One of Luxembourg’s most exciting space startups, Maana Electric, shared its lunar dreams with the economy minister when it opened the doors of its new site.
Led by Dutch serial entrepreneur Joost van Oorschot, the solar energy startup moved from a 400-square-metre office in Bettembourg to a 2,500-square-metre facility in the SISA industrial zone in Foetz at the end of 2021.
On 21 April, it was ready to show the world how this expansion and access to dedicated laboratories will help scale its industrial process and work on new innovations.
Luxembourg economy minister Franz Fayot toured the site and learned of the firm’s lunar ambitions. This year, Maana expects to have its first TerraBox, a mini factory using sand to produce photovoltaic panels, up and running in the desert. The first market will be to customers on Earth to build large-scale solar parks.
The long-term goal, however, is take the technology to the moon in the next decade where photovoltaics can be manufactured in-situ using regolith. The firm first settled in Luxembourg in 2018. In October 2021, Maana Electric announced the opening of a new office in Dubai, to assist in accessing the Middle Eastern market. There, it will build a team in sales and space technology.
In addition to the TerraBoxes, Maana is developing 3-4 concepts per month, some of which are proposed to different space agencies. Van Oorschot told Silicon Luxembourg in December 2021 that his team had developed and won a contract for a universal lunar plug socket. “It seems normal to be able to plug your laptop into the wall, but imagine how that will work on the moon. We want to make something that could potentially be more standardised and offer an interface for all [users],” the entrepreneur told Silicon Luxembourg at the time.
Congratulations on the opening of your new premises @MaanaElectric ! 🎉 With the presence of Minister @FranzFayot @MinEcoLux. #luxembourg #openingceremony @fabricetesta
Joost van Oorschot
Pablo Alberto Calla Galleguillos
Jean-Jacques Favier pic.twitter.com/IdvMto3dEj
— Luxembourg Space Agency (@LuxSpaceAgency) April 21, 2022