Innovation Culture

Space Propulsion Summer School: a first ! 10-01-2021 |  2 minutes


ArianeGroup is all fired up about the first online summer school in partnership with the University of Luxembourg SnT.

The first Space Propulsion Summer School (SPSS) was held on September 14 and 15, 2021. A joint initiative between ArianeGroup and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg, it is geared for students in the aerospace Master’s program and the industry’s future engineers and professionals. The online certificate program provides a high-quality introduction to space propulsion.

Working particularly closely with European schools and universities, ArianeGroup has chosen a novel method to share its expertise and continue to train today’s budding engineers who will drive tomorrow’s European space industry.

The Ariane 6 Vulcain 2.1 engine during hot-fire tests at the Vernon site ArianeGroup


Two days of intense online training and a dozen or so conferences, led by ArianeGroup experts, other propulsion specialists, and SnT instructors, provided a means for students to learn about numerous technical and strategic propulsion-related fields.

The first day of the summer school program focused on launch vehicles. It began with a brief introduction to the basic principles of propulsion, which include the well-known Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. Students then delved into areas that ArianeGroup specializes in: liquid and solid propulsion. Finally, they moved on to the complex field of system engineering and examined an example of prototype design.

Ariane 5 solid propulsion boosters in action during a lauch ©John Kraus


The following day’s topics included electric and electrothermal orbital propulsion. The comprehensive curriculum, which includes fields of study such as space logistics, resources and atmospheric reentry, aims to give participants a real sense of the challenges of future missions to the Moon, to Mars, and around asteroids.

The Ariane 6 Vulcain 2.1 engine during qualification testing ©ArianeGroup


The first summer school edition was a resounding success with over 80 participants and a large number of requests on social media for a second session. ArianeGroup is proud to share its knowledge, and to promote dialogue between students and instructors. The company hopes to plant seeds that will grow into keen interest and produce future space propulsion specialists.