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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 continue the Space Propulsion Summer School (SPSS) from the 12 to 14 September 2022. This online event is dedicated to students of the Interdisciplinary Space Master, as well as students from all engineering disciplines.


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.


On the second day, participants will learn about prototype design synthesis and then focus on in-space propulsion and re-entry. This will comprise topics including electric propulsion and attitude, as well as orbit control systems, which are designed to keep the spacecraft secure and on-track. Space resources and atmospheric re-entry will also be a part of our exploration mission to understand challenges for future missions to the Moon, Mars or further beyond.


The third day will begin with the topic of water propulsion, and continue with space logistics and the challenges of the James Webb Space Telescope. We will learn how water propulsion systems work and the challenges of space logistics linked to future missions to Moon, Mars or further afield. We continue the day with a presentation from a student of the University of Luxembourg about “Investigation of Mars Express mission variation employing in-orbit refuelling at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point,” and a lecture about “Introduction to Propulsion and SSA.”


The final event of the day will be an “Pitch your idea” session, where selected students will pitch their ideas to experts from ArianeGroup and ESRIC. The best idea will be awarded.


The topic is: “Space logistics – to, in and from space – future transfer vehicles and associated propulsion systems”.


To submit an idea for the “Pitch your idea” session, fill this template and send it before Thursday, 12 September 2022, 4 pm CEST to Johannes.Laur@uni.lu

How to Participate in the Summer School

Sorry, registrations are now closed!

Summer School 3-Day Programme


Day 1  Day 2
Day 3
09:00-09:20 Introduction to the Summer School Recap and Introduction Recap and Introduction
09:20-10:20 Launchers principles
Dr. Gérald PIGNIÉ, ArianeGroup
Space Systems Design:

Demonstration of design synthesis process and platform for space access vehicle design application

Dr. Loveneesh RANA, University of Luxembourg

Investigation of Mars Express mission variation employing in-orbit refuelling at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point


Introduction to Propulsion and SSA

Cheryl LIU, LMO

10:20-10:30 Break
10:30-11:30 Launchers Liquid propulsion (Part 1)
Manuel FREY, ArianeGroup
Orbital propulsion (Part 1)
Hans LEITER, ArianeGroup
Introduction to Space Logistics

Joost Van Tooren, ArianeGroup

11:30-11:40 Break
11:40-12:40 Launchers Liquid Propulsion (Part 2)
Manuel FREY, ArianeGroup
Orbital propulsion (Part 2)
Hans LEITER, ArianeGroup
NEW ! Challenges of James Webb SpaceTelescope launched by Ariane 5

Isabelle RONGIER, ArianeGroup

12:40-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:45 Specificities of Solid Rocket Propulsion
Didier BOURY, ArianeGroup
Electric Propulsion Technologies
Dr. Dejan PETKOW, Sparc-Industries
How an On-Orbit Refueling Architectures will Enable a Bustling In-Space Economy

Daniel Faber, Orbitfab

14:45-14:55 Break
14:55-15:55 Systems Engineering
Marcel BECKER, ArianeGroup
Dr. Gérald PIGNIÉ, ArianeGroup
Ask the expert: Pitch your idea


ArianeGroup experts

Bob Lamboray, ESRIC

15:55-16:15 Closing Closing Closing and End of Summer School


  • ArianeGroup


    Dr. Gérald PIGNIÉ


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

    Prof. Dr. Hans LEITER


    • Lead Engineer Electric Propulsion
    • Honorary Professor Gießen University
    • Isabelle RONGIER

      • ArianeGroup

      ArianeGroup General Inspector,

      Deputy of ArianeGroup Chief Technical Officer,

      Technical Authority for all Space and Defence Programmes

    Marcel BECKER

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


    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
    • Human Space Flight and Space Logistics 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



    Luxembourg Deep-tech Companies and University
    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
    Daniel Faber

    • Orbitfab
    • Co-Founder, CEO
    • 15+ years of space technology leadership. Last 3 years as CEO of Deep Space Industries




    Dr. Loveneesh RANA

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

    University of Luxembourg




    Cheryl LIU

    • LMO

    Propulsion Projects Manager (UK) for small satellites, proximity operations and refuelling applications. Bachelor Aerospace Engineering (University of Bristol)

    Luxembourg Space Agency

    Policy Officer,

    Strategic Advisor at ESRIC




  • Isabelle CHAMAYON

    • ArianeGroup
    • ArianeGroup Learning Manager
    Johannes LAUR


    Doctoral Researcher

    Re-entry, plasma physics,


    Nadja WOLF

    • ArianeGroup

    Strategic Partnerships – CTO Office

    Dr. Jan THOEMEL

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

    • ArianeGroup
    • Former Deputy CTO
    • responsible for the company’s strategic partnerships for research, technology and development (off-duty)
    Local Organising


    Magali MARTIN

    • SnT

    Marielle MABILLE

    • SnT
    • Kerryn RAMM
    • SnT
    • Silvia CALLEGARI
    • SnT

ArianeGroup: A world leader in access to space

In 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 experts 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, the unique knowledge of our teams, into benefitting the space, defence, energy, and other industrial sectors, with high value-added products, equipment and services.


The Launchers Academy: Our contribution to Launchers knowledge development

We think it is our duty as a major player in European defence and 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.



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. The centre has established their Partnership Programme, now with more than 60 members, developing their strategic areas and 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.