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60 years of space at Leicester

In 1960, Professor Ken Pounds founded the Space Research Group at the University of Leicester.

The first Leicester-built instrument in space was launched aboard a Skylark rocket in 1961 and there has been at least one Leicester-built equipment operating in space every year since 1967. Sixty years on the University continues to collaborate with international space agencies and has developed Space Park Leicester with local and industrial partners.

The University aims for Space Park Leicester to become a strategically important component of the UK space ecosystem, delivering impactful research, inclusive education and space sector growth. Leicester’s experience of integrating space engineering and space data has resulted in new innovations, better health, new capabilities to predict and fight climate change, whilst providing unparalleled opportunities for students and young people. Space Park Leicester supports’ the government’s commitment to level up the economy, boost productivity and transform employment in the city and region.

Professor Ken Pounds, Emeritus Professor in Space Physics at University of Leicester

The first Leicester-built instrument arrives in space aboard Skylark rocket in 1961

Find out more

Find out more about the University of Leicester’s space heritage.