A ranking of the visionaries pushing the boundaries in the new space race includes a number of Luxembourg-based names
Luxembourg players in the newspace sector have been ranked highly in an annual survey of the industry’s top leaders.
Since Luxembourg announced its strategy to be at the vanguard of space resources exploitation in 2016, around 20 innovative newspace companies have established operations in Luxembourg, which in September 2018 launched its own space agency. And their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Among the local faces that feature in the Newspace People top 200 leaders ranking are Niels Buus, of Danish nanosatellite operator Gomspace, at number 1. In 2017 Gomspace announced plans to open a Luxembourg subsidiary after the government agreed to invest in its R&D activities. Gomspace’s head of sales and business development Igor Alonso Portillo is meanwhile ranked at 72.
The managing director of microrobotics firm Ispace Europe, Kyle Acierno, is ranked at 27 while the global firm’s CEO and founder Takeshi Hakamada is at 87.
A new face, Jason Dunn, the co-founder and director of Made In Space, which in 2018 announced plans to open a research and manufacture facility in Luxembourg, is at 44. The firm’s CEO and president Andrew Rush, meanwhile, came in at 173.
The person driving much of the newspace activity in Luxembourg and head of the recently created Luxembourg Space Agency, Marc Serres, ranked at number 49.
Earth observation nanosatellite firm Spire fared well in the ranking, with CEO Peter Platzer at 59, CTO Jeroen Cappaert at 77, just behind SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and director of launch Jenny Barna at 158.
A more established Luxembourg player is also featured in the shape of SES, the satellite firm which launched Luxembourg on the space path when it was created in 1985. Its current CEO, Steve Collar, is ranked at 159.
A simultaneous ranking of newspace firms placed Gomspace at 13, Ispace at 69, Spire at 123 and Luxspace at 177.
The two rankings are based on unique votes cast by over 20,000 people for 1,617 companies and 389 newspace decision makers taken from a survey of Leadership Monthly subscribers.