50 years of space research (and beyond) at the University of Leicester

Ariane V, flight 504 lifts off with XMM-Newton, 10 December 1999.

Leicester has had a Physics Department since 1924, long before it gained University status. It was in 1957 - appropriately enough, the year that Sputnik 1 was launched - that Leicester University College was granted the charter that transformed it into the University of Leicester. That same year, plans for a new Physics Building were approved.

Three years on, with the appointment of Ken Pounds as Assistant Lecturer in January 1960, the Space Research Group was founded. Thus began a history of space science at Leicester which has lasted over half a century and can already be seen extending far into future.

Among the many researchers to have passed through the group is Jeff Hoffman who subsequently flew on five Shuttle missions and is now a Visiting Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

2010 marked the fiftieth anniversary of Space Science at the University of Leicester. Every year since 1976 has seen a Leicester built instrument operating in Space, and the range of space-related activities at the University has grown considerably since 1993. Please see the Space at Leicester web pages for a full overview.

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