SGAC The Netherlands

National Points of Contact
The Netherlands

The Netherlands has a rich history in space science, exploration, and technology, going back centuries. Since the advent of the space age, the Netherlands has played an important role on the global stage. Through a combination of cutting-edge research, world-beating technology, and a desire to understand and explore the heavens, the Netherlands continues to help pave the way forward for the next-generation of space enthusiasts.

Space activities in the Netherlands comprise a broad variety of scientific endeavours, smart use of space data (e.g., dyke inspection) and highly innovative industrial product developments. The first Dutch-born astronaut that flew in space was Lodewijk van den Berg, who had the American nationality by then. After him two Dutch nationals have flown in space: Wubbo Ockels (passed away in 2014) and André Kuipers. The Netherlands also is renowned for its world class knowledge base in astro-physics and atmospheric research.

For young space professionals and students in the Netherlands it is essential to be able to meet and exchange ideas on space policy, -law, -technology, -exploration, and education, and on the many challenges that lay ahead. This SGAC site provides a broad overview of existing activities and key entities that are involved in the Dutch space sector. SGAC The Netherlands herewith hopes to bring together the next generation of Dutch space leaders and to expand their space awareness and knowledge on (inter-)national space policy.

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Young Space Activities Overview in The Netherlands

For space enthusiasts there are several ways to become involved and get in contact with other young likeminded people:

Netherlands Space Society  (NVR) – The NVR organises various events like movie nights, lectures, debates, SpaceBorrels (network events) and speed-dates (interaction (young) space professionals with students) for their members. In addition the society publishes their own magazine quarterly. Students can become member for free or reduced price if they wish to receive the paper version of the magazine. Please visit the NVR website for more information.

Space Department (RVD) – one of the two departments of the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’, the study society run by and for students of the aerospace faculty of the Delft university of technology. The RVD promotes astronautics among the students and employees of the faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology by organizing lectures and excursions.

Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering – better known as DARE, is an amateur rocket organisation of enthusiastic students at Delft University of Technology. Members can work on small projects but also on the STRATOS programme which targets to launch up to 100 km altitude. Recently DARE broke the European height record for amateur rockets

Euroavia Delft – Throughout Europe 33 universities with a study of aerospace have one thing in common; they have a EUROAVIA society.

The National Space Museum (NRM) offers monthly a lecture on Saturday morning in the aerospace museum Aviodrome, friends of the NRM can get in for free or with discount.

Dutch Federation for Rocket Research (NERO) – Since 1959 NERO members design, build and launch rockets.

Royal Dutch Association for Meteorology and Astronomy (KNVWS). Youth Working Group (JWG) of the KNVWS is a national organisation of young people (official age 8 to 21 years) with interest in astronomy.

International Space University Alumni NL – Facebook-group for all alumni of the International Space University now living in the Netherlands. We’ll organize fun events, and networking get-togethers to keep everyone in touch!

Utrechtse Aardwetenschappen Vereniging -Society for Geosciences students that study at Utrecht University.

GeoVUsie– Society for Geosciences students that study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Country-Specific Events in 2019

Coming soon!

Interesting Web Links


  • ESA BIC Noordwijk: The main mission of ESA BIC Noordwijk is to boost innovative business concepts, using space technology, application and services in non-space environments. ESA BIC Noordwijk is the hub for the commercialization of space technology for earth applications.

  • Netherlands Space Office (NSO): The NSO acts as the Dutch agency for space affairs. It was established by the Dutch government in order to develop the Netherlands’ space programme and to bring that programme to action. The NSO is the face of the Dutch space community for international space organisations like ESA, NASA and JAXA as well as the central point of contact for the space community within the Netherlands.
  • ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC). ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, is the largest ESA site in Europe. ESTEC is ESA’s technical heart – the incubator of the European space effort – where most ESA projects are born and where they are guided through the various phases of development.
  • SpaceNed is the association for Dutch Space companies
  • SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research is the Dutch expertise institute for space research. The institute develops and uses innovative technology for groundbreaking research in space, focusing on astrophysical research, Earth science and planetary research.
  • TNO Space works with the public sector, Dutch businesses, institutes and universities to carry out research in the field of space technology, thereby contributing to a safe, secure and sustainable world.
  • Airbus Defence and Space the Netherlands, an Airbus Group company, is the largest space company in The Netherlands. In de past 30 years it has contributed to major international space projects such as the ATV cargo vehicle, the Rosetta Mission, Ariane 5 and the Vega launcher.
  • National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR). The NLR is one of the major technological institutes of the country. As an independent non-profit organisation, NLR is the central institute for aerospace research in the Netherlands and provides high-quality technical support to the aerospace sector.
  • ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Its mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen, via the development of novel and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research.
  • KNMI is the national institute for weather, climate research and seismology. It disseminates weather information to the public at large, the government, aviation and the shipping industry in the interest of safety, the economy and a sustainable environment. To gain insight into long-term developments, KNMI conducts research on climate change.
  • For more information on the Dutch space sector and its capabilities please refer to the online Space Directory provided by the NSO.
  • The TU Delft Space Institute was founded in 2015 to bundle and create expertise on Space for local, regional and global impact on research, education and valorization. And is a cooperation between several departments of various faculties of the Delft University of Technology bundling there work in the field of space.


  • Netherlands Space Society (NVR). The NVR was founded in 1951 with the aim to increase knowledge and interest in space to encourage in the broadest sense. It does so by providing its members and stakeholders a platform for information, communications and activities on offer, including the following resources: stimulating interest in space among young space professionals and students, organizing conferences, lectures (also on schools), film shows and excursions, the publication of a magazine, establishing and maintaining relationships with other organisations and agencies in the Netherlands and abroad, whose objectives are similar to those of the NVR.
  • Women in Aerospace (WIA) Europe is dedicated to expanding women’s opportunities for leadership and increasing their visibility in the aerospace community, by creating a Network in Europe and across the globe.
  • Delft University of Technology Faculty Aerospace Engineering : one of the largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering in northern Europe. It is the only unique institute carrying out research and education directly related to aerospace engineering in the Netherlands. The faculty of AE offers a full-English degree, bachelor’s and master’s programme with PhD opportunities.
  • Leidse Instrumentmakers School: college for precision engineering where young people are trained to Research Instrument Maker.
  • International Institute of Air & Space Law in Leiden is one of the leading international academic research and teaching institutes in the world, specialising in legal and policy issues regarding aviation and space activities in the broadest sense of the word.
  • Leiden University – Master of Laws in Advanced Studies in Air and Space Law. The Master’s unique programme in Air and Space Law is a combination of public air law, private air law and space law, both from an international and European perspective.
  • The Netherlands research school for astronomy (NOVA), which is a collaboration between the Universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, Nijmegen and Utrecht. The Netherlands has an internationally acknowledged reputation for education in astronomy.
  • Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing in Wageningen aims at improving spatial competences for a sustainable world through research and education in cooperation with Alterra.
  • Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente. ITC knowledge of geo-information management is readily available, and is continually being developed and extended. By means of postgraduate education, research and project services, we contribute to capacity building in emerging countries and countries that are economically and/or technologically less advanced.
  • The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) in Amsterdam is the oldest environmental research institute in the Netherlands. IVM has built up considerable experience in dealing with the complexities of environmental problems. Its purpose is to contribute to sustainable development and the rehabilitation and preservation of the environment through academic research and training.
  • Utrecht Faculty of Geosciences has a leading international position in academic research into the Earth, sustainability, urbanisation and migration.
  • ESA Education serves as a contact for anyone who can use educational support for space activities in the classroom. ESERO is an initiative of the European Space Agency and will come from the National Center for Science and Technology, the parent of science center NEMO in Amsterdam.