Research at UK Space Agency

Through cutting edge research, we will inspire the next generation and sustain the UK’s competitive edge in space science and technology.

The UK Space Agency commissions and funds UK businesses, universities and international organisations to undertake innovative research programmes which teach us new things about space, or give insight into the space industry.

Between 2010 and 2020, more than 4,000 researchers produced 3,000 publications which were linked to UK Space Agency funding.

Thanks to the UK Space Agency’s membership of the European Space Agency’s exploration programme, UK scientists can use the International Space Station for their research.

Our research programmes

The Space Sector Skills Survey gathered information on the industry’s recruitment and training practices, and identified current and emerging skills needs.

We are proud to play a key part in NASA’s Perseverance rover mission. Supported by over £400,000 in funds from UKSA, researchers at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum will help to decide which samples are sent to Earth.

We are also collaborating with international partners on the NASA-led Artemis programme to return humans to the Moon in the coming decade.


Through the UK’s membership of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) exploration programme, UK researchers have access to unique facilities including flights that reproduce gravity-free conditions and drop towers that produce weightlessness.

The UK has agreed to participate in the Horizon Europe and Copernicus EU programmes. UK researchers will be working closely with the brightest minds in Europe and around the world in delivering crucial environmental and scientific information, Earth Observation, and innovative research.


Recent research reports and summaries can be found in our publications catalogue.

Older publications are held in The National Archives.