The National Satellite Test Facility: the new giant of the UK space ecosystem.


A step into the unknown; a challenge like no other.

It was a true pleasure to see this amazing space-simulating environment – the first of its kind in the UK – come to fruition. Involved from day one on this project as MEP lead, we provided a full suite of services including Security, Sustainability, CFD Modelling, Fire, and Acoustics.

As unseen stewards of communication, man-made satellites keep us safe, informed and entertained, and their voyage into space demands phenomenal technical skill at every stage.

It is world-class science research, expertise and innovative testing that transports them from concept to lift-off, and the unique design of this ‘cathedral-like’ facility – its sheer size, scale, and supreme level of environment control – means the chaos and challenges of space can be recreated right here on Earth.

Specialist equipment shakes, bakes and blasts satellites in the final phase of their ground development, testing them to their limits and arming them with the best preparation possible before their final journey into the unknowns of the cosmos.

In the heart of the Harwell space cluster, alongside some of the country’s most prestigious research facilities, the NSTF is the new giant of our UK space ecosystem, significantly strengthening the country’s position at the forefront of the industry.

With thanks to Jones Millbank, RAL Space, Mace and mathematician, physicist and aspiring astronaut, Imperial College London’s Dr Jaclyn Bell, whose own journey through the space industry has tested her in every way imaginable – just like the NSTF will for satellites.