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the launch

LUCID (Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector) is a payload on TechDemoSat-1 which launched on 8th July 2014 on a Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with Fregat booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, alongside main payload Meteor-M #2.

Sixth form students are preparing to collect data from their very own radiation detector in space, LUCID. The Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector is a new style cosmic ray detector which applies detector technology from the Large Hadron Collider to the Space Environment. Surrey Satellite Technology Limited has developed the student design in collaboration with successive years of students and scientists at CERN. You wouldn't go out sailing without checking the wind.

This detector checks the space weather, so that we know more about the environment we send satellites up into in low earth orbit. Our students are involved in real research. Nobody knows the answer to these questions. Thanks to this space mission we will find out and we want other schools to join us analysing the data in this journey of discovery.


The Langton Star Centre gives school students opportunities to work on authentic research projects alongside academic and industrial scientists and engineers. The students experience real science and their teachers are reinvigorated by involvement in cutting edge work in their subject. From the early development of this approach we have worked closely with Imperial College, CERN, STFC, the Wellcome Trust, the University of Kent and other partners. We have two national projects rolling out currently, one in physics, LUCID/ CERN@school and Authentic Biology.

"LUCID is not just an educational experiment, it will be the UK's latest space facility. LUCID's research-quality data will be of direct interest and use to the wider science community, allowing students to engage in real research, studying the basic physics of how space weather works."

Dr Jonathan Eastwood, Lecturer in Space and Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College


  • To increase the uptake of STEM courses at A Level
  • To develop aspirations amongst post-16 students to pursue STEM related courses at university and to move on to related careers
  • To give opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to work alongside school students conducting research
  • To encourage more young people into science teaching with the prospect of continuing with research alongside their teaching
  • To give opportunities for science teachers to engage in research alongside their students as part of their CPD entitlement

"It’s like the Langton are playing at being NASA or the European Space Agency; only they’re not playing, they’re doing the real thing."

Professor Larry Pinsky, Chair of Physics University of Houston and NASA astronaut dosimetry expert


More than just
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The Langton Star Centre

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys
Langton Lane
Nackington Road

Tel: 01227 463567

Fax: 01227 456486