Dr.-Ing. Holger Krag

Head of the Space Safety Programme


Holger Krag acquired his master in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Braunschweig, followed by a 4 year research period at the Institute of Aerospace System where he focussed on space debris modelling and surveillance, which also became the topic of his PhD (2003). In 2002, he became a system engineer at Thales ATM at Langen (Germany) and was part of the development team of the Galileo ground mission segment (GMS), for which he worked in collocation with the customer in Toulouse, France. His main tasks included the development of the validation platform for the Galileo GMS.

In 2006, he joined ESA as an Analysist in the Space Debris Office at ESOC. He worked on establishing risk models and an operational collision avoidance system, and contributed to first space surveillance studies. In 2014, he took the position of the Head of the Space Debris Office, which, among others, provides fundamental support to ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Programme. In 2019, he took over the position as the head of the programme, and prepared the evolution into the new Space Safety Programme which was established at the Space19+ Ministerial in Sevilla. The new programme addresses an enlarged scope within the areas of Space Weather, Planetary Defence and Space Debris including early warning systems and mitigation measures and three ambitious missions (Lagrange, Hera und ADRIOS). Implementation of the SSA Programme. His current duties comprise the implementation of the SSA/Space Safety Programme, in close coordination with participating States, managing the resources delegated to the Space Safety Programme Office, including staff, budgets, industrial contracts and legal agreements in the areas of Space Weather, Space Debris, Planetary Defense, Cleanspace and Frequency Management. The implementation of the Spanish Surveillance and Tracking System (S3T) Project, Frequency Management and ESA representation on debris matters at relevant international bodies (IADC, UNCOPUOS,…).

Holger Krag is the author of/contributor to about 200 publications and has been active in education since many years through lectures at ESA’s training centre and Technical Universities in Germany. He was awarded with the “Ludwig-Bölkow-Preis of the DGLR (German Aerospace Society) for the diploma thesis”, the Heinrich-Büssing-Preis of the foundation for the advancement of sciences at the Technical University of Braunschweig for his Ph-D thesis and the ESA Award for Teamwork Excellence in recognition of valuable contributions to safety-relevant services provided to ESA and its member states (as a member of the Space Debris Office team). Since 2020, he is a full member of the IAA (International Academy of Austronautics.

List of Publications