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STFC: RAL Space

RAL Space is based at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).

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Credit: STFC

What is RAL Space?

RAL Space 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.

What do we do?

Working alongside the UK Space Agency, who co-ordinate UK civil space activities, we support the programmes and activities of:

  • STFC (the Science and Technology Facilities Council);
  • the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); and
  • UK and overseas agencies, universities and industrial companies.

We work with space and ground-based groups around the world to:

  • undertake space research and technology development;
  • provide space test and ground-based facilities;
  • design and build instruments;
  • analyse and process data;
  • operate S- and X-band ground-station facilities; and
  • lead conceptual studies for future missions.

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  European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA missions, although we are also working on projects with other countries and organisations including Australia, Japan, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia and the European Union.

RAL Space Facilities: 

The Chilbolton Observatory
Satellite Ground Station Facility
Concurrent Design Facility
Assembly Integration and Verification Facility
Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research (CFARR)
Electronics and Optics Facilities
Molecular Spectroscopy Facility
Precision Development Facility

More information

For more information about RAL Space, visit our website

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