All Pages © MMSSI 1953

The Mount McCaber Space Science Institute

Mt. McCaber - The Start of History

The Mount McCaber Space Science Institute opened its doors in December 1953, a mere six months after an Emergency Debate in the House of Commons (sadly not recorded in Hansard) agreed to divert funds from the Civil Defence Budget to establish what Earl Alexander of Tunis, the Defence Minister at the  time, described as a "world class astronomical institution in as remote and undeveloped a part of the Scottish Highlands as exists on God’s Green Earth".

And just six months later, Mount McCaber was in operation, the results of a speed of action not normally seen in a Government outside of a genuine National Emergency.


- Carry out a world-class programme of cutting edge cross-discipline scientific research some of which really ought to be published.

- Provide timely, impartial scientific advice to the UK Government, occasionally on areas pertinent to our expertise, but almost all of which is routinely ignored if it doesn’t mesh with “Policy”.

- Pursue a broad-based, over-arching community outreach programme which underpins our ongoing citizen empowerment paradigm shift.

- Other things we can’t talk about so, to avoid an awkward silence, please don’t ask.

Mt. McCaber - A Beacon in the Celtic Twilight

After its foundation the MMSSI rapidly established its reputation within the UK scientific community, fully justifying the enormous funds the Government lavished on its creation.

By providing a valuable scientific service to the instruments of State power, whilst preserving its essential anonymity from both the media and the Nation’s political elite, the Institute has successfully maintained its ring-fenced budgetary position for more than sixty years, an achievement which must surely stand as a testament to its record of excellence throughout that time.

Representing a highly cost-effective use of surprisingly meagre public funds the Institute’s most advanced research programmes are so far ahead of the cutting edge of contemporary science that more than one Nobel Laureate has described them as “quite baffling”.

The Observatory as it would first be seen by an approaching Visitor, if such a thing were ever to happen, which God forbid..