Space Resources Week 2024: Luxembourg Unites The Latest In Space

Lex Delles, economy minister at the Space Resources Week (Photo © Research Luxembourg)

This year’s Space Resources Week event brought together leading experts and stakeholders to Luxembourg to discuss the utilization of space resources and the advancement of space exploration technologies.

Space Resources Week 2024, held at the European Convention Center, between March 25-27 and was hosted by the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), and the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology (LIST)

The event was partly moderated by Lisa Burke, with the opening session, “Setting Priorities for the Future of Space Exploration,” featuring keynote speakers from various space agencies and organizations. Speakers included minister Lex Delles from the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, Josef Aschbacher and Daniel Neuenschwander from ESA, Kathryn Hadler from ESRIC, Hiroshi Yamakawa from JAXA, Matthias Maurer from ESA, and Aarti Holla-Maini from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

Advancements in space technology took center stage, with presentations showcasing the latest innovations in propulsion systems, robotics, and resource extraction techniques. 

United in space

The second day of the event kicked off with ISRU Surface Operations , moderated by Vibha Levin Prabhu from the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC), bringing together experts from diverse fields such as Taeheon Kim from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Francisco J. Guerrero-Gonzalez from Maana Electric, Damian Pietrusiak from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Suleyman Salihler from Polimak Process Technology, Kate Smith from the University of Manchester, and Steven Kay from GMV. Together, they explored the development of a standardized ISRU mission architecture and the advanced technologies crucial for future missions.

“It is a great honor for me to welcome merely 600 people on site from all over the world, for the sixth edition of Space Resource Week. We are lucky to have more than 105 speakers who will join us from key institutions. Your presence here today, be it online or here in this room, means a lot for Luxembourg and our space community.”

Lex Delles Minister of the Economy

Catherine Koerner from NASA followed and delivered a keynote presentation on “Artemis and NASA’s Moon to Mars Architecture,” providing insights into NASA’s exploration plans for the Moon and Mars, with a focus on integrating space resources to ensure sustainability and extended human presence in space.

The second day of the event concluded with a space concert, featuring Mikromedas, a data-driven musical project inspired by space simulations, the concert offers captivating compositions derived from astrophysical black holes and regions with extreme gravitational fields.

Space sustainability 

Sustainability in space exploration was also a key subject on the agenda. Participants engaged in debates on the ethical, legal, and environmental considerations of exploiting space resources, with Lara Tassan Zanin a Senior Advisor and space and cyber lead at the European Investment Bank (EIB), as a participant in the panel discussions. Strategies for mitigating potential risks and minimizing the impact on space bodies were explored, underscoring the importance of responsible stewardship of space operations.

Partnerships between governments, private companies, and research institutions were highlighted as essential for pooling resources, sharing expertise, and achieving common goals. By working together, nations can leverage their respective strengths to address the changing challenges of space exploration more effectively.

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