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Space Research Centre

We’re forging a new era in space; our Space Research Centre is linking world-leading research, impactful partnerships, and industry-relevant training to ensure we have a sustainable future in space.
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World-leading research 

The Centre will be an internationally recognised hub of excellence in space research. It is founded on the principle of open, rigorous and independent research to grow the capacity and capabilities of space applications while protecting the space environment for present and future generations.  

Our vision encompasses not only the pursuit of cutting-edge technologies but also the holistic understanding of space and its broader societal, ethical, and environmental impacts. Through responsible, multi-disciplinary research, including novel sensors, environment modelling, machine learning, governance and operations, we aim to address the complex challenges and opportunities of space exploration.  

Industry engagement 

By fostering collaborations and partnerships with national and international institutions, industry and organisations, we aspire to lead the way in shaping the future of space research and governance. 

Our core partners include the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Satellite Applications Catapult. Planning is underway for a range of joint research projects, training initiatives, access to facilities, and participation in space missions.  

Education and training  

We are committed to creating a pipeline of industry-relevant trained employees by nurturing talent and providing opportunities for education and practical experience.  

Aligning closely with our partners to address the technical and digital skills needs of the sector, we are equipping a new generation of enthusiastic, creative and sustainability aware space professionals with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel in this rapidly evolving field.  

Our partners

We're working with a range of partners, including:

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Strategic Research Fund

Durham University will invest £5 million over four years in SPARC through Durham’s Strategic Research Fund (SRF) which aims to stimulate significant growth in research income for the University through substantial investments in our research community, capability and infrastructure.

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Laser Guide Star unit on La Palma, used for experiments on astronomy and free-space optical communications by ESO / ESA / INAF / Durham. Credit: Lisa Bardou.

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Join our mailing list to receive information from Durham University about funding opportunities, student and graduate recruitment opportunities, latest space sector news and events.

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Pioneering Space Science

With an outstanding reputation in space science, our researchers have collaborated with an array of commercial partners including ESA and NASA. Find out more about our projects and how we work collaboratively to overcome R&D challenges and stay at the forefront of innovation.

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Get in touch

Get in touch

Durham University

South Rd



United Kingdom