Canadian space traffic monitoring firm NorthStar Earth & Space is to open its European headquarters in Luxembourg following investment from the Luxembourg Future Fund.
The fund, which invests in venture capital funds and SMEs to support economic diversification in Luxembourg, co-invested with Telesystem Space Inc in a €40m round.
NorthStar Earth and Space is also benefit from funding from national R&D space programme LuxIMPULSE.
According to a Luxembourg government press release dated 17 December, the firm will establish its European headquarters along with a centre of excellence for Space Situational Awareness (SSA), Space Domain Awareness, and Space Traffic Management.
It will benefit from local infrastructure including the national High-Performance Computer (HPC), to help deliver high-performance space-based object tracking services related to traffic data, collision avoidance and navigation services. The services will be powered by a constellation of satellites with dedicated optical sensors.
“The investment in NorthStar is further fostering the on-going growth and development of Luxembourg’s space capabilities.”
“Realizing all the potential space will offer future generations depends entirely on delivering transformational commercial services to ensure the safety and sustainability of near-Earth orbits,” said Stewart Bain, CEO & Founder of NorthStar Earth & Space, adding: “NorthStar is eager integrate into this vibrant and creative community of space leaders and visionaries.”
The announcement follows a partnership struck between the Luxembourg economy ministry and NorthStar Earth & Space in December 2019. And it fits into Luxembourg’s spaceresources.lu strategy, launched in 2016 to develop new space as an economic sector in Luxembourg.
“NorthStar’s approach is paving the way to a safer and sustainable future in space,” said economy minister Franz Fayot, adding: “The investment in NorthStar is further fostering the on-going growth and development of Luxembourg’s space capabilities.”
Established by the European Investment Fund and the Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI), the Luxembourg Future Fund is a €150 million pot aimed at attracting Venture Capital fund managers and early to later stage businesses into Luxembourg in strategic sectors.
NorthStar has obtained investment from, among others, Telesystem Space (a co-enterprise of the Sirois family office, Telesystem and the Roger’s Family Trust of Canada), the Space Alliance (Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio) of Europe, the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada.
The Luxembourg office will be the firm’s third location, after its headquarters in Montreal and office in Washington DC.