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Sustainable Space Hub

Space activities are at risk. Debris are a growing threat and the environmental impacts of the space industry must be assessed more carefully. eSpace asks the question of how we can foster space activities while sustaining the use of outer space in the long term. Solutions exists and are being researched and developed.

In order to unite EPFL’s forces in the domain of sustainability in space, eSpace has recently launched the Sustainable Space Hub (SSH).  The hub is connecting individual research projects at EPFL in a workflow that rests on three intertwined pillars: measure, understand, and act for space sustainability.

latest news

May 31 2023

Space Sustainability Rating wins 3rd place award from GCSP

31.05.23 – On May 30, the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) was awarded third place by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy for their 2023 GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security. Launched in the autumn of 2022, this award aims to recognize innovative concepts that demonstrate remarkable potential in […]

Apr 21 2023

New project continues EPFL’s commitment to space sustainability

21.04.23 – The project, “Space sustainability: Policy options and interrelations with Earth system governance”, is coordinated by eSpace and supported by the International Risk Governance Center (IRGC) and will provide evidence-based insights to policymaking and link with the Space Sustainability Rating. More than one million objects larger than 1cm are orbiting the […]

main activities

Hands-on student projects

What makes studying at EPFL so motivating is that students can really apply their knowledge on actual projects!

Lunar Hub

It's time for EPFL's first lunar payload. A new initiative aimed at responsibly exploring and sustainably expanding humanity's footprint beyond LEO

Space Sustainability Rating

eSpace has been selected as the organization taking over and putting in place the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR), a system that will evaluate the grade of sustainability of a space mission.

EPFL Minor in Space Technologies

If you are an EPFL student looking to expand your knowledge on space technologies and applications, this is how you get on board.

Sustainable Space Logistics

You can see what you think: Sustainable space logistics will be the backbone of multiple large-scale applications. This initiative operates projects on this largely unexplored topic.

upcoming events

PVSPACE23

New Generation Photovoltaics for Space

July 5-7, 2023

 

Aerospace Europe Conference 2023

Joint 10th EUCASS - 9th CEAS Conference

July 9-13, 2023

Call for abstracts now open!

You are invited to submit a 500-word abstract before February 1, 2023.

key areas

EDUCATION

eSpace is inspiring the next generation of researchers with student space technology courses and hands-on projects.

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RESEARCH

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, eSpace hosts a team of talented scientists and engineers with a broad range of expertise, focusing on the most important issues for space technology today.

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INNOVATION

EPFL fosters the creation and growth of high profile and innovative space technology initiatives with industry, international space agencies, and academic institutions.

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partners

testimonials

  • "The EPFL Minor in Space offers its participants a comprehensive programme in space science and engineering. The taught skills are essential for a successful career in the space sector."

  • "The EPFL Space Center (eSpace) is the cradle of space activities within EPFL – From a passion for space to success stories like SwissCube, Astrocast, ClearSpace, and more to come!"

  • "My student project on SwissCube was the starting point of my career in space, and now at Astrocast eSpace is well represented among the engineers."

  • "As an EPFL student, I had the chance to work on SwissCube, the first Swiss satellite, which is still in operation. Obviously, everything never went as planned and it allowed me to put what I was learning into practice, solving real problems that are usually not detailed in books. This experience allows me to tackle, with a good state of mind, some technical difficulties related to my daily work in the startup Astrocast, which I co-founded."

  • "The EPFL Space Center allowed me discover outer space. Their passion led me to learn how to deal with and work in this tough but interesting environment. Today I love my job more than ever whilst tackling ever changing challenges at Astrocast."

  • "My time at eSpace was a unique experience and a great moment of teamwork as we went through a most interesting transition period. Meeting people, challenges and, above all, inspiring conversations!"

  • "eSpace is the heart of the EPFL Space Family! They are passionate and are willing to support anyone with interest and motivation towards the space field. Thanks to them, I have been able to launch Space@yourService and the Asclepios mission."

  • "The EPFL Space Center is at the heart of the education of EPFL students. This motivated and competent team offers great help and advice in supporting student projects such as the Rocket Team. They allow students to work on actual technical projects, essential for their education."

  • “The EPFL space center gave me the opportunity to set foot in the space industry and has given me all the support that I needed to thrive in this completely new environment. This has allowed me to learn in all kind of areas from systems engineering to project management. Overall my time with eSpace has been the most instructive experience of my studies.“

  • “Without the constant support of the EPFL Space Center and the sharing of their expertise, the student-led space mission CHESS would have never started. This project reflects their dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit. I cannot be grateful enough for what they taught me, and I look forward to continuing to learn with them in the near future.”

  • "Learning from eSpace was a unique opportunity. In addition to all the technical skills acquired throughout this minor, I have learned the engineering approach used in the space industry to build complex systems. Such methods can then be applied to other fields of engineering and this is priceless."

  • "eSpace is made up of passionate professionals and a close-knit team. Our interactions and their support have enabled the Rocket Team to surpass itself and obtain the technical excellence award for our rocket in 2018 at the Spaceport America Cup, the world's largest intercollegiate rocket engineering competition. Since then, they inspire us and help us grow."

eSpace SEMINARS

by Stephan Hellmich & Mathieu Udriot

eSpace - EPFL Space Center is a pioneer in space sustainability. With the Clean Space Initiative, initially proposed to deorbit Swisscube which eventually spin-off from EPFL as the ClearSpace-1 mission to recover the Vega Secondary Payload Adapter (VESPA), the Center can draw on a decade of experience in space sustainability. More recently, in 2019 eSpace initiated a two-year pilot phase of a research initiative on sustainable space logistics (RISSL). This initiative was the starting point of several consortium projects that attracted many stakeholders, resulting in several publications and the development of a space logistics modelling software for mission profile evaluation and optimization [1]. The success of this pilot phase encouraged the Center to continue exploring this new domain. Current research includes life cycle assessment of space transportation vehicles, accounting for space debris risks and the reentry phase, optimisation of space logistics, and mission design. These projects will help understanding and improving the situation in space. It is especially important to assess future impacts of new missions early in the design phase, in order to support space agencies and industry in designing new concepts with lower environmental impacts.

Thanks to these 10+ years of experience, in 2021 EPFL was selected to host the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR), which incentivizes space operators to adopt more responsible mission design and operational behaviour. Its competence and neutrality, two important prerequisites for a successful, fair and widely accepted evaluation system, make eSpace the ideal host institution for the rating. The definition of sustainability in space is constantly evolving. eSpace is therefore continuously improving the formulation of the SSR to address emerging environmental, societal, and economic factors in the assessment.

These efforts are complemented by the EPFL laboratory of astrophysics (LASTRO), which is currently working on detection and characterization of resident objects in Earth’s orbit in large astronomical data archives [2]. The information extracted from these archives will allow a better evaluation of the evolution and current state of the small debris population, and support active debris removal that will be necessary to secure the future use of Earth's orbit.

In order to unite EPFL’s forces in the domain of sustainability in space, eSpace has recently launched the Sustainable Space Hub (SSH). The goal of the Hub is to coherently manage and foster the growth of these topics. 5 institutes within EPFL are currently involved in research and development projects in the field of space sustainability. The hub is connecting these individual projects in a workflow that rests on three intertwined pillars: measure, understand, and act for space sustainability.

The projects associated with each pillar are essential to find solutions to the problems arising from the rapidly increasing space activities, the risk from space debris, and the generated atmospheric impacts. The Hub will help identify and promote new technologies in space sustainability with new services in orbit and on the ground.

by Stephan Hellmich & Mathieu Udriot

eSpace - EPFL Space Center is a pioneer in space sustainability. With the Clean Space Initiative, initially proposed to deorbit Swisscube which eventually spin-off from EPFL as the ClearSpace-1 mission to recover the Vega Secondary Payload Adapter (VESPA), the Center can draw on a decade of experience in space sustainability. More recently, in 2019 eSpace initiated a two-year pilot phase of a research initiative on sustainable space logistics (RISSL). This initiative was the starting point of several consortium projects that attracted many stakeholders, resulting in several publications and the development of a space logistics modelling software for mission profile evaluation and optimization [1]. The success of this pilot phase encouraged the Center to continue exploring this new domain. Current research includes life cycle assessment of space transportation vehicles, accounting for space debris risks and the reentry phase, optimisation of space logistics, and mission design. These projects will help understanding and improving the situation in space. It is especially important to assess future impacts of new missions early in the design phase, in order to support space agencies and industry in designing new concepts with lower environmental impacts.

Thanks to these 10+ years of experience, in 2021 EPFL was selected to host the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR), which incentivizes space operators to adopt more responsible mission design and operational behaviour. Its competence and neutrality, two important prerequisites for a successful, fair and widely accepted evaluation system, make eSpace the ideal host institution for the rating. The definition of sustainability in space is constantly evolving. eSpace is therefore continuously improving the formulation of the SSR to address emerging environmental, societal, and economic factors in the assessment.

These efforts are complemented by the EPFL laboratory of astrophysics (LASTRO), which is currently working on detection and characterization of resident objects in Earth’s orbit in large astronomical data archives [2]. The information extracted from these archives will allow a better evaluation of the evolution and current state of the small debris population, and support active debris removal that will be necessary to secure the future use of Earth's orbit.

In order to unite EPFL’s forces in the domain of sustainability in space, eSpace has recently launched the Sustainable Space Hub (SSH). The goal of the Hub is to coherently manage and foster the growth of these topics. 5 institutes within EPFL are currently involved in research and development projects in the field of space sustainability. The hub is connecting these individual projects in a workflow that rests on three intertwined pillars: measure, understand, and act for space sustainability.

The projects associated with each pillar are essential to find solutions to the problems arising from the rapidly increasing space activities, the risk from space debris, and the generated atmospheric impacts. The Hub will help identify and promote new technologies in space sustainability with new services in orbit and on the ground.

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YouTube Video VVV5VDRNVFhEb3pfYy1MaGdLTFg5cV9RLlJLb3RDQzZ6V05z

eSpace Seminar - Sustainable Space Hub: technologies & services for long-term usability of space

#epfl #lunarhub #epfllunarhub #espace #space #moon 
eSpace (EPFL Space Center) introduced in 2020 a new initiative aimed at bridging a series of identified knowledge and technology gaps within the latest lunar exploration and infrastructure development roadmaps. We, at eSpace, advocate for a holistic space program that effectively and sustainably explores and develops the Moon. To do so, upcoming exploration missions call for ever more capable robotic systems and instruments, including the capability to explore longer distances +100 km) within highly constrained time windows (e.g., shorter daylight cycles in polar regions) and under extreme environmental conditions of which little to no data is readily available (permanently shadowed regions and lunar skylights are some examples).

A long-term, effective, faster, and minimally altered characterization of these regions requires improved mobility systems as well as the use of high-resolution mapping and imagery, which most lunar missions to date still lack. Today we present EPFL’s Lunar Hub, eSpace's latest venture to create a home base for lunar research and technology within Switzerland. We are already working toward developing the technology required to traverse the lunar surface 100 times faster than any autonomous rover ever before, providing robotic assets and soon humans with the highest resolution maps of key, so far inaccessible regions with our lunar reconnaissance drone, defining the most effective ways in which small heterogeneous groups of robots can cooperate to access, explore, and jointly prospect the most scientifically valuable regions, and equipping them with the latest optical instrumentation with our Dragonfly camera.

David is currently responsible for the Lunar Hub, leading the center’s efforts in lunar research and technology development with projects on topics spanning from fast off-Earth robotic mobility, reconnaissance drones, low-cardinality multi-agent systems, to novel sensing instrumentation for localization and mapping. He also provides system-level and managerial support to projects on active deorbiting of defunct satellites as well as supporting the activities of multiple students’ associations related to space at EPFL."

Formerly he held several positions as an NPI researcher for the Automation & Robotics Lab at the European Space Agency and as a visiting scientist for the Institute of System Dynamics & Control of the German Aerospace Center. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carlos III University of Madrid, a Master’s Degree in Space Studies from the International Space University, and a PhD in robotics from Tohoku University.

#epfl #lunarhub #epfllunarhub #espace #space #moon
eSpace (EPFL Space Center) introduced in 2020 a new initiative aimed at bridging a series of identified knowledge and technology gaps within the latest lunar exploration and infrastructure development roadmaps. We, at eSpace, advocate for a holistic space program that effectively and sustainably explores and develops the Moon. To do so, upcoming exploration missions call for ever more capable robotic systems and instruments, including the capability to explore longer distances +100 km) within highly constrained time windows (e.g., shorter daylight cycles in polar regions) and under extreme environmental conditions of which little to no data is readily available (permanently shadowed regions and lunar skylights are some examples).

A long-term, effective, faster, and minimally altered characterization of these regions requires improved mobility systems as well as the use of high-resolution mapping and imagery, which most lunar missions to date still lack. Today we present EPFL’s Lunar Hub, eSpace's latest venture to create a home base for lunar research and technology within Switzerland. We are already working toward developing the technology required to traverse the lunar surface 100 times faster than any autonomous rover ever before, providing robotic assets and soon humans with the highest resolution maps of key, so far inaccessible regions with our lunar reconnaissance drone, defining the most effective ways in which small heterogeneous groups of robots can cooperate to access, explore, and jointly prospect the most scientifically valuable regions, and equipping them with the latest optical instrumentation with our Dragonfly camera.

David is currently responsible for the Lunar Hub, leading the center’s efforts in lunar research and technology development with projects on topics spanning from fast off-Earth robotic mobility, reconnaissance drones, low-cardinality multi-agent systems, to novel sensing instrumentation for localization and mapping. He also provides system-level and managerial support to projects on active deorbiting of defunct satellites as well as supporting the activities of multiple students’ associations related to space at EPFL."

Formerly he held several positions as an NPI researcher for the Automation & Robotics Lab at the European Space Agency and as a visiting scientist for the Institute of System Dynamics & Control of the German Aerospace Center. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carlos III University of Madrid, a Master’s Degree in Space Studies from the International Space University, and a PhD in robotics from Tohoku University.

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YouTube Video VVV5VDRNVFhEb3pfYy1MaGdLTFg5cV9RLktlSUtVTWlaT1I4

eSpace Seminar - Lunar Hub: a venture to explore the extreme and the uncharted, by David Rodríguez

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