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Space Science and Exploration

The Open University is world renowned for planetary exploration, electronic imaging, lunar science and astronomy. The recently formed astrobiology group is leading in planetary protection, governance and is working internationally with developing countries. The university has an excellent track record in the translation of space research into terrestrial applications, is growing its expertise in microgravity, and is driving new initiatives in Earth and Environmental Sciences. 

The OU has major research interests in the development, and scientific exploitation, of a number of international space projects, and receives funding from many national and international space agencies including NASA and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to support this science and engineering activity; one example being our leadership of ESA (the European Space Agency’s) ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Other recent projects are: EUCLID, GAIA, Chandrayaan-2, and JUICE. Our key research themes are listed below. Click on the images to discover more!

Space Data Processing

Translation and Knowledge Exchange

Mars Exploration                    


Earth Observation                  



Lunar Exploration                   

Space Instrumentation