August 16th – 20th '21

LDE NL Space Campus Summer School

This year the first 5-day Summer School will be held from August 16 to 20 for students from Leiden, Delft and Erasmus Universities.

Regretfully the LDE NL Space Campus Summer School cannot take place due to recent developments in the COVID-19 situation. We are however very much looking forward to welcome you next year to the 2022 edition of the LDE NL Space Campus Summer School!

Do you want to stay informed? Send us an email at and we will provide you more information about next year’s programme and other future student events and activities.

About the program

During the week you will meet and learn about the various space programs, developments and research activities at the three universities and go on a tour of space agencies (ESA ESTEC, Netherlands Space Office), institutes and industry in South-Holland. Starting at the NL Space Campus in Noordwijk at ESA-ESTEC, the technical heart of ESA, you will tour the cities of Leiden and Delft before returning to Noordwijk. During the week, you will meet many experts, learn about the basics and recent developments. This way you can work on your team’s challenge fully prepared. 

The week also includes several fun and non-space events. You will get to know the other participants as well as learn about each other’s strengths, knowledge and approaches to problem solving. This is important because you will need to combine your strengths to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve space sector challenges that require insight and knowledge from different backgrounds. You will therefore grow many (soft)skills such as collaboration, communication and creative thinking. 

To stimulate team building, socialising and networking, we have included dinners on Monday, Thursday and Friday. These are combined with project team building, networking drinks, an activity on the beach next to ESA ESTEC, a project presentation and an open barbecue with networking possibilities at the end of the week. 

Why apply for
the LDE NL Space Campus
Summer School?

  • Connect with and meet like-minded students from different universities and the space sector
  • Experience working in an interdisciplinary team to solve challenges that the space market is currently facing
  • Learn about the activities, developments and challenges in the Dutch Space sector
  • Broaden your network with experts from renowned companies in the space sector

What do you
need to do
to get admitted?

  • Applications are open for 2nd and 3rd bachelor and master students
  • Apply and dedicate your time during the summer school
  • Motivate your application and indicate which of the project topics have your interest the most
  • Get selected for the summer school
  • Pay the small fee of 100 Euros for the entire week, which includes the offered lunches, three dinners and activities
  • Most importantly: have fun, connect and get inspired!

Note: Participants will be selected on motivation and study background to have sufficient participants from the different backgrounds for the interdisciplinary projects. 

Join the
LDE NL Space Campus Summer School


  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Location NL Space Campus Leiden Delft NL Space Campus NL Space Campus
Time 9:00 – 21:00 9:00 – 19:00 9:00 – 19:00 9:00 – 22:00 9:00 – 21:00
Erasmus University
Rotterdam School of Management
Leiden University:
  • Law
  • Astronomy
  • Archaeology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Student project
Galileo Reference Centre
Space Expo
Project day
Final presentations
Network & fun Networking drinks
    Beach fun activities
& Dinner
and BBQ party

Transport from Leiden Central Station for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday as well as from Delft Railway station on Wednesday to the different locations will be provided by the program.

NL Space Campus
Space Expo
Netherlands Space Office
Leiden University
ATG Europe
TU Delft Space Institute
Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities
TU Delft
ESA business incubation centre

Challenge Topics

A key element of the Summer School is the project that you will be working on. You will be placed into a project team of 6 students with the different backgrounds (Science, Law, Engineering and Business) that you will need to find a solution to your challenge. Your team will work on the challenge during the entire week starting on day 1 with a team building exercise. 

Then, during the week, you will be provided with relevant information to work on your team’s challenge with the presentations and visits of the different locations. Your team will receive some information and guidance to start your project, but it will be up to your team to find solutions and know when to ask for the relevant information from the experts during the visits.

At the end of the week, you will present your work to your peers and experts to demonstrate you understood the challenge and what solutions and innovations your team has identified to answer the challenge. When subscribing you will be asked to provide your first, second and third choice preferences. Check out the 5 challenges with more details below to make your decision!

Space Debris is becoming a serious threat for spaceflight. Managing this threat is a complex issue that not only requires technical solutions but also legislation to enforce the removal of space debris, nowadays not only belonging to governments but also private companies. Technologies to remove debris or repair satellites can make a difference, but under what conditions is there a business case?

You will be working in a team of engineering, business and law students to determine the possible solutions to solve/reduce the space debris issue, what legislation is needed and possible and under what circumstances there is a sufficient business case for orbital debris removal or servicing services.

Earth observation is more and more used for monitoring the Earth, understanding the climate. Over the recent year ESA, NSO and the ESA BIC programme have been investing in making sure that the data is also made available to the public in a usable format (apps, dyke monitoring etc.) The question is how can Earth observation be used to support the UN sustainability goals?

You will be working with a team of engineering, science and business students to determine how Earth observation data can be used for the UN sustainability goals. You will be asked to determine what services and equipment is needed to provide the service and what the business case is behind these services.

ESA and other space agencies have been using robotics to explore surfaces of distant places like the Moon, Mars, Venus and even Saturn’s moon Titan. While robots were sent because it was too difficult to send humans, the Rover’s capabilities have been improving fast over the years. Just like drones can take over from helicopters, Rovers can be used to support field activities like excavation of archaeology sites.

You will be working in a team of engineering, science, law and business students to determine the possibilities for rovers (supported by drones) to support archaeologists in field work. The challenge will be to understand the needs of the archaeologists to determine if a robotic system is of added value or not and if it could be a cost-effective support for field work.

The Netherlands has a rich history when it comes to observation of the stars and the Earth and the (optical) instrumentation needed for that. Space instrumentation, in combination with other developments like laser communication, Satellite IOT and CubeSats allow for new capabilities. What should be the next steps in instrumentation development and implementation?

You will be working in a team of science, engineering and business students to analyse the current capabilities of space instrumentation, space platforms and datalink. You are asked to determine what the next steps should be in instrument development but also in overall space system design in getting the data.

Since about 10 years space has entered a new era which many dub the commercial spaceflight era. Commercial space is no longer limited to the domain of launching and communication satellites. New companies are now creating commercial business or government service programmes in cargo flight and Earth observation. With a new increased interest in lunar exploration and even Mars, companies are looking into opportunities for providing services to government programmes and even full commercial programmes but the business case is sometimes difficult to build.

You will work in a team of business, law, science and engineering students to identify new potential business cases, determine if they depend on governmental programmes or can be commercial self-standing and what legal aspects should be considered.