Space research helps address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and allows us to prove or disprove scientific theories developed on Earth, such as gravity, the atmosphere and the geological evolution of other planets.
While the public imagination is often focused on space exploration such as rockets, spacecraft, and Mars missions, space science also has a huge impact on our lives on Earth keeping us connected, improving our health and protecting the environment – and through our globally-important research and innovation in space technologies, the University of Portsmouth is working to strengthen the UK as a world-class space nation.
Our Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) is a world-leading astronomy centre with an international reputation for research excellence that covers theoretical cosmology, observational cosmology, extragalactic astrophysics, and gravitational waves. ICG scientists are also turning their expertise at analysing astronomical data to solve problems on Earth. For example, they work with geographers and others to predict natural disasters and combat climate change and are using algorithms used for detecting exploding stars to spot changes in moles to detect early warning signs for skin cancer.
The University also plays a critical role in supporting space industries in the UK: we're home to ASTA Technology, the UK’s only ESA-accredited provider of space engineering training, and the lead partner of the South Coast Centre of Excellence for Satellite Applications.
The UN's World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of global society, which is held each year from October 4-10.
On this page, you'll find a selection of the standout space-related work happening across the University. And to mark World Space Week 2021, we're celebrating ‘Women in Space’ and recognising the accomplishments and contributions of women working in the space sector at the University – and how they're blazing a trail that's inspiring the next generation.
Celebrating Women in Space
Find out more about the research work being done by three of our leading space-focused researchers.
Recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society as a leading female astronomer, Dr Jen Gupta’s work centres around championing greater understanding of astronomy, and inspiring a new generation of scientists. She's also the co-host of the BBC Radio 4 show Stranger Than Sci-Fi.
Theoretical astrophysicist Dr Claudia Maraston analyses big data using supercomputers to understand how stars and galaxies have evolved over billions of years. She has been awarded the Royal Astronomical Society’s Eddington Medal for Astronomy, for creating new models to better understand the mysteries of space.
A UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Reader in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation — and a member of the University's Gravitational-Wave Physics Group — Dr Laura Nuttall's work has played an integral role in searching for gravitational waves from colliding black holes and neutron stars.
Explore our Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) and the space-related research taking place in our Future & Emerging Technologies theme.
Our research in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) covers galaxies and stars, large-scale structures, gravitational waves and dark energy — even the origins of the universe itself.
We're working to understand the cosmos and the fundamental physical laws at work – including gravity and the nature of spacetime. And how these laws of nature play out in the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies.