SpaceTech: TU Graz celebrates its first graduates

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The first eight graduates of the SpaceTech master programme with their self-deve
The first eight graduates of the SpaceTech master programme with their self-developed moon rover. © Nestroy - TU Graz

The eight graduates of the part-time master’s programme all come from the aerospace sector. As part of the programme they developed lunar vehicles for the ESA Moon Village.

As part of a practical project, ESA - the European Space Agency - invited the SpaceTech students to imagine themselves as a virtual aerospace start-up and come up with a commercially viable moon project. The result is LUNATIX, a concept featuring one larger and five smaller moon rovers that drive, but can also jump surprisingly far. Just the right proposal to make them interesting for the vision of the ESA Moon Village. ESA even chose one picture of the lunar vehicle as its photograph of the week. The first SpaceTec graduation took place yesterday, Tuesday 19 September, in the auditorium at TU Graz - a fitting setting for the eight graduates to celebrate their joint success as well as the completion of the English-language master programme "SpaceTec - Master of Engineering in Space Systems and Business Engineering".

Establishing international contacts

All eight graduates have a background in the aerospace sector, coming either from the industrial side such as Airbus Defence & Space or from institutions such as ESA or the German Aerospace Centre. Eugen Svoboda, managing director of Svoboda Entwicklungs GmbH & Co KG, one of the brand-new graduates, commented on the master programme at TU Graz: "The combination of lectures by distinguished personalities from the space community with the virtual start-up company made the study project a very unique experience. As an Austrian entrepreneur, I am impressed how successfully the SpaceTech program makes efficient use of lecture time while providing in-depth theoretical knowledge. An equally important point was that it allowed us to establish many professional contacts across the whole of Europe."

Private enterprise takes off to space

In recent years, the involvement of private companies in the aerospace industry has increased enormously. The aim is to reach out to new business fields, for example satellite services, aerospace transportation or the future mining of extra-terrestrial raw materials. All this calls for highly qualified experts. "The beating heart of the SpaceTech programme is the "Central Case Project" developed by the participants as a team. This is what makes the SpaceTech Master in Graz unique" explains Otto Koudelka, Head of the Institute of Communication Networks and Satellite Communication at TU Graz and Scientific Head of the SpaceTech programme.

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