Luxembourg At The Centre Of World-First Lunar Accelerator

Alexander Godlewski, Business Accelerator Officer at ESRIC (© ESRIC)

A Space Resources Accelerator will be created by the Luxembourg-based European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC), after an announcement was made by the European Space Agency (ESA) at its annual conference.

ESRIC’s project is specifically aimed at the Moon race and supporting future frontrunners in that endeavor. It will mainly assist scale-ups, companies that have moved past the start-up phase, with demonstrated successful business models and a capacity to develop applications for the emerging lunar economy.

The programme will also look to strengthen public-private cooperation and be an attractive platform for investors to finance successful businesses. Still in its conceptualization phase, the accelerator is expected to become effective in 2025. But those behind the project have big plans.

“We are building a win-win ecosystem whereby scale-ups can secure public funding while sustaining space exploration efforts resulting in innovations. This endeavour would also bring solutions to the Moon and back to Earth, thus attracting private investors. The lunar economy offers an exciting environment to experiment with various technologies,” says

Alexander Godlewski, Business Accelerator Officer at ESRIC

NASA’s Artemis Programme aims to bring astronauts back to the Moon as soon as 2026, which indicates that big advancements in the lunar economy’s development are underway. Earth’s satellite was highlighted at the ESA’s yearly European Space Conference as one of its top priorities. This is at least partially motivated by a financial interest. PWC and the Luxembourg Space Agency estimate that the lunar economy will have a €170bn cumulated market value and will create close to 2 million jobs in the next 15-20 years.

Spill-over effects

Resource exploration is an important part of the space economy’s evolution, but those ventures are also expected to generate spill-over effects in material science, manufacturing, robotics and data analytics. The Space Resources Accelerator’s goal is precisely to enable such innovations. As Godlewski points out: “50 years ago, portable computers, camera phones and wireless headsets did not exist and yet all these products have been invented by space agencies to support space exploration, eventually becoming the products we know today.”

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