Welcome to Digital Luxembourg’s " What The Tech?!" series! As the tech landscape gets vaster and more advanced by the second, most sectors are turning towards tech solutions to provide 21st century services. Stay in the know this summer as we break it down for you tech-by-tech, and show you the Luxembourg innovators making technology happen.

This Week: SpaceTech

Ancient Greek astronomers relied on the naked eye. Galileo explored with a telescope. NASA launched the Hubble.

For more than two thousand years, mankind has been drawn to and fascinated by the vast universe beyond our skies.

Space technology refers to the technology developed for use in space exploration, spaceflight and satellites.  

Innovators in the space sector today are exploring everything from miniaturization of satellites (while enhancing their capabilities) to the integration of blockchain into rocket supply chains, and machine learning into planet data analytics. Not to mention robot mechanics designed to operate in zero gravity conditions, space junk reduction solutions and even spacesuits with built-in toilets.

For anyone who may question the benefits of spacetech for planet earth, it is thanks to the sector’s R&D that we have many modern-day conveniences and innovations, such as water purification systems, GPS, scratch-resistant glasses lenses, CAT scanners, freeze-drying technology and artificial limbs.

Earth-imaging satellites play an increasingly significant role in improving life on earth in the form of advanced weather predictions and crucial information that contributes to combating climate change, decreasing deforestation, increasing crop yields, monitoring water levels and protecting wildlife habitats, for instance.

Communication satellites now enable internet connectivity in remote regions of the world. In areas where development and infrastructure are scarce, knowledge sharing, telemedicine and edtech are becoming steadily accessible to more people.

The potential of spacetech is certainly not an alien concept to Luxembourg, home to SES (Société Européenne des Satellites), one of the world’s largest satellite operators established in 1985.

With membership to the ESA (European Space Agency), the creation of GLAE (Groupement Luxembourgeois de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace), multiple opportunities and initiatives within the Luxinnovation Space business sector and exciting projects at LIST, it is the ideal ecosystem for the Luxembourg Space Agency, which launched operations last month.

With the country’s concrete goal to become the leading European center for asteroid-mining (for minerals) and a €100-million fund created for investment in space technology startups, it is certainly an attractive hub for international players looking to get innovative in a “space nation.”

Learn more about Luxembourg’s pioneering space exploration at Space Resources and check out these companies reaching for the stars in spacetech.

Blue Horizon

Life sciences company, Blue Horizon, carries out pharmaceutical, biological and medical research in space environments which helps improve life on our own planet (e.g. solutions for refertilizing destroyed land on earth).

CubeRover

A recent addition to the ecosystem, CubeRover develops, designs, manufactures and assembles next-generation robotic rovers for lunar and planetary science missions.

KLEOS

Specializing in two areas, Global-Activity Based Intelligence as a Service and in-Space manufacturing technology, Kleos will launch Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites in 2019. These satellites will locate transmissions from devices including VHF walkie talkies.

OQ Tech

Providing "the world’s first universal Plug & Play Internet-of-Things device”, OQ technology uses low-cost satellite infrastructure to connect sensors, devices and measurement units in remote areas where connectivity and Wi-Fi are scarce.

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