For the use of laser systems in space, laser induced contamination plays a disreputable role since several NASA missions such as LITE, MOLA and ICESAT have been aborted or could not be completed as planned for this reason. Laser-induced contamination is caused by theoutgassing of organic and inorganic molecules from adhesives, insulating materials or conductor plates. Although in principle only components with a low gas emission rate (TML (total mass loss) < 1 %; CVCM (collected volatile condensable material) < 0.1 %) are permitted, and these materials are conditioned by prior baking for use in space, it is notpossible to completely prevent gas emissions. If the outgassed molecules occur in interaction with laser radiation, the result is decomposition and deposition of the residues on the optics. This occurs in particular if intensive radiation in the shortwave wavelength range is concerned. Even the smallest deposits with a thickness of a few nanometres can decreasetransmission in such a way that the lifespan of the entire laser system is markedly reduced or even be threatened with total failure. Laser-induced contamination occurs particularly in a vacuum though it can also adversely affect the lifespan of encapsulated laser systems. To avoid or considerably minimise such risks, fundamental investigations on the origin and growth of such deposits are necessary. The TP-AO department operates ultra-high vacuum contamination facilities on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) to screen materials to be used in space. In addition, methods are developed to prevent the molecular transport or the attachment to optics.