Life in space

OHB Venture Capital GmbH, Munich, and LuxSpace s.à r.l., Betzdorf, have today announced the establishment of a company known as Blue Horizon s.à r.l. with registered offices in Luxembourg. Blue Horizon will be pursuing the vision of creating the necessary conditions for enabling sustainable life in space and for revitalizing ravaged landscapes on the Earth by applying the technologies and processes of life sciences.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a close partner to OHB SE. Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, said today at a press conference: “The incorporation of this company in Luxembourg and its vision are fully in line with our SpaceResources.lu initiative for promoting the future use of space resources. In this connection, we are very pleased to have found in OHB a strong European partner that supports our plans and wants to play a leading role in this area in Europe. One of the most important European sites of OHB, the third largest European space company, is being developed in Betzdorf.”

“Blue Horizon is a logical step forward in the development of our activities. Looking forward, we see great business potential in life sciences in space, which particularly follows OHB’s practical approach of engaging in useful space activities that benefit life on Earth,” said Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB SE. “For this reason, it is only logical that a great deal of expertise will flow from OHB System AG to the new company Blue Horizon and that it will be able to start off straight away. After all, this is not uncharted territory for us,” Fuchs said during the press conference.

Blue Horizon will cooperate intensively with national and European research institutes to develop new life science products and services for space and Earth use. “What is really important to highlight is the fact that Blue Horizon is not only oriented towards space but will also try to improve life on Earth”, said Dr. Thomas Görlach, Managing Director of LuxSpace. Working together with a number of partners, Blue Horizon has developed a preliminary concept to fight desertification using biological methods. This marks a preliminary step towards improving living conditions in desert regions. “This is one of the real challenges in this century,” added Jochen Harms, managing director of the newly formed company “and we want to contribute our specific know-how using processes that we have learned from the harsh environment on extra-terrestrial bodies. The technical expertise will be provided by Prof. Dr. Klaus Slenzka, Chief Scientist and head of Life Sciences at OHB System AG.

Describing the future development of Blue Horizon’s activities, Slenzka says: “In all the plans for human settlement of the Moon, Mars and beyond, it is necessary to ensure that the conditions for human life are installed at the destination in question. Blue Horizon will be responsible for creating these conditions locally,” he explains. A preliminary development is already in the starting blocks: CUBEHAB will be able to create viable living conditions on the Moon as early as in 2020. By extracting oxygen from “lifeless” lunar rubble, it will be possible to grow plants on the Moon.

Spaceflight

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