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Introducing SPSS

The ArianeGroup Launchers Academy and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg are excited to organise the first Space Propulsion Summer School (SPSS) on Tuesday and Wednesday 14 and 15 September 2021. This online event is dedicated to the students of the Interdisciplinary Space Master, as well as all engineering disciplines of the university. Professionals from Luxembourg and the Greater Region are also invited.


Propulsion technology is fundamental to space flight, and therefore also to our research at SnT. It is a field of active research in institutions around the world, and will be the first to benefit from the use of space resources, such as water, or its components: hydrogen and oxygen.


Deep-tech companies in Luxembourg will be contributing to the programme in our Summer School and will provide specialist lectures about in-orbit propulsion technology.

What We Will Explore

The first day of the Summer School will focus on launchers. Participants will learn how rocket propulsion systems work, starting with the fundamentals – like the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation – and continue with rocket propellants and their characteristics, as well as systems engineering and prototype design synthesis. The day will end with an online escape game.


The second day of the Summer School will focus on in-space propulsion and logistics. We will learn about electric propulsion and altitude, as well as orbit control systems, which are designed to keep the spacecraft secure and on track. Space logistics, space resources and atmospheric re-entry will also be a part of our exploration mission to understand challenges for future missions to Moon, Mars or further afield. We finish the day with a presentation from students of the University of Luxembourg about their space resources studies, and invite you to a panel discussion. Here we will discuss and share our ideas with experts from ArianeGroup and ESRIC about how space resources can be used for future missions.

Summer School 2-Day Programme


Day 1   Day 2
9:00-9:20 Introduction to the Summer School 9:00-9:20 Recap and Introduction
9:20-10:25 Launchers principles
Emmanuel Coletti, ArianeGroup
9:20-10:25 Orbital propulsion
Hans Leiter, ArianeGroup
10:25-11:25 Launchers Liquid propulsion (Part 1)
Georg Obermaier and Manuel Frey, ArianeGroup
10:25-11:25 Electric Propulsion Technologies
Dr. Dejan Petkow, Sparc-Industries
11:25-11:40 Break 11:25-11:40 Break
11:40-12:50 Launchers Liquid Propulsion (Part 2)
Georg Obermaier and Manuel Frey, ArianeGroup
11:40-12:50 Introduction to Space Logistics
Joost Van Tooren, ArianeGroup
13:50-15:00 Specificities of Solid Rocket Propulsion
Didier Boury, ArianeGroup
13:50-15:00 Resistojet Propulsion
Edder R. Santana, Bradford-Deep Space Industries
15:00-16:05 Systems Engineering
Marcel Becker, ArianeGroup
15:00-16:05 Re-Entry
Gérald Pignie, ArianeGroup
16:05-16:25 Break 16:05-16:25 Break
16:25-17:35 Demonstration of a prototype design synthesis capability for space access vehicle design
Dr. Loveneesh Rana, University of Luxembourg
16:25-17:35 Use of Space Resources for deep space missions
University of Luxembourg students: Natalia Stepanova, Mariusz Ludwikowski and Bishwajit Gogoi
17:35-18:55 Escape game, online socialising event 17:35-18:25 Panel discussion with:

University of Luxembourg students


Bob Lamboray, ESRIC

18:55-19:00 Closing 18:25-18:40 Closing and End of Summer School


  • DAY 1 DAY 2
    Emmanuel COLETTI Emmanuel COLETTI


    • Product Owner
    • In charge of flagship demonstrator called THEMIS

    Hans LEITER ArianeGroup

    • Lead Engineer Electric Propulsion
    • Honorary Professor Gießen University


    • Senior Expert for Liquid Propulsion Engineering
    • Advising engine development programs and related R&T initiatives
    Dr.-Ing. Dejan PETKOW

    • SPARC Industries
    • CEO
      Aerospace Engin. (PhD) from IRS Stuttgart,
    • Background in plasma modelling & simulation of EP & atmospheric re-entry + EP development
    Dr. Manuel FREY

    • ArianeGroup
    • Senior Expert for Liquid Propulsion
    • Focused on Vulcain 2.1 cryogenic main engine and the auxiliary power unit APU
    Joost van TOOREN

    • ArianeGroup
    • Space Logistics Services Manager
    • Business development of new Space Logistics Services within the Future Programmes directorate
    Didier BOURY

    • ArianeGroup
    • Research & Technology Department
    • In charge of Solid Propulsion Domain


    Dr. Edder R. SANTANA

    • Bradford-Deep Space Industries
    • Project lead
    • In charge of the development of water-based propulsion systems


    Marcel BECKER

    • ArianeGroup
    • GNC System Engineer
    • in charge of the development of the A6 kick stage (ASTRIS) GNC system


    Dr. Gérald PIGNIÉ


    • Emeritus Expert
    • Performs technical audits and reviews, and advisory, mentoring and training missions for engineering teams
    Dr. Loveneesh RANA

    • SnT
    • Research Associate
    • Head of the Concurrent Design Facility and lecturer of Space System Design courses in ISM Program

    University of Luxembourg


  • Isabelle PAGES

    • ArianeGroup
    • Learning and Development Manager
    • Responsible for the Launchers Academy
    Dr. Jan THOEMEL

    • SnT
    • Research Scientist
    • Head of CubeSatLab
    • System engineering, re-entry, propulsion
    Ludger FRÖBEL

    • ArianeGroup
    • Deputy CTO
    • responsible for the company’s strategic partnerships for research, technology and development



    Local Organizing



    Magali MARTIN

    • SnT

    Marielle Mabille

    • SnT

    Johannes Laur

    • SnT

How to Participate

Registrations are now closed.

If you have additional questions, please contact jan.thoemel@uni.lu


  • ArianeGroup


    At ArianeGroup, we develop and deliver innovative and competitive solutions for civil and defence launch systems, mastering the most advanced propulsion technologies.

    We are the lead contractor for the Ariane family of European launchers – Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 – and for the missiles in the French oceanic deterrent force. Our activities cover the entire life cycle of a launcher: design, development, production, exploitation and commercial service, the latter through our subsidiary Arianespace.

    We are an expert in the most cutting-edge technologies, from all aspects of complete propulsion systems right down to the items of equipment and materials. We leverage all of this expertise, as well as the unique knowledge of our teams, into benefitting the space, defence, energy, and other industrial sectors, with high value-added products, equipment and services.

  • Launchers Academy


    We think it is our duty as a major player in European defence and the civil space sector, to share our unique knowledge and know-how with all those who are interested in launchers and space technologies as space experts, agencies or partners, in order to build the future of the European civil and defence space together.

    We are also deeply engaged towards students with a true curiosity for space matters in developing their knowledge for building together the future of the access to space.

    The Launchers Academy is the umbrella brand of ArianeGroup for all the actions that contribute to this spirit of exchange and knowledge sharing.

  • SnT


    The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) conducts internationally competitive research in information and communication technology (ICT) with high relevance, creating socio-economic impact. In addition to long-term, high-risk research, SnT engages in demand driven collaborative projects with industry and the public sector. Therefore, the centre has set up a Partnership Programme with now over 55 members, where it develops strategic areas addressing challenges confronting the industry and the public sector in ICT. These resulting concepts present a genuine, long-lasting competitive advantage for companies in Luxembourg and beyond.