Is a SME formed in 2007 and based in Southampton, UK, providing services and consultancy on space and plasma engineering and science. The main areas of expertise lie in space propulsion, in particular electric propulsion and other advanced concepts and the space environment (in particular solar radiation environments). MSL is primarily a research and development organization, born as a spin-off company from the University of Southampton (UoS). The entire staff of MSL holds a doctorate and is composed mostly of current and former UoS staff members/students. At present Mars Space Ltd has a turnover of about 400,000£ and a total of 5 full time employees.
MSL has over 100 man years of experience in the field of space propulsion, through the cumulated work of its directors and employees. Since its incorporation MSL has been involved in several R&D activities (funded either internally, by ESA or by the UK government) carrying out the design, manufacturing, testing and modelling of several different electric propulsion devices: pulsed plasma thrusters, hollow cathodes, hollow cathode thrusters, gridded ion engines (Kaufamann, Ring Cusp and dual stage ion engines) and resistojets, covering power levels ranging from 2W to 50kW. MSL has acquired its own premises at the end of 2011 and has now a fully equipped lab with two vacuum chamber 0.6 m in diameter and 1.5 m long each, one evacuated by a 2200 l/s turbo pump and one by a 4200 l/s turbo pump, achieving a 1e-7 mbar and 1e-8 mbar base pressure respectively, and all the necessary diagnostics.