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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

  • 04 December 2014

    10th Appleton Space Conference gets underway

    The Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy has opened the 10th Appleton Space Conference this morning with a keynote speech on the importance of the Harwell Space Gateway to the UK economy......
  • 05 November 2014


    The Duke of York will welcome 41 start-ups to St James's Palace on Wednesday 5th November for the second Pitch@Palace event. The theme for the evening is Science and Technology. HRH has partnered with 14 Accelerator Organisations who have each nominated 3 Entrepreneurs to.....
  • 02 October 2014

    Art Competition

    In celebration of the development of our new Technology Centre at Harwell, we held a competition for children to design a poster showing their view from a spacecraft. The competition, held in partnership with construction company Willmott Dixon, encouraged participants in.....

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