RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (link opens in a new window). We work alongside the UK Space Agency (link opens in a new window) (UKSA) who co-ordinate UK civil space activities. We have around 200 staff who are dedicated to supporting the programmes of the Council and those of the other research councils; as well as undertaking a large number of contracts for agencies, industry and other commercial customers.
We provide world-leading research and technology development, space test facilities, instrument and mission design, and studies of science and technology requirements for new missions. RAL Space has ISO9001:2000 certification for the work it undertakes on space and ground-based instruments.
Much of our work is in collaboration with UK university research groups and a range of institutes around the world. Most of these collaborations have been set up to support the European Space Agency (link opens in a new window)(ESA) and NASA (link opens in a new window) missions, although RAL is also working on projects with other countries and organisations including Australia, Japan, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia and the European Union.
We provide opportunities for hosting scientists and engineers on sabbatical leave, visiting scientists on short term visits and for university sandwich course students on one-year placements. RAL Space also provides graduate engineer training and CASE (Cooperative Awards in Science and Engineering) studentships. For more information see the STFC website (link opens in a new window).