Challenge in the ESA “Space Exploration Masters” Competition

The second edition of the Space Exploration Masters, Europe’s first innovation competition dedicated to space exploration, is now open for submissions! The Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and its initiative again feature a prize in the competition, focused on solutions around the utilization of space resources.

The “Space Exploration Masters” competition, launched by AZO on behalf of ESA, is scouting for new business ideas in space exploration that provide major benefits for the global society and the economy. The international competition aims to empower and foster business innovation around space exploration activities in low Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond, for the benefit of society and humankind. Applications to take part in the competition can be made until 31 July 2018 at

The Challenge is an integral part of the initiative and aims to discover innovative solutions that complement Luxembourg’s growing portfolio of activities in space resources utilization (SRU). Specifically, the Ministry of the Economy is looking to strengthen the country’s expertise in promising areas related to the SRU value chain including, but not limited to, prospection, extraction, processing, manufacturing, and servicing. It is also interested in enabling technologies and fields related to SRU such as materials science, additive manufacturing, remote sensing, communications, robotics, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, but will not consider launch activities.

The challenge addresses enterprises, universities, scientific institutions, startup teams, consortia, and individuals of legal adult age from around the world willing to set up a sustainable business and to create economic substance in Luxembourg by establishing and registering a Luxembourg-based company.

The Challenge is valued at up to EUR 500,000. It is designed to support a development phase under the Luxembourg national space programme (LuxIMPULSE) and be implemented through an ESA contract. For the grant to be awarded, the winner will have to establish and register a Luxembourg-based company and provide a sound business plan as well as a project proposal that are evaluated successfully. An expert team at the Ministry of the Economy will guide the winner throughout this process.

In addition, two people from the winner’s team are invited to the NewSpace Europe 2018 conference on 27-28 November in Luxembourg City. NewSpace Europe is the first space conference in Europe to focus solely on the newspace industry and the economic opportunity of space. Last year, it attracted 450 entrepreneurs, engineers, government officials and investors from all around the world.

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