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The Open University has been involved in Space for many years and has had significant impact on Space research with involvement in high profile programmes.

The Open University is excited to be part of the SPRINT programme and use the decades of expertise involved in Space research to help SMEs improve their products and services.

The Open University has been involved in Space for many years and has had significant impact on Space research with involvement in high profile programmes such as the Rosetta Mission, where they developed the Ptolemy space instrument that determined that the building blocks of life are present on a comet. Research also includes the remote use of telescopes for Situational Awareness, fluid-rock interactions, characterisation and optimisation of sensors for Space imaging and Microgravity.

Researchers at The Open University also investigate the origin and evolution of the Solar System, through the physical, geological, chemical and biological processes that drive it. Laboratory and space mission experiments, remote observation, environmental simulation and modelling are used to investigate the surfaces and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets and extraterrestrial materials.  The Open University is active in major Solar System exploration missions through the exploitation of instruments developed at the OU, such as on Cassini HuygensStardust and Genesis through international collaborative teams.

Engineering at the Open University also has an important part to play in the SPRINT programme, by using expertise in Diffusion Bonding, Engineering Design, Materials Characterisation and Stress Measurements.

Facilities and Research available:

  • Diffusion Bonding
  • Engineering Design
  • Materials Characterisation and Stress Measurements
  • Characterisation and Optimisation of Sensors for Space Imaging
  • Fluid Rock Interactions
  • Remote Use of Telescopes and Situational Awareness
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Construction in an Extra-Terrestrial Environment
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar for Agriculture and Infrastructure
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Hypervelocity Impact Chamber
  • Planetary Simulations
  • Instrument Development Lab
  • Stable Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory
  • Ecosystems Analytical Laboratories
  • NMR Laboratory
  • Plasmas
  • Cold Atoms for Quantum Technologies
  • Astronomy – Big Data
  • Microgravity
  • Microorganisms in Extreme Environments


Related Expertise

Chemical Analysis

Facilities Skills Technology

Diffusion Bonding

Facilities Skills Technology

Drop Rig


Engineering Design

Skills Technology

Fluid Control Valve (Satellite Propulsion)

Intellectual Property Technology

Imaging Detectors


Laser ICP-MS


Low Speed Gun


Mass Spectrometry

Facilities Training

Material Characterisation

Facilities Skills Technology

Mercury chamber




OU online education platform

Other Support Technology

Oxygen 3 -Isotope


Residual Stress Measurements

Facilities Skills Technology Training

Satellite Simulator

Facilities Training

Space Architecture

Skills Technology

Space Situational Awareness

Facilities Skills Technology

Stable Isotopes


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