A team of researchers will work with Nasa to discover more about the origins of our space system.

Scientists from the University of Sussex have been given over £1 million to fund new work with the American space agency which will look at how galaxies evolve over time.

The funding comes as the university is also set to be part of a mission to fly to Jupiter’s moons to see if water exists in far flung reaches of the solar system.

Astrophysics Professor Seb Oliver said: “The UK has an amazing track record in developing new space technology and providing data analysis that allows astronomers to see processes in galaxies, stars and planetary systems that would otherwise be hidden to conventional optical telescopes.

“My UK colleagues and I are very excited to start work with our US partners on developing exceptional space mission concepts.”

In the new project, Sussex researchers will lead a team of scientists from Cardiff, London and Oxfordshire working with Nasa to investigate how planetary systems are formed.


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The university has been given a million-pound grant as part of £7 million of funding to help propel the UK to the forefront of global space science.

It comes after a group from the University of Sussex worked on Nasa plans to send a spacecraft to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, to test for water below its icy surface.

The mission will launch in October and will take two years to travel to Europa. The first data is expected to be collected in 2030.

Professor Alan Dalton, of the university’s material physics group, said: “The panels we built for Nasa’s testing chamber for the Europa Clipper’s antenna are lightweight, portable, easily assembled and effective.

“We developed the technology here at the University of Sussex working with our main partner and funder, Advanced Material Development, who are based at the Sussex Innovation Centre.

“It’s very exciting to see how our speciality nanomaterial technology is being used to support projects that are, literally, out of this world.”