Calling university students to participate in the Online Space Debris Training Course 2022

organised by


in Remote, Europe Wide

*The deadline for applications to participate in the Online Space Debris Training Course 2022 is 11 April 2022, 23:59 CEST.

In brief

Space debris is a hazard to our satellites and spacecraft as well as a contributor to near-Earth space pollution. To help raise awareness of this issue, ESA’s Education Office is organising the fifth edition of ESA Academy’s Space Debris Training Course. The Training Course will be held online between 16 and 25 May 2022.


Participating University students will be provided with an introduction to the concept of space debris, why it is necessary to address this problem, and how the mitigation policies set by ESA apply to missions. Participants will not only learn about the space debris environment and mitigation technologies and future challenges such as large satellite constellations, but also about how it impacts spacecraft operations and potential future solutions. Current topics such as large satellite constellations and new space traffic management developments will be discussed. Taught by ESA experts as well as external experts in the sector, the course will be delivered through formal technical lectures complemented by hands-on exercises based on a real-life case study. 

This training course is a collaboration between ESA’s Education Office and ESA’s Space Debris Office, which coordinates ESA's research activities in all major debris disciplines. These include measurements, modelling, protection, and mitigation. It also operates ESA’s collision avoidance system for a fleet of 20 spacecraft, implements space debris aspects in the Agency’s Space Safety programme (S2P) and represents ESA on space debris matters at international bodies such as the IADC (Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee) or UNCOPUOS (United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space)

Preliminary schedule

Day 1 - AfternoonIntroduction
Forces Acting on a Space Object
Space Debris Environment - Part 1
Day 2 - AfternoonSpace Debris Environment – Part 2
Space Debris: Legal & Regulatory Aspects
Group Project Session 1
Day 3 - AfternoonMitigation Principles & Guidelines
Deorbiting & Passivation technologies
Group Project Session 2
Day 4 - AfternoonSpace Debris Mitigation Context
The Future of the Environment
Day 5 - AfternoonSpace Surveillance
Operating in the Space Debris Environment
Collision Avoidance
Day 6 - AfternoonProtection & Shielding
Group Project Session 3
Day 7 – Full dayAerothermodynamics during re-entry
Simulation of Spacecraft Destruction during Atmospheric Re-entry
On-ground Risk Estimation
Group Project Session 4 
Day 8 – Full dayDesign for Demise
Active Debris Removal
Group Project Session 5

Who can apply?

In order to participate, students must fulfil the following eligibility criteria at the time of application:

  • aged minimum 18 years old. ESA Academy and relevant partners will only appraise applications from students who have no or limited professional experience in relevant engineering or space-related topics;
  • be a citizen of an ESA Member State, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania or Slovenia;
  • be enrolled as a Master or PhD student in a university for the year 2021-2022 (not graduating before the training course)
  • be studying for a scientific or engineering degree and have minimum knowledge of space technology.

Selected students will be requested to attend all 6 afternoon sessions and 2 full days live.

Upon completion of the Training Course students will be evaluated via an online questionnaire and will receive a certificate of participation and a course transcript, allowing them to request ECTS credit(s) from their respective universities.

How to apply?

  • Fill in the application form;
  • Upload a motivation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, no images);
  • Upload a CV (Europass format, PDF, maximum 2 pages);
  • Upload a formal recommendation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, including signature, no images) from a university professor or academic supervisor of current university (if not possible due to current COVID-19 situation in your country please ask a university professor or an academic supervisor to send a recommendation email to [email protected]);
  • Upload a copy of academic records (PDF).

All answers and documents should be in English (except academic records if not available).

The deadline for applications to participate in the Online Space Debris Training Course 2022 is 11 April 2022, 23:59 CEST.

For more information, please contact [email protected]