Mission Scientist

LOCATION - Luxembourg

ispace Europe is seeking a Mission Scientist with whom to submit an application for Luxembourg’s public-private partnership grant program. ispace is a leading micro-robotics Japanese company with  subsidiaries in the United States and in Luxembourg. ispace’s HAKUTO rover won the Google XPRIZE mobility milestone award and is a leading contender for the $20M Grand Prize.

As part of its Memorandum Of Understanding with the Government of Luxembourg, ispace Europe is developing the rover mission that will follow HAKUTO and perform the first in-situ prospection of lunar water.

The deadline for submitting an application to ispace Europe is August 12, 2017. The applicant and ispace will submit an application to the AFR PPP grant before the September, 1st 2017 deadline. A description of the grant program is available at: https://www.fnr.lu/funding-instruments/afr-ppp/


Research Objectives:

The Mission Scientist will coordinate the science definition of ispace Europe’s ISRU missions to the Moon. The Mission Scientist will be responsible for defining the initial science objectives, developing requirements for the mission and payload, and articulating the science value of the mission to the broader science community.

  • Formalize the objectives of ISRU rover missions and trace them to mission requirements and measurement needs

  • Identify instrument suites for the missions and work closely with the engineering and business teams to integrate them into feasible mission concepts

  • Develop the concept for science operations, plan rover traverses, and lead the landing site selection process

  • Support instrument teams with requirements development

  • Present at program reviews

  • Act as liaison with Science Advisory Group and be actively involved with science & engineering communities

  • Represent ispace Europe at science conferences and events

  • Support proposal development and new business with scientific input and principal investigator perspective

  • Coach colleagues about lunar science and the principles of space instrumentation

  • Propose plan for establishing a lunar science & ISRU community in Luxembourg for research, planning, and utilization of lunar data


Applicants are required to meet the all the eligibility requirements of the AFR PPP program for Postdoc grants.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate competency in the specific skills required to perform the proposed research. Candidates should have research experience in areas related to lunar science, volatiles, and/or ISRU.


  • An established reputation as an active contributor in the lunar and planetary science community

  • Practical knowledge of space-instrumentation used to measure volatiles

  • Experience in the development lifecycle of science payloads (e.g. concept, design, integration, or operations)

Collaboration framework

For this PPP grant, ispace Europe SA will be the host institution. The Mission Scientist is expected to spend >75% time at ispace Europe SA (Luxembourg).
In their application to ispace Europe, applicants must identify the collaborating institution and science advisor(s) at that institution.

The Mission Scientist will work in a start-up environment. As such, the Mission Scientist must:

  • Thrive in multi-disciplinary environment in close cooperation with engineering and business teams;

  • Show initiative, leadership, and positive can-do attitude;

  • Be comfortable with change and fast-pace environment.

The Mission Scientist compensation will be per the AFR PPP program guideline.
Duration: 1 or 2 years (2 years preferred) to be specified by applicant