Round-SSL-Logo-YellowThe Space Sciences Laboratory

The Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) is the University of California system’s premier space sciences research facility and one of the preeminent university laboratories in the country for space research.​​


Integrity, teamwork, excellence, inclusion, curiosity.


Our primary goal is to foster outstanding research in space-related sciences and provide education for the next generation of space scientists.


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LEAD principal investigators

On NASA Explorer Missions

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Satellite Projects

including Apollo 15 & 16, SkyLab, Hubble, COBE, IMAGE, RHESSI, NuSTAR, ICON and PSP

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Latest News

•Earth - Geospace

The Bliss Project: Small solar sails could be the next ‘giant leap’ for interplanetary space exploration

Small solar sails could be the next ‘giant leap’ for interplanetary space exploration. The BLISS project brings together researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center and the Space Sciences Laboratory.

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•Earth - Geospace

Berkeley News: When is an aurora not an aurora?

Phenomena called “Steve” and “picket fence” are masquerading as auroras, graduate student argues. Claire Gasque, a University of California, Berkeley, graduate student in physics, has now proposed a physical explanation for these phenomena that is totally different from the processes responsible for the well-known auroras. She has teamed up with researchers at the campus’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) to propose that NASA launch a rocket into the heart of the aurora to find out if she’s correct.

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In Memoriam

Memorial spaceflight for Mike Lampton

Celestis is a company that conducts memorial spaceflights, launching spacecraft to, and returning from, space in order to honor and remember lives dedicated to exploration,

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escapade space craft logo

NASA will launch a Mars mission on Blue Origin’s first New Glenn rocket

NASA is aware of the risk of launching a real science mission on the first flight of a new rocket. But this mission, known by the acronym ESCAPADE, is relatively low cost. The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers mission has a budget of approximately $79 million, significantly less than any mission NASA has sent to Mars in recent history.

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