LuxSpace is a European space systems contractor based in Betzdorf in Luxembourg. It was founded in November 2004 as a daughter company of OHB AG, and began operations as a joint venture with SES Astra in January 2005.[1]

On 23 September 2009 the PathFinder2A (aka Rubin-9.1, AIS-Pathfinder 2) payload aboard the Rubin-9 satellite (COSPAR 2009-051F; the Rubin-9 "satellite" was actually the upper stage of the carrier rocket that the payloads were solidly bolted onto; after the rocket had finished its mission with the primary payload, the upper stage remained in space and became "satellite" Rubin-9) was launched by a PSLV-CA rocket. This was LuxSpace's first orbital operation. The satellite carried another payload (Rubin 9.2) by OHB-System.[2] As of 2019, both payloads (and thus the whole satellite) are non-operational.[3]

The company's first own, independent (no shared payload by another company) satellite VesselSat-1 (which was a bona fide satellite) was launched on October 12, 2011 as part of the GapFiller program;[4] followed by its twin VesselSat-2 on January 9, 2012.

In 2014 (launch 23 October 2014, 18:00 UTC), LuxSpace performed the 4M or Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (in memoriam of Manfred Fuchs, the founder of OHB company, whose daughter company LuxSpace is), the first private Moon mission. The mission consisted of an amateur radio payload (total mass of payload was 14 kg) that was sent on a close lunar flyby aboard a Chinese Long March 3C/G2 rocket's upper stage. The 4M payload was solidly bolted onto the upper stage of the rocket and did nor separate. The Chinese rocket performed the Chang'e 5-T1 lunar flyby mission to test technology for future lunar sample return mission Chang'e 5. The Chang'e 5-T1 test flight sent a space capsule on a flight around the Moon and back toward Earth, with the capsule landing on Earth in the end of the mission. The 4M payload's nominal lifetime was 8 days.[5]

LuxSpace built the ESAIL satellite for the Canadian operator exactEarth under ESA’s SAT‐AIS programme (a part of ESA’s Partnership Projects) for tracking ships. ESAIL is the first commercial microsatellite of the program. As of 2019, the launch of ESAIL is expected in 2020[6] aboard Arianespace Vega rocket.[7] The launch will take place on the Vega Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) Proof of Concept (POC) flight.[8]


  1. ^ (31 January 2005). "OHB-SES Venture Targets Space, Defense Markets", Space News 16 (4): 13.
  2. ^ "Rubin 9".
  3. ^ Ford, Dominic. "RUBIN 9.1 & RUBIN 9.2 -". Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  4. ^ Lakshmana, LK (12 October 2011). "India joins space big league Archived 2012-01-21 at the Wayback Machine", Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  5. ^ "First Private Moon Mission to Launch on Chinese Rocket Today". 23 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) POC Mission (Vega) - RocketLaunch.Live".
  7. ^ "Maritime microsatellite ESAIL to test the waters as launch contract is signed".
  8. ^ "Arianespace to launch the ESAIL satellite for exactEarth on Vega's SSMS POC flight".

External links

  • Official LuxSpace website