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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

  • 12 September 2014

    Solar Storm Watch

    There was a big eruption on the Sun late on Wednesday afternoon sending a large Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) straight towards the Earth and also producing a bright solar flare....
  • 14 August 2014

    Lights, camera, action .... RAL Space Robots explore museum galleries after dark

    Tonight's the night if you want to control a robot and take a peek at what's going on after dark at the Tate Britain galleries. Robots developed by STFC RAL Space have been fitted with lights and cameras and are bringing the world of art to a computer screen near you...
  • 05 August 2014

    UK Mini-laboratory catches up with double comet

    Tomorrow, on 6 August, a mini-laboratory developed and built at the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is due to rendezvous with a comet......

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