Current Issues

News from our former students and highlights from SpaceMaster partners

January 2019

New Collaboration

A new collaboration with the world famous ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden has been established. SpaceMaster students receive special prices at ICEHOTEL premises.


UWE-3 Celebrates 5 Years of Orbital Operations

UWE-3, the third CubeSat developed at Würzburg University, celebrated 5 years of orbital operations after its launch on November 21, 2013 from the Dombarovsky (Yasny) Cosmodrome in Orenburg Oblast, Russia. The Dnepr-1 silo launch set a new record for most payloads carried into orbit by a single rocket, with 32 satellites on board.

UWE-3 features an advanced modular and flexible picosatellite bus architecture, increasing robustness, reducing mass and adding reliability to the overall system. It demonstrates the use of a real-time miniature attitude determination and control system using a variety of sensors, magnetic torques and one reaction wheel. UWE-3 is currently awaiting the arrival of UWE-4 in orbit. Visit the news page for the latest updates.

October 2018

SpaceMasters at the IAC

A large number of SpaceMasters attended the 69th International Astronautical Contress (IAC), held October 1-5, 2018 in Bremen, Germany. Below are SpaceMaster alumni in front of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) stand together with the founders of the SpaceMaster program, Mr. Sven Molin from Luleå University of Technology in Luleå, Sweden and Prof. Klaus Schilling from Julius-Maximilians Universität in Würzburg, Germany. Also present is Dr. Olle Norberg, Vice Rector of Space from Luleå University of Technology in Kiruna, Sweden.

Below left are Alumni Mrs. Katherine Pegg (with baby) from Round 4 and Mr. Samuel Webster from Round 3. Below right is Round 3 Alumnus Mr. Martin Siegl holding a presentation.

September 2018

Round 14 Begins

The Round 14 SpaceMasters in Kiruna.
(credit: Dr. Rick McGregor, Information Officer, Swedish Institute of Space Physics)


SGAC Announces 2018 Global Grant Programme Recipients

Round 6 SpaceMaster Chiara Cocchiara was chosen as one of five candidates by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) for their 2018 Global Grant Programme. The grants will facilitate the participation of the candidates in two space conferences in Colorado Springs, U.S.A. in April (more info).

December 2017

Season's Greetings from Kiruna


Royal Visit

LTU's new vice-chancellor Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn and Prince Daniel paid a visit to Kiruna and LTU Rymdcampus. More information in Swedish here


Round 11 Closing Ceremony

Round 11 SpaceMasters celebrating their graduation at Bethlehem Chapel, Prague, Czech Republic.


Important Notice

The online application for Fall 2018 is now open. The structure of the SpaceMaster Program for Round 14 (2018-20) has been modified, with additional information available at the LTU site.

October 2017

Round 13 Begins

Round 13 SpaceMasters in Würzburg.


Women in Aerospace-Europe Student Award 2017

Round 12 SpaceMaster Damiana Catanoso has won the 2017 Women in Aerospace-Europe Student Award, presented June 20 at the ESA Pavilion of the Le Bourget-Paris Air and Space Show. Read more at the WIA-Europe website.


30 Years of Erasmus

While 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, it's also a big milestone for the Erasmus Programme. Find out more about the last 30 years from Erasmus to Erasmus+.


SpaceMaster in Forbes Top 30 Under 30

Round 6 SpaceMaster Chiara Cocchiara has been named in the prestigious Forbes Top 30 Under 30 list of top young innovators, entrepreneurs and game changers in the category Europe - Industry. At age 28, Chiara has participated in a Mars Desert Research Station mission, holds three Master's degrees in aerospace engineering, and works as a EUMETSAT System Operations Engineer at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany. See Chiara's profile at


Round 10 Closing Ceremony

Round 10 SpaceMasters celebrating their graduation at the Cité de l'espace in Toulouse, France.

October 2016

Round 12 Begins

Round 12 SpaceMasters in Würzburg.


Application for Round 13 (Fall 2017)

Online application open October 1, 2016
Application deadline: December 1, 2016


Ivan Lehocki wins 2015 Young Petroleum Geoscientist Award

Round 8 SpaceMaster Ivan Lehocki was selected as the recipient of the 2015 YPGA due to his significant contribution to exploration as a consultant and software engineer for the oil industry, as well as for his entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. Vidar Furuholt from award sponsor Det norske presented the diploma at the banquet of the Recent Advances in Exploration Technology conference on May 20th, 2015.

The Young Petroleum Geoscientist Awards is an initiative by GeoPublishing and the Geological Society of Norway, and is endowed by Det norske oljeselskap ASA. Read more here.


EGU Outstanding Student Poster Award 2015

SpaceMaster congratulates Daniel Vech from Round 10 for receiving the 2015 Outstanding Student Poster Award from the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The poster, titled Planetary space weather effects on the bow shock, the magnetic barrier and the ion composition boundary at Venus, and more info is available here.


Best Romanian Student of the Year

Round 10 SpaceMaster George-Cristian Potrivitu Bocanet has been nominated Best Romanian Student of the Year in Europe at the Bachelor's and Master's level by the League of Romanian Students Abroad. The award, granted for academic excellence, was presented at a televised gala event held at the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, with more than 1000 in attendance (more info).


Team HARVeSt Wins ESA Moon Challenge Awards

Round 9 SpaceMaster Francesco Spina took part in the ESA Moon Challenge as a member of Team HARVeSt, composed of 13 young graduates and students coming from 8 countries and 3 continents. The team designed the HARVeSt:Moon (Human Assisted Robotic Vehicle Studies on the Moon) concept, a human-robotic partnership mission for the Lunar South Pole. The project was selected among the 3 finalists and presented with two awards, Second Prize and the Public Choice Award, by French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy at ESA's International Symposium on Moon 2020-2030, which took place at ESA ESTEC.

With an emphasis on novel, human-robot operations, HARVeSt:Moon is designed to test new technologies and make scientific discoveries that would pave the way for human settlement of the Moon and later, Mars. The HARVeSt mission would deploy a rover and plant growth chamber at the south polar region of the Lunar far side and has three major aims: to investigate plant growth in partial gravity, to demonstrate and qualify new technologies to enable future human and robotic exploration, such as in-situ construction or extraction of volatiles from shadowed areas, and to use the rover as a platform for international cooperation. Find out more from HARVeSt:Moon's video and Facebook page.

December 2015

Autumn 2015

Round 11 Begins

Round 11 SpaceMasters in Würzburg.


Round 9 Closing Ceremony

Round 9 SpaceMasters at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden for their closing ceremony.


Application for Round 12 (Fall 2016)

Online application open October 16, 2015
Application deadline: January 15, 2016


LavaHive Wins NASA Award

SpaceMasters Francesco Spina (Round 9), Tobias Mäxx Häfner (Round 9) and Jürgen Schleppi (Round 8) took part as members of Team LavaHive in the NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, in which the aim was to build an innovative habitat for Mars using additive manufacturing technologies. Team members flew to New York City for the final event held September 26-27 at Maker Faire 2015, where they were awarded 3rd Prize. LavaHive was one of over 170 worldwide submissions, and the only non-US team to be awarded a prize in the NASA competition. Team members received congratulations from ESA, including tweets from all European Astronauts. More information about the project is available in the press release and at

left: Team LavaHive at Maker Faire in New York, including SpaceMasters Jürgen Schleppi (at right) and Francesco Spina (holding certificate). right: LavaHive 3D printed Mars habitat design.


SpaceBoard Update

SpaceBoard was initially started by a group of SpaceMaster Round 8 students, whose aim was to create an alumni platform for the different space programmes hosted at the Kiruna Space Campus. A few months ago, SpaceBoard underwent a significant project redefinition and image rebranding. The online platform was shut down in preparation for the exclusive pursuit of a new goal: building a niche professional network dedicated to the field of Space. The SpaceBoard team has set about creating a unified platform that serves all space industry players, promoting the advancement of space and fostering academic, professional and business opportunities. More information on objectives and motivations can be found on SpaceBoard’s front page.


Ministerial Visit

Helen Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister of Higher Education and Research, visited Kiruna and met SpaceMaster student Jonas Burgdorf, who showed the projects students have been working on during their education at the Luleå University of Technology in Kiruna, Sweden. Photo: Lars-Göran Norlin

2015.05 08

Bengt Hultqvist Prize

Round 9 SpaceMaster student Mr. Jonas Burgdorf, together with Ms. Moa Persson, student in the Civil Engineering program at the Luleå University of Technology in Kiruna, Sweden has been awarded the Bengt Hultqvist Prize from Rotary International, Club 12923 Kiruna for successful academic studies and contributions to space educational programmes in Kiruna, Sweden. The candidates received the prize at a Rotary award ceremony on May 8, 2015 in Kiruna (see picture).

April 2015

Round 11 Selection Result

The applications for the academic years 2015-2017 have been processed and evaluated by the Consortium.
The selection results will be announced right after the final confirmation in May from EACEA in Brussels.


International Student Satisfaction Award

Luleå University of Technology (LTU) has won the StudyPortals Award for Excellent International Student Satisfaction 2014 (more info).


SpaceMaster Continuing under Erasmus+

SpaceMaster Rounds 11-13 have been confirmed for 2015-2017. The program is continuing as an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) under Erasmus+.


New Research Groups at LTU Kiruna

LTU increased its space research activities with the addition of two new research groups: Atmospheric Science and Onboard Space Systems, which will be led by two new professors, Dr. Javier Martin Torres and Dr. Reza Emami. This will strengthen the Space Campus in Kiruna and also increase recruitment to the new groups. In parallel to this, the Graduate School of Space Technology will start, with about 20 new PhD students.


Round 8 Closing Ceremony

Round 8 SpaceMasters in Würzburg, Germany for their closing ceremony on November 13th, 2014.


Facilities for student projects at LTU

LTU's Space Campus in Kiruna possesses a number of facilities that are available for students who wish to conduct projects on their own. This can take place either in the framework of the REXUS/BEXUS program or as a project course for either 7.5 or 15 ECTS credits. For students at LTU taking part in REXUS/BEXUS, the Swedish National Space Board offers financial support of up to 30 000 SEK while for a project course, 2500 SEK is available from the University for each student. In both cases, the money is managed by the University and students request their tutor to procure parts. See the attached document for more information about the facilities and equipment which are available.

3D printer Printed rover wheel Ground station
3D printer (with printed rover wheel) and ground station available for students at LTU in Kiruna.


Quality Review

We are proud to announce that the Joint European Master in Space Science and Technology-SpaceMaster Course has been labeled “a very interesting and valuable Erasmus Mundus Master Course” after an official 2014 Quality Review assessment by the European Commission. As a result, the SpaceMaster Course has been formally included to the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMD) Catalogue of EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency). The SpaceMaster Course scores particularly well in terms of “attractiveness” and “sustainability.”


COUGAR in China

Round 9 SpaceMaster Piotr Lewkowicz participated in the 2014 International Graduate Summer School in Aeronautics and Astronautics in Beijing, where he held a presentation about the SpaceMaster Program and COUGAR Project (a BEXUS experiment). More information about COUGAR is available at


Non-EU Graduates Eligible for Extended Stay

The Swedish Parliament has agreed to a visa permit extension of 6 months for non-European students after they have finished their education in Sweden. This gives students a great opportunity to seek a job and/or start their own business. Ph.D., Master's and Bachelor's students finishing soon (or who have already finished) can apply now (link to migrationsverket).


SpaceMasters at iSAIRAS 2014

SpaceMaster Alumni Dorian Tsai (Round 6), Mikael Persson (Round 4) and Juxi Leitner (Round 3) attending the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS) in Montreal, Canada.


ESA Grants for SpaceMaster Students

Three SpaceMaster students from Round 8, Mr. Michael Strohmeier, Mr. Franz Steinmetz and Mr. Jürgen Schleppi, have been awarded a grant by the European Space Agency (ESA) Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations.


Bengt Hultqvist Prize

Round 8 SpaceMaster student Mr. Maxime Sixdeniers, together with Ms. Kinga Albert, Master student in SpaceCraft Design at the Luleå University of Technology, has been awarded the Bengt Hultqvist Prize from Rotary International, Club 12923 Kiruna for successful academic studies and contributions to space educational programmes in Kiruna, Sweden. The candidates received the prize at a Rotary award ceremony on May 16, 2014 in Kiruna.


Round 7 Closing Ceremony

Round 7 SpaceMasters at Cranfield University, U.K. for their closing ceremony on October 25th, 2013.


Hermann Oberth Gold Medal

Round 6 SpaceMaster Alumnus Florian Reichel was awarded the Hermann Oberth Gold Medal for Best Student Paper (Graduate Category) at the 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2013), the world's largest space conference, held this year September 23-27 in Beijing. The title of his paper was "Design, Test and Verification of a Miniature Attitude Control System for the Picosatellite UWE-3." SpaceMaster congratulates Florian on winning this prestigious award. (weitere Informationen)

Florian Reichel (right) receiving the Hermann Oberth Gold Medal from International Astronautical Federation President Kyoshi Higuchi.


SpaceMasters at ROBEX 2013

SpaceMasters George Tsakyridis and Roberto Sosa from Round 6 participated in the Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments (ROBEX) Alliance 3rd Community Workshop in Bremen, Germany.

Participants of the ROBEX Alliance Workshop.


SpaceMaster's New Alumni Platform

SpaceBoard, a project carried out by Round 8 students, was released on October 9, 2013. It aims to build a constructive and helpful network related to space. This first stage of the project provides users with alumni interviews, ongoing student projects, useful links, current developments in space and especially communication forums. The SpaceMaster community, from Round 1 to 9, now has a place to interact and share experiences. Find out more on the page!


Application for Round 10 (Fall 2014)

The online application opens October 17, 2013
Deadline to apply: December 16, 2013


Round 9 Begins

Arrival of Round 9 students in Würzburg.


First Indian Small Satellite Developer Workshop

The First Indian Small Satellite Developer Workshop was organised in Chennai, India from July 8th to July 13 by Dhruva Space, a Bangalore-based startup. The event was a success and brought together many participants interested in space technology from various parts of India.
Participants included students, academicians and amateurs, with lectures delivered by SpaceMasters Sanjay Nekkanti and Narayan Prasad (Round 6), Jan Hakenberg (Round 2), and retired scientists from ISRO. Hands on training was provided by industry, with guest lectures given by NanoSatisfi (USA), GomSpace (Denmark) and Berlin Space Technologies (Germany). More information in the newsletter.

Participants of the First Indian Small Satellite Developer Workshop, Chennai, India.


ESA Space Weather Seminar

On March 14, 2013 the ESA-organized Space Weather Seminar was held in Rovaniemi, Finland, with the aim of getting people interested in Space Situational Awareness and space weather. SpaceMasters Dharma Srungavruksham (Round 6) and Ivan Sinkarenko (Round 7) were in attendance as social media outreach volunteers. Presentations from ESA experts Juha-Pekka Luntama, Emmet Fletcher, Timo Prusti and scientists from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) were held at the Arktikum Science Museum, with great attention being paid to the presentation by NASA astronaut Don Pettit and his experience of photographing northern lights (Aurora Borealis) from space. In the second part of the day, participants moved to the Tähtelä Research Station near Sodankylä, where after a few more presentations a brief excursion was made to the EISCAT radar station. Finally, participants were brought to the Aurora House to watch auroras at night.

at left: SpaceMasters Dharma Srungavruksham (Round 6) and Ivan Sinkarenko (Round 7) with NASA astronaut Don Pettit; at right: Northern lights over Sodankylä, Finland (Credit: Remco Timmermans, @timmermansr).


Round 7 Reunion

Round 7 SpaceMasters meeting in Amsterdam.


Dhruva Space featured in Postnoon

Dhruva Space, a startup founded by Round 6 SpaceMasters, was featured in the Indian daily Postnoon (article).

December 2012

SpaceMasters at the IEEE RAS Summer School

SpaceMasters Oliver Porges (Round 7) and Jürgen Leitner (Round 3) at the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Summer School on Robot Vision and Applications in Santiago, Chile.


PhD Defence at Kiruna Space Campus

On 14 December, 2012 Catherine Diéval will defend her PhD thesis titled “Solar wind ions inside the induced magnetosphere of Mars” in the Aula of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna. Faculty opponent is Dr. Christian Mazelle, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Toulouse, France.
(Press release)
Catherine Diéval has a Master degree in astrophysics, planetary- and space research from the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France and is a part of the research program "Solar System Physics and Space Technology” at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. She is also enrolled at Luleå University of Technology (LTU), in the Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering as well as belonging to the Graduate School in Space Technology at LTU.


Application for Round 9 (Fall 2013)

The application deadline has been changed to January 15, 2013.


Round 6 Closing Ceremony

Round 6 Closing Ceremony Round 6 Closing Ceremony
Round 6 SpaceMaster graduates at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, for the 2012 Closing Ceremony and Scientific Conference.

October 2012

Dhruva Space

Round 6 SpaceMasters Sanjay Nekkanti and Narayan Prasad have founded Dhruva Space, a new Bangalore-based start-up dedicated to leading the privatization of the space sector in India. Read Dhruva Space's mission statement.

Dhruva Space Dhruva Space
left: Dhruva Space founders Sanjay Nekkanti (left) and Narayan Prasad (right) at the SpaceMaster Round 6 Graduation at Aalto University; right: with SpaceMaster Program Coordinators (left to right) Dr. Annika Salama, Annete Snällfot-Brändström and Dr. Victoria Barabash.

October 2012

Round 8 Begins

Arrival of Round 8 students in Würzburg.

September 2012

Round 6 Aalto Group Graduates

Helsinki Graduation Helsinki Graduation
Photos taken after the Round 6 SpaceMaster Graduation at Aalto University, Finland.


SpaceMasters at iSAIRAS 2012

SpaceMaster Alumni from Rounds 1 and 3 attending the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (iSAIRAS) in Turin, Italy.


Round 6 CTU Group Graduates

Photos taken after the thesis defense and state examinations at the Czech Technical University in Prague.


Bengt Hultqvist Prize

Round 6 SpaceMaster student Mr. Sergio Martin Del Campo Barraza, together with Mr. Viktor Andersson from the Civil Engineering Programme in Space Technology at the Luleå University of Technology, has been awarded the Bengt Hultqvist Prize from Rotary International, Club 12923 Kiruna for successful academic studies and contributions to space educational programmes in Kiruna, Sweden. The candidates received the prize at a Rotary award ceremony on May 11, 2012 in Kiruna.

at left: Sergio via Skype from the University of Tokyo where he is doing his Master's thesis, and Leif Gustafsson, Kiruna Rotary Club President; at right: Leif Gustafsson, Viktor Andersson, Prof. Bengt Hultqvist.


International Space Station Symposium

Four SpaceMaster students from Rounds 6 and 7 were selected by the Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations, ESA to participate as invited guests at the International Space Station Symposium, 2.-5. May 2012 in Berlin.

Round 6 and 7 students with cosmonaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev (Russian Federation), who holds the record for time spent in space (803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes).


LTU Diploma Supplement Label

LTU är ett av 55 lärosäten i Europa som fått utmärkelsen Diploma Supplement Label 2011-2014.
Diploma Supplement är ett tillägg på engelska till examensbeviset och som beskriver utbildningen och det svenska utbildningssystemet och är tänkt att underlätta erkännandet av högskoleutbildningar inom hela Europa och även andra delar av världen, såväl i den akademiska världen som i yrkeslivet.
Label är en kvalitetsutmärkelse som visar att LTU tar internationellt samarbete på allvar och att vi uppfyller kraven från EU kommissionen hur Diploma supplement ska utfärdas.

LTU was one of 55 universities in Europe awarded the European Commission's Diploma Supplement Label for 2011-2014.
The Diploma Supplement is a supplement in English to the qualifications, describing the training and the Swedish education system and is meant to facilitate the recognition of higher education throughout Europe and other parts of the world, both in academia and in professional life.
The Label is a quality award, which shows that LTU takes international cooperation seriously and that it meets the demands of the EU Commission for which the Diploma Supplement is issued.


Application Windows

The EU Commission has decided that for the intake of Erasmus Mundus 2012-2013, there will be a "Western Balkans and Turkey window(1)" a "Tunisia and Egypt window(2)" and an "Eastern Neighbourhood Countries window(3)". This means that some Erasmus Mundus scholarships are allocated to students from these countries. Do notice that the deadline for these students is the same as for non-EU students, that means 16 January, 2012.
(1) Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99, Turkey
(2) Tunisia and Egypt
(3) Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

November 2011

Round 6 Reunion

After splitting up among the partner universities for their 2nd year, several Round 6 students met up in Toulouse for a Thanksgiving get-together.

November 2011

Round 5 Graduation

Round 5 graduation in Prague.


Round 7 Begins

Round 7 students arrive in Würzburg.


Round 6 visits Esrange

Round 6 students at Esrange with a BEXUS balloon launching vehicle.


Lund Observatory and the Division of Space Technology at the Luleå University of Technology are arranging a symposium in Northern Sweden “Integrated Modeling of Complex Optomechanical Systems,” August 15-17, 2011. The symposium will be held in Kiruna, Northern Sweden. There are several reasons for this choice. First, important space-related research facilities exist in Kiruna, including the Division of Space Technology, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, the EISCAT headquarters, and the Esrange Space Center of the Swedish Space Corporation. Second, Northern Sweden is well-known for its beautiful landscape with hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails, fine fishing locations, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure also for less trained people. We hope that attendees can profit from this opportunity and combine an exciting symposium with outdoor or nature-related activities. We will arrange tours to the space facilities in Kiruna and we will make an evening trip by bus to the end of the road in Nikkaluokta for a barbeque at a Sami tent.

More information can be found at


Round 6 students in Kiruna.


The Round 5 closing ceremony and scientific conference will be held in Prague 8-9-10 November 2011.


Round 6 students in Würzburg shortly before the Christmas break.


Job vacancy: Project Manager at EISCAT 3D
See for more details.


H.R.H. Princess Victoria and H.R.H. Prince Daniel of Sweden visited LTU on November 5, 2010. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Erik Höglund (at left) informed the Crown Princess Couple about LTU's educational and research programmes. At right is Olle Nordberg, Director of Teknikens Hus.


The closing ceremony for Round 4 was held at UPS, Toulouse on October 28, 2010. In the morning, students from Rounds 4 and 5 and academic staff from the Consortium visited Thales Alenia Space and Spot Image. In the afternoon, LTU deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Erik Höglund opened the ceremony and awarded Round 4 students with LTU memorable certificates. Prof. Dupré, Director of the Midi-Pyrénées Observatory, welcomed the participants on behalf of the President of UPS Prof. Gilles Fourtanier. Round 4 and 5 students made scientific presentations about their Master's thesis and internship projects. Former Round 3 students shared their experiences during and after their SpaceMaster studies. Members from the External Advisory Board (CNES, Spot Image, Thales Alenia Space and Astrium) presented their activities in relation to the SpaceMaster Course.


Round 6 students started the 1st semester at JMUW, Germany. They came from 22 different countries around the world.


'Youth on the Move' debate with EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou

On September 17, Commissioner Vassiliou will be hosting a webstreamed public debate on 'Youth on the Move,' the Commission's flagship initiative on promoting learning mobility and improving young people's skills and job perspectives. The Commissioner will respond to questions both from members of a live audience and from the public, via the web.
More information is available at


ESA’s Maxus-8 sounding rocket was launched 2010-03-26 from Kiruna in northern Sweden carrying four microgravity research modules on a hectic 12-minute space voyage. The ultimate results may include improved turbine blades for aircraft engines. At 14:43 CET, Maxus-8 took off from the launch pad at the Esrange Space Centre watched by Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight, Olle Norberg, Director General of the Swedish National Space Board, and Lars Persson, Director of the Swedish Space Corporation.
The Maxus programme is funded by ESA through the European Programme for Life and Physical Science in Space (ELIPS), with the sounding rocket and launch services provided to ESA by an industrial joint venture between EADS Astrium and the Swedish Space Corporation.
More info at


The Helsinki University of Technology, one of the SpaceMaster Consortium members, has been merged into newly-founded Aalto University, together with the Helsinki School of Economics and University of Art and Design Helsinki. From the Aalto University website: The combination of three universities opens up new possibilities for strong multi-disciplinary education and research. The new university's ambitious goal is to be one of the leading institutions in the world in terms of research and education in its own specialised disciplines.


Representatives from Spaceport Sweden and Spaceport America met this past week to confirm their aim of developing in parallel as sister spaceports, a partnership initiated in January 2009 when the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding. This week's meeting took place in Las Cruces, New Mexico at the International Symposium of Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS). Two presentations were made by the Swedish team; the first was held by Mr. Bengt Jaegtnes, Vice President for Spaceport Sweden, who talked about new investments at Kiruna Airport in order to enable commercial spaceflight. The second was held by Mr. Dan Bjork, Marketing Director at ICEHOTEL, who spoke about the importance of developing the tourist concept in parallel with the space facilities. More information (in Swedish) in Visionbladet.

Johanna Bergstrom-Roos and Beatrice Nordin of Spaceport Sweden with Anousheh Ansari (middle), who is the world's 4th private space tourist, 1st female space tourist and 1st astronaut of Iranian descent.


Round 3 Closing Ceremony

Round 3 SpaceMasters at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, Sweden for their closing ceremony.


UWE-2, the second Cubesat developed at Würzburg University, successfully reached orbit today, piggybacked aboard an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

The launch was followed live at an event held in the Robotics Hall at Hubland Campus. The first decoded beacons from UWE-2 were received later in the day during its second pass over Würzburg, confirming its operational status.


Round 5 of the first edition of SpaceMaster has now started their 1st semester at JMUW in Würzburg, Germany. This is the final round of the first edition of SpaceMaster. Round 6, of the new edition of SpaceMaster, will start in early September 2010.


The extended SpaceMaster Consortium has been selected by the EU Commission to become an Erasmus Mundus Master in the new Erasmus Mundus II framework. In this new framework there are very good scholarships for both non-EU and EU students. The deadlines for the application is 1 December for non-EU students and 15 April for EU- students. EM info:


Astronaut Thomas Reiter was the guest speaker at Würzburg University's Summer 2009 Informatik Colloquium. Mr. Reiter has spent a total of more than one year in Earth orbit, on missions aboard the Space Shuttle, space station Mir and International Space Station. He spoke about his experiences working in this unique environment at a lecture in the Turing Hall of the Informatik Building Am Hubland.


Top international planetary robotics experts met at the Planetary Rover Symposium between 20 - 21 April, 2009 at TKK's Department of Automation and Systems Technology. Dr. Richard Volpe, manager of the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), talked about the history of space robotics, NASA's rover missions to Mars, and the status of current robotic technology research. Gianfranco Visentin, head of ESA Automation and Robotics Section, presented the ESA's space robotics development. Soviet and Russian planetary and mobile robots in 1963-2007 was presented by Alexei Bogatchev (Science & Technology Rover Company, St. Petersburg, Russia), while Professor of Embedded Systems at the University of Oulu, Juha Röning, talked about the robotics research at Oulu University and their experiences at the ESA Lunar Rover Challenge.


The Ambassador of Japan, Mr.Akiro Nakajima, visited the Space Campus in Kiruna on March 13, 2009. He was very interested in Ground station which was shown by Dr. Victoria Barabash and Mr. Leif Carlsson.


The Ambassador of India, Mr. Balkrishna Shetty, visited the Space Campus in Kiruna on March 9, 2009. He promised to request for financial support for students from India by the authorities in Japan.


SpaceMaster Round 4 came to Kiruna on February 16, 2009. The weather was beautiful, sunshine and 25 degrees below zero, which was a special occasion for most of the students who had never experienced such cold weather. The first day the students got information from LTU, IRF, EISCAT and Spaceport Sweden. During the following weeks the students had planned visits to the Ice-Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, the ironore-mine in Kiruna and to Esrange.


The Swedish Prime Minister, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, visited the Space Campus in Kiruna on February 11, 2009. He meet representatives of the Department of Space Science, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, the Swedish Space Corporation (Esrange) and EISCAT. LTU presented and discussed plans for the future of space related activities in Kiruna.


8kg Nano-satellite "PRISM" developed by students of University of Tokyo was launched by H-IIA launch rocket from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan at 12:54 pm, January 23, 2009. The first CW (Continuous Wave) beacon was captured by Kiruna Ground Station at the Department of Space Science, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. This satellite operation was performed in the framework of an international project of collaborative ground station operations between the SpaceMaster Programme, Department of Space Science, Luleå University of Technology, and University of Tokyo. More information: 2009_03_20_PRISM_press_release.


A planetary rover symposium, supported by the Erasmus Mundus SpaceMaster program, will be held at the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) on April 20-21, 2009. The symposium guest speakers Dr. Samad Hayati (JPL/NASA), Mr. Gianfranco Visentin (ESA), and Mr. Alexei Bogatchev (Rover Company/St. Petersburg) assist to review the robotic space programs and present their current research activities. More information:


The application deadline for EU students applying for SpaceMaster is 15th May, 2009. is currently closed after the non-EU students' deadline of 15th January, and it will be re-opened in mid March for EU-applicants.


The EU Commission has decided that for the intake of Erasmus Mundus 2009-2010, there will be a "Western Balkans and Turkey Window". That means that students from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99, as well as the three candidate countries, namely Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey can apply for the Erasmus Mundus scholarships. Do notice that the deadline for these students is the same as for non-EU students, that means 15 January 2009.


The SpaceMaster round 2 students from the European study curriculum “SpaceMaster – Master in Space Science and Technology” received their certificates on 24. of October, 2008 in Würzburg.


The SpaceMaster programme application deadline for non-EU students is 15th of January 2009 and for EU students 15th of May 2009. An on-line application system will be opened on 1st of December 2008 for Non-EU students and in the middle of March for EU students.


The SpaceMaster Round 4 students have now arrived to Würzburg for the start of the first Semester at JMUW.


The SpaceMaster Round 2 Graduation Ceremony will be held on October 24, 2008 in Würzburg.


If you are having problems with the on-line application system at please contact


The on-line application system at will be opened again 17 March for EU-students.


The on-line application system has now been opened. The website is: The application code for SpaceMaster is: LTU-86801. For detailed information about how to apply, see the LTU-link:


Three SpaceMaster students from Round 2 (Paavo Heiskanen, Jan Hakenberg and Felix Cabrera) have been awarded grants by the Human Exploration Promotion Division, European Astronaut Department, Directorate of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration, ESA.


Information and application forms of the SpaceMaster Global Partnership programme (Erasmus Mundus Action 3 programme) are now available, see menu item SpaceMaster Global Partnership.


The SpaceMaster programme application deadline date for non-EU students is 15th of January 2008 and for EU students 25th of May, 2008. An on-line application system will be opened on 1st of December, 2007.


Round 1 Graduation

In Würzburg’s baroque Residence the first students from the European study curriculum “SpaceMaster – Master in Space Science and Technology” received their certificates on 21. of September. More information: 2007_09_26_SpaceMasters_Press_Release.


The tenth Bengt Hultqvist Prize for "the best space engineering students of 2007" was awarded at the Space Campus in Kiruna. This year's prize was shared by Thomas Ott and Israel Alejandro Arriago Trejo. More information:


SpaceMaster Action 3 Proposal for SpaceMaster's Global partnership has been selected by the EU Commission. More information:


Fifth BEXUS (Balloon EXperiment for University Students) mission successful completed on 28 March 2007 at the Esrange Space Center in Sweden. After lift off, the balloon ascended to about 25 km ceiling. Total flight time was 3.5 hours. The balloon carried onboard two experiments with SpaceMaster participation. More information: 2007_05_05_sm_website_news_update,


The SpaceMaster application deadline dates for EU students have been changed. The new dates are 28 May 2007 for students from EU countries and 25 July 2007 for German students.


Two consortium universities (Würzburg and Luleå) are participating in the ESA Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations (GENSO) project. The Department of Space Science (IRV) ground station in Kiruna has been identified as an exemplary student ground station. The work at IRV ground station is predominantly done by SpaceMaster students.


A new SpaceMaster brochure is published for the academic year 2007-2009 (spacemasterfolder_2007).


Round 2 Begins

The new group of SpaceMaster students have now arrived in Würzburg for the start of the first Semester at JMUW.