The following is an excerpt.

Her enthusiasm for space technology continues to give SFI CASA´s PhD candidate Rannveig Marie Færgestad honor and glory.

Rannveig Færgestad and Ole Dokka.
A new trophy. Rannveig Marie Færgestad has received the «Young Spaceport Norway Award.» Here she is with Mr. Ole Dokka, the Spaceport Norway 2022 Conference organizer. (Photo: Private).

The PhD candidate at SFI CASA investigates the impact of space debris, and her passion for space technology is getting more and more attention.  Recently, she was honored with the “Young Spaceport Norway Award” at the Spaceport Norway 2022 Conference and Expo in Oslo, Norway.
She got the prize for her master’s and doctoral work at NTNU and for being particularly active in organizations that bring together students interested in space travel. She has both started and led the rocket association Propulse NTNU and the umbrella organization Space NTNU.


The Spaceport Norway 2022 Conference and Expo brought together more than 400 participants. The general prize Spaceport Norway Award goes to exceptional contributions to the space industry in Norway. This year this went to Truls O. Andersen from Eidsvoll Electronics. At the same time, Rannveig Marie Færgestad was called to the podium to receive the new “Young Spaceport Norway Award.”
The prize goes to up-and-coming talents, individuals, or groups in and outside Norway.
Færgestad says that she was both honored and startled by the award. She also says she is proud to have been involved in creating what has gradually become a bustling space environment with young people. “And things don’t just happen at NTNU. They appear all over the country”, according to Færgestad.


  The PhD candidate has been a space enthusiast since she was 18. Then she participated in the European Space Camp (ESC) at the Andøya Space Center in northern Norway. She was hooked when she realized she could work with space technology in Norway. It was the summer of 2013. For the next four summers, she went back to Andøya to help organize and run ESC.

READ MORE: Her Research can Make Space a Safer Place
READ ALSO: Rannveig Færgestad Awarded Prize for Best Space-related Master´s Thesis

One of her first questions as a new NTNU student in 2015 was, «WHERE is the rocket club?». Since there was none, she just as well started Propulse NTNU together with enthusiastic fellow students. Færgestad was also the project manager for the first rocket project at NTNU.


«Creating opportunities for students to gain practical experience in space projects is a great passion for me,» she says.
The PhD student also reveals a tiny bit of envy toward all the new students who have experienced the space community from day one.
Earlier this year, she received NIFRO’s (Norwegian industry forum for space industry) award for the best space-related master’s thesis in 2021. The topic was space debris, fragments from meteorites or satellites that have collided. As space activity increases, debris is a growing security threat in low earth orbit. They act like projectiles as they travel at tremendous speeds and cause damage to spacecraft and fixed installations in low Earth orbit.


In her PhD studies, Rannveig Færgestad works on modeling and simulating collisions against shields protecting the installations. Accurate and reliable models for impact are essential in terms of safety, economy, and sustainability.
Space debris larger than 10 centimeters can be tracked from the ground. Today, this group comprises approximately 30,000 objects. They mainly travel around in low Earth orbit, from 160 to 2000 kilometers above the ground. Statistical models estimate around one million pieces of space debris measuring between 1 and 10 centimeters. In addition, there might be 130 million objects that measure between 1 and 10 millimeters. They move at an average speed of 7 kilometers per second. Collisions can cause critical damage to satellites and create millions of new fragments.

Færgestad’s main supervisor is Professor Tore Børvik. Co-supervisors are Professor Odd-Sture Hopperstad and Dr. Jens Kristian Holmen from the SIMLab group at the Department of Construction Engineering. In addition, she has former astronaut Dr. Kevin A. Ford from the American space agency NASA as a supervisor.