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Origins


Hubble Ultra Deep Field brings young galaxies into view
Hubble Ultra Deep Field brings young galaxies into view
Credit: NASA/ESA/S Beckwith (STScI) and The HUDF Team

Where do we come from?

UK science teams are working on several missions that search for evidence of our origins in the depths of space.

Space telescopes like Hubble and XMM-Newton look out at the furthest reaches of space, collecting light from the youngest galaxies.

They will be joined in the future by the Herschel Space Observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Planck mission, all gathering evidence on the origin of the Universe, stars and planets.

Planck will scan for ancient light
Planck will scan for ancient light
Credit: ESA - AOES Medialab

Spacecraft also look for clues about the origin of life. Hubble can detect molecules of life on planets outside our Solar System, while Cassini Huygens and Rosetta seek answers by visiting our neighbours in space. The ExoMars mission will visit Mars with the UK-devised Life Marker Chip (link opens in a new window) (LMC), built to detect evidence of life under the surface of our nearest planet.

Each new mission and every fresh discovery brings us closer to a better understanding of who we are, where we come from, and "ultimately" what the future might hold.

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The UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.

The UK's thriving space sector contributes £9.1 billion a year to the UK economy and directly employs 28,900 with an average growth rate of almost 7.5%. (The Size and Health of the UK Space Sector 2010/11, preliminary survey results.)

View a list of organisations that we work with.

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