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Luxembourg has a thriving space industry, currently comprised of 50 companies and research labs and including a growing number of firms that build solutions for the commercial exploration and utilisation of space resources. Approximately 800 employees work in the space sector in Luxembourg, in research and development, manufacturing and operation.

SES, the world’s leading medias and telecommunications group, was established in Luxembourg in 1985 to provide the pioneering satellite-based communication services for which it has since become renowned throughout Europe and around the world. Luxembourg’s business development policy resulted in a significant concentration of dynamic space-related companies in the country.

A growing space ecosystem

The industry today encompasses more than 50 companies and 2 public research organisations (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the University of Luxembourg), covering various domains that include:

  • The space segment: manufacturing of satellite and instrument structures, system integration of micro-satellites, electric propulsion for satellites, robotic payloads, in-space manufacturing, composites, RF payloads, FPGA.
  • The ground segment: ground station development, mechanical and electrical ground support equipment, communication networks, operations.
  • The service segment: teleport services, satellite-based media and telecommunications services, risk management services, data analytics, environmental applications and services, aeronautical information services, analytics platform.

A business-oriented space agency

An important factor in positioning the country in the space sector was Luxembourg’s accession to the European Space Agency (ESA) as a full member in 2005. In view of the growing importance of the sector, the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) was set up in 2018 in order to coordinate national space policies, programmes and initiatives. Contrary to many other space agencies, the LSA will not directly conduct research or launch its own space mission, but focus on business development and the creation of economic value and jobs.

Space resources

Being at the very forefront of realising the potential of the new, commercial space sector, the Luxembourg government launched the audacious SpaceResources.lu initiative in 2016 with the aim of providing a unique legal, regulatory and business environment for private companies that explore and use space resources. Luxembourg became the first country in Europe, and the second in the world, to adopt a legal framework that secures property rights for resources harvested in space. The country has also put in place a range of measures to meet the needs of these highly innovative companies.

As of November 2020, Luxembourg is home to the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) – the only innovation centre in the world exclusively focused on space resources utilisation. It is a joint creation of ESA, LSA and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) that hosts the young centre. The industry-oriented approach of ESRIC is quite unique and attracts massive interest from companies. The centre will set up a programme aimed at supporting early-stage start-ups in the field and even incubate promising young ventures at its premises.

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Latest news

LIST opens sustainable composite materials innovation centre

05-01-2023

The Materials Department of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) has recently launched a Sustainable Composite Materials and Manufacturing Innovation Centre (SCMM). The new centre will in particular develop composite materials with a very low carbon footprint and demonstrate their benefits through concrete application demonstrators for the automotive, rail, space, aeronautics and future urban air mobility.
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Supporting teaching and research in high performance computing

17-10-2022

Developing the talents and expertise needed for a broad use of high performance computing (HPC) is a priority in Luxembourg. The Ministry of the Economy and the University of Luxembourg recently signed an agreement that provides a framework for HPC-focused higher education and research activities.
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CONTEC develops space business from Luxembourg

29-08-2022

Korean space ground station specialist CONTEC benefits from its European HQ in Luxembourg to expand business and partnerships in the EU. Having secured a fundraising round of $50 million, the company recently contributed to the successful launch of South Korea’s first home-grown space rocket.
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Launch of the 13th edition of Fit 4 Start start-up acceleration programme to address innovative, tech- and data-driven ventures

23-08-2022

The 13th edition of Fit 4 Start has officially been launched. The flagship start-up acceleration programme, initiated by the Ministry of the Economy and managed by Luxinnovation targets innovative, tech- and data-driven ventures.
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