ESA Space Resource Challenge; Credit: ESA

On Monday 22 August 2022, the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) unveiled details of a competition to meet astronaut Matthias Maurer and attend the final of the “ESA-ESRIC Space Resources Challenge” on 9 September at the Rockhal in Esch-Belval.

The Moon is the next step for human presence in space. In order to establish habitats there, it will be necessary to collect resources present there and use them there. Exploration – i.e. the detection of these space resources – is the first step necessary to enable their use. In this context, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Space Resources Innovation Center (ESRIC) have called on European space industries and research institutions to develop, within the framework of the "ESA-ESRIC Space Resources Challenge”, innovative technologies for prospecting for resources on the Moon.

As part of this challenge, teams of engineers have developed vehicles capable of prospecting for resources in a test bed simulating the shadowed polar regions of the Moon. From 5 to 9 September 2022, the final of the ESA-ESRIC Space Resource Challenge will take place at the Rockhal in Esch-Belval. On this occasion, prototype lunar rovers will compete on a “lunar” field of 1,800 m2 and the winner will have the opportunity to have their technology implemented on the Moon.

On 9 September from 15:00 - 18:00, the professional competition at the Rockhal will open to the Luxembourg public with real demonstrations of lunar rovers in the presence of Matthias Maurer, ESA astronaut, who has just returned from six months aboard the International Space Station. The Luxembourg Space Agency is offering 40 places (20 pairs of tickets) to attend this event. After answering a question online about the astronaut's professional career, the winners will be drawn and will also meet Matthias Maurer personally. All winners will be contacted on 2 September by email with practical details related to the event.