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Pushing the boundaries of discovery

Since earliest civilisations, humanity has looked to the skies for answers. Space exploration is now crucial to how we communicate and observe, enabling us to make better decisions on the ground. As Ireland begins its journey into space, UCD’s distinguished record in astrophysics and first-of-its-kind Space Research Centre are propelling progress. We are forging knowledge, cultivating talent and fostering innovation to drive this exciting new era for the nation.

Building capacity

The Space sector has seen extraordinary growth in the last decade. UCD C-Space provides a key national resource for space expertise and training, with a cross-cutting industry support facility to support Ireland's significant potential in this area. Our researchers are leading projects that are central components of establishing Ireland's space sector. Press play to hear from the experts.  


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Ireland's first satellite

Built by UCD students and staff with support from the European Space Agency (ESA), EIRSAT-1 has changed the national landscape in the context of space. This unique project has demonstrated and developed Ireland's capability to develop space technologies, influencing national space policy, while training and inspiring a new generation of highly skilled space researchers and professionals. Press play to hear from the team.


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Understanding our Universe

UCD's significant contributions to astrophysics are recognised globally, starting from pioneering work in the 1960’s on the development of ground-based high-energy gamma-ray astronomy. Playing key roles in international collaborations and consortia today, our researchers have opened up a new window on the night sky, and ushered in the exciting era of multi-messenger astronomy. Press play to hear how.

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Life on Mars: Ireland's first space genomics project

Sustainable food production is expected to be one of the critical factors in maintaining a human presence off Earth, and Ireland's first space genomics project could lead to the surface of Mars becoming fit for farming. MARSCROP seeks to harness microbes in plant root systems to allow for the production of safe and nutritious food using Martian soil. Supported by ESA, the UCD Ad Astra programme, industry partners and the Canadian Space Agency, this UCD-led project will also generate insights that can be applied to future research into sustainable agriculture and the reduction of contamination in soils and water.

Ireland's legacy of space exploration

The "Leviathan of Parsonstown” in Co. Offaly was the most powerful telescope on Earth in 1845, and held that record for more than 70 years. Galaxies were first seen up close here from amongst the raised bogs of central Ireland. UCD experts are continuing Ireland's legacy of space exploration, through its  development of the UCD Watcher Telescope in Boyden Observatory, South Africa, and leading research on a wide range of topics using telescopes and satellites such as VERITAS, LOFAR, NASA’s Swift and Fermi, ESA’s INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton, ESO’s VLT and VLTI, the Gemini telescopes and ALMA.

October 2017

A kilonova as the electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational-wave source


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October 2017

Multi-messenger observations of a binary neutron star merger

The Astrophysical Journal Letters

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January 2023

Quantum simulation of an exotic quantum critical point in a two-site charge Kondo circuit


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June 2016

High-Temperature Solar Reflector Coating for the Solar Orbiter

Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

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