ESA-P. de Maagt

“The Sätellite” – Spaceflight made in The LÄND

This Space News was published on Wed, 15.02.2023 – 06:15 CET, covering Verwaltung

Baden-Württemberg is one of the most important space locations in Germany. In keeping with the current image campaign, "The LÄND", Minister President Winfried Kretzschmann (Greens) received a sticker with the words "The Sätellite" during a visit to the University of Stuttgart. Behind the apparent fun, however, is a serious matter.

More about The Sätellite
The Sätellite-Sticker by KSat e.V.
KSat e.V.

Space industry could be slowed by skills shortage

According to the state government of Baden-Württemberg, the aerospace industry in the state generates a turnover of €4.8 billion per year. This makes it a particularly important economic sector. Baden-Württemberg has earmarked around 4.5 million euros for its own space strategy in the 2023/24 double budget. Money well spent, it seems.

Nevertheless, the industry is not immune to the skills shortage. Engineers in particular are in short supply, and it is not easy to recruit them. If this trend continues, Germany's space ambitions could soon come to an abrupt halt. During a visit to the University of Stuttgart, Kretzschmann got a first-hand impression of the situation - and also learned about satellites and space debris. During the visit, he was given a sticker by students that read "The Satellite".

International Ambassador for Space Travel "Made in The COUNTRY

It was designed by the Student Small Satellites Group at the University of Stuttgart (KSat). Together with the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart, KSat is developing its own 3U cubesat. The development of the Stuttgart Operated University Research Cubesat for Evaluation and Education (SOURCE) is supported by ESA's Fly your Satellite! initiative. SOURCE is currently in Phase D of the development cycle. Students have a total of 30 months to build (D1, 6-18 months) and test (D2, 6-12 months) the satellite, which measures just 10 x 10 x 36 cm. The budding space professionals will have their hands full until the satellite is launched in early 2024. And once in space, the satellite will need to be operated - for at least 6 months, according to ESA.

Kretzschmann must have been impressed. "We want to make the aerospace industry in Baden-Württemberg even more visible and set new priorities," says the 74-year-old. SOURCE is likely to play a part in this, as according to the association he can be found "as an international ambassador for 'Aerospace made in The LÄND' at space conventions, Expo Dubai and in research". The latest PR stunt will do its bit. But whether it will really attract new professionals remains to be seen.

Header Image Credit: ESA-P. de Maagt
Written by M. Weissflog