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