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Nico Dettman

Lunar Exploration Group Leader for Lunar Exploration Development Projects
European Space Agency


Nico Dettmann is the Group Leader for Lunar Exploration Development Projects in the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

In his 16 years at ESA, Nico was in charge of the ATV Phase-E Programme (ATV-2 to -5) from the very beginning and managing the transition from development to recurring production and merging the ATV Operations with the ATV Flight Segment activities. Nico also was the ATV-2 Mission Manager.

In 2013 the Groups responsibility was enlarged by the development and production of the European Service Module (ESM) in the ORION cooperation with NASA. The ESM represents Europe’s first manned programme participation beyond low earth orbit. The Group also manages all ESA ISS Payload development. In 2016, the Group took over the management of the ExoMars project, a 2-mission project in cooperation with the Russian Space Agency (ROS). A second cooperation with ROS is ongoing in frame of the Russian Lunar Lander program.

Since summer 2020, Nico is in charge of all Lunar mission related developments, this includes the ESM development and Lunar Cooperation projects with ROS, and also the new ESA Gateway projects I-HAB and ESPRIT. In this new role Nico also acts as ESA Gateway Programme Manager.

Prior to his work at ESA, Nico spent 14 years at Airbus Defence and Space (former Astrium GmbH), where he managed in his last function the Ariane 5 Upper Composite Development and Production.

Nico holds a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Applied Science in Aachen and a post-graduate Master of Business in Economics Engineering.


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