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ESTL – European Space Tribology Laboratory

Explore further, test better.
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Who we are

We are the European Space Tribology Laboratory. The European centre of excellence in the science and engineering of friction, lubrication and wear in vacuum environments, including space.

We provide expertise and bespoke lubrication solutions for precision mechanisms operating on the ground, and in space. We help our clients achieve optimal mechanism performance and life, no matter what the vacuum application.

With over 50 years heritage as ESA’s external tribology laboratory, our support helps clients control development risks,  maximise the value of test campaigns and meet mechanism performance, life and cost targets.



Lionel Gaillard

ESA (ESTEC) Head of the Mechanisms Section (TEC-MSM)

“ESTL was founded over 50 years ago and supports the European space industry through a Frame Contract with ESA. I have been the ESA manager of the ESTL Frame Contract for almost a decade now and I couldn’t be prouder of the journey achieved so far. The professionalism exhibited by their staff, their unwavering commitment to engagement, and their consistent achievements showcase the incredible progress they’ve made over the past ten years. It’s been a real honour to witness and support their growth”