NewSpaceVision – Fresh out the box: Updates about NewSpace in Europe #1

Dear NewSpaceVisionaries,

a lot is going on in the NewSpace sector nowadays and there are many opportunities in front of us. That is why we are planning to publish this content fortnightly in which we highlight a few NewSpace topics with a focus on the European Sector. This time we are going to focus on funding.
Feel free to share this new product! 🚀

NewSpace in Europe

Rocket launches are getting cheaper and cheaper. Orbex, a European space launch company based in UK, developed an innovative fuel tank architecture. The new technology could reduce the dry mass by 30% compared to traditional technologies. In July 2017 Orbex won the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument award.

Orbital Access brings objects into space in a different way. They will use a fully re-usable horizontal take-off launch system with maximum payloads of 500kg. They recently got a 200.000€ contract with ESA as part of its Two-Stage-To-Orbit (TSTO) technology program. Furthermore Orbital Access announced that they will open a headquarter in Malta in a few weeks. From a geographically perspective a wise decision.

ThrustMe is developing an electric propulsion that is more efficient than still existing ones. They claim to be able to double the thrust of a regular miniaturized electric propulsion system at only 40 percent the size. ThrustMe raised 1.7million€ from Kima Ventures and a collection of U.S. and European angel investors.

Current and NewSpace Business Fields
Source: BMWI

Around the Globe

A good message from Africa, especially considering a space topic. It makes me smile when I read that Ghanasat-1 was released from the ISS at the 7th July 2017. „It has opened the door for us to do a lot of activities from space,“ the product coordinator Dr Richard Damoah said. Hopefully there is still a lot to come.

Sometimes satellites collide, get lost or get destroyed. The debris could cause huge damage on other objects and some people are thinking about to pick up the particles. Astroscale, a Singapore based satellite services company got a €21.8mil injection. The company aims to make its efforts to clean up space debris into a commercial business in 2020.

Have you heard that Australia commissioned a review to develop a long-term plan to grow the Australian space industry sector? Here you will find an article discussing why Australia perhaps needs his own space agency.


You are new into this big NewSpace topic? You need something that gives you an overview about the involved bigger companies? Bloomberg writes about the NewSpace Revolution and gives an insight look into Planet (Labs).

Every now and then we organize events. The next one is going to be the biggest one of them. On September 3rd from 10am to 5pm you will be able to meet i.a. the group behind Hybrid Airplane and you will see their h-aero flying.
We can’t tell you more yet. Details will follow soon.

On September 15th – 17th you should visit the INNOSpace Weekend. With Advisory from experts, Front End Developer and Marketing experts on site you can turn your idea into reality. To save 10% for the INNOSpace Weekend in Cologne go to and use our promotional code „NewSpaceVision„.

To start inspired into the new week I would like to end this article with an awesome piece of art: Wanderers by Erik Wernquist.
Lean back, turn up the volume and switch to full screen.
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do :).

Tell us what you think about our new product. We would love to hear your feedback! If you want to receive this content automatically once in two weeks sign up for our newsletter.

Your NewSpaceVisionary
Albrecht Köhler

NSV#9: Space industry insights and advisory from David Ward, Sonaca Space.

Dear NewSpaceVisionaries,

NSV#9: „From Lookheed Martin to Sonaca Space“ was a deep space industry event. David Ward shared his experience he gained through working for a lot of space companies all around the globe. He was involved into more than 20 different projects that launched into space and worked at the spaceports Baikonur, Cape Canaveral, Guiana, and Vandenberg Airforce Base. With this article we want to share a few of David’s funny stories and helpful advisory for working in the space industry.


Planning, Planning, Planning:

Space projects are huge and complicated. So, you need to plan everything in detail for a perfect execution. So many different people and companies are involved into projects in the space industry and the processes need to be coordinated perfectly. But beside all the technological challenges sometimes trivial events cause serious problems.

Two small planning fails David told us:

Imagine you must transport a million Euro satellite with a truck to another destination. Everything is planned perfectly and it is running smooth until the satellite reaches the destination. You just need to get the satellite out of the truck to finish the day. Does this require a lot of planning? Well, yes it does. David told us that they could get the satellite into the truck, but not out of the truck because the satellite was to heavy for the fork-lift truck. Loosing preparation time before a launch is very critical. Thanks to another company nearby they could solve the problem with additional hardware and hours.


Another planning fail was this story David told us. He was on a flight with his team to Baikonur to work four weeks until the launch of a satellite. Baikonur is far away from the next big city and you want to have good food for the next four weeks. One of David’s team members was responsible for the food transport. In the payload cabin was a satellite and a food container full of ice. That is a perfect plan for an efficient satellite and food transport to Baikonur until the ice melts and the water level in the cabin reaches ten centimeters. Result: Satellite survived fortunately, four weeks with colleagues who really miss their steak. You don´t want to be responsible for this.

„Take pictures, it is so easy and perfect for documentation.“

Documentation is another key to successful missions. Even when it is boring or time demanding. You need a good documentation for e.g. failure analysis or problem solving.

„Never underestimate the value of fit checks and dry runs.“

„Scheduling and procedures are another key to a successful mission within the space industry.“

One of the hardest space fails was the damage of the NOAA satellite. A 290 million dollar satellite on the shop floor. Six years delay, just because the team did not check the bolts again as specified in the procedure. „Two days before moving the satellite bolts where there“ does not mean they are there!

„Know what you are doing.“

If something went wrong, do not continue and try an unknown procedure. Stop the process and analyze. Think before you act. In the space industry, there is no room for unnecessary risks.


Space is a tough business.

„Rocket science is about things that want to explode.“

5 percent of all launches fail. This means every twentieth launch may destroy the hundreds of million-Euro work of more than a decade. Take your time to imagine that: You work more than ten years on a satellite, everything went perfect, you got three promotions within this project. As the climax, you want to see it launching into space, a dream and then…BOOM…the rocket explodes. Maybe next time. See you in ten years. A lot of space projects enjoy their long under water life after rocket failures. Remember, you need a lot of resilience in the space industry.

That is not tough enough? David was involved into hydrazine fueling for launches. He told us how he got into this suit looking like an astronaut and then starting the fueling process. Imagine you have all this toxic hydrazine around you and you know that if there is a leak in your suit, you are dead. You can say that he as an engineer got a little bit astronaut feeling in his career.


Main attitude of different work cultures in the space industry:

USA: Working overtime, all the time.

France: Great expertise but after 7,5 hours you won´t find anyone at work.

Russia: Pragmatism solves every problem!

Germany: Put all the above into a mixer and you have the German work culture in the space industry.


Tip from David for all New Space actors:

Do not reinvent the wheel! All the big agencies and companies had the brightest minds working on space problems for more than 50 years. You can find NASA patents on the internet. Take the old knowledge and optimize, minimize or use them to build something more complex.

A side notice from NSV: We can see a lot of successful New Space projects that took old plans from promising programs that were canceled by Governments. A good example is project BEAM, the expandable habitat on the international space station. US Congress cut the program’s funding in 2000 and Entrepreneur and space enthusiast Robert T. Bigelow purchased the rights to the NASA patents. Now it is a promising „New Space“ project of a private company.


Sven and I want to thank David again for all the space industry insights he shared with us. It was a perfect mix of tough space engineering advisory, anecdotes and humor. We loved the discussion and Q&A session with all participants of NSV#9. Hope to see you all at our next event NSV#10 with Hybrid Airplane and their UAV H-Aero which someday may fly on Mars (Date announcement soon).


Daniel and Sven


NewSpaceVision #9 – Sonaca Space [Active Space Technologies GmbH]

When: 20.06.2017, 18:30 
Where: Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at TU Berlin, Marchstraße 12-14, 10587 Berlin 

Dear NewSpaceVisionaries,

On the 20th of June we will welcome David Ward from Sonaca Space!

Sonaca Space (previously Active Space Technologies GmbH) is a Berlin based space company with competences in thermal and mechanical engineering, AIT (Assembly, Integration and Tests) and qualification of space systems. Prior to working for this very company David Ward worked for space giants like Lockheed Martin and the Orbital Science Corporation. With his work experiences in various positions within the space sector he will talk about Program Management, AI&T, Mission Assurance, Launch Operations, and Procurement and Supply Chain along with some stories of what he has encountered over the years. He will also talk about the main differences between big companies and SME in the space industry.

You can support us by buying a ticket on Eventbrite or donating on PayPal.

If you want to help us with your time, we will be super happy to hear from you!   🙂

We would like to invite you to read articles about events, the NewSpace sector and more. Just check out our different sections on to get all of our content. We will release our first podcast with Interstellar Ventures soon. We are also working on bigger projects, but to bring these to life we need your help! Contact us to become a team member of NewSpaceVision.


See you at the event!


Sven & Daniel

Summary of INNOSpace and NewSpaceVision #8: CloudEO and Levity Space

NSV´s first Earth Observation downstream event

Dear NewSpaceVisionaries,

on May 17th we had the 8th NSV event with the Earth Observation company CloudEO. It was our first software driven „downstream“ company and we got a lot of insights from the CEO Mr. Manfred Krischke. He explained the big disruptive potential of the Earth Observation sector. We also had a special guest and winner from the INNOSpace masters for a short pitch. We want to give you our short summary of CloudEO, Levity Space and INNOSpace.

As Sven and I already started an Earth Observation project with QGIS we are very happy to see how the CloudEO service may help to build a scalable application. With the CloudEO service it is getting easier to launch the market with your own Earth Observation application. You can choose between a lot of implemented services and use them to build new value added applications. We think it may be possible that within the next years two guys in a dorm room can change an entire industry by using Earth Observation services. With our own experience in using Satellite image analysis software like QGIS for Sentinel data we recognized the high entry barriers on our own. If you want to build a groundbreaking Earth Observation app just go to their page and check the possibilities with CloudEO.

Our statement: CloudEO – Go for it! Your service is awesome! Good job and we hope you grow the awareness for downstream Earth Observation applications.

Directly from the INNOSpace masters the second winner of the ESA BIC challenge visited us. Levity Space is a very young company from Aachen and builds a modular platform for cubesat and smallsat launches integrated into the Vega launcher structure. At the INNOSpace event they gave a very good 5 minutes presentation. At NSV they had more than 20 minutes and gave the audience a few tips for participation in competitions like INNOSpaceCopernicus, Galileo or the new Space Exploration Masters. Check out Levitys page to get more information.

Our Statement: Levity Space is INNOSpace winner of the hearts!

INNOSpace Masters:

The INNOSpace Masters had a lot of interesting talks and is a good networking opportunity. After a few more political talks we got more advanced content. I just visited the SpaceX facilities in Los Angeles and told about hundreds of people that Europe needs reusable launch vehicles. So for my personal view the Ariane 6 presentation was definitely a highlight of the INNOSpace. There is a lot of progress in miniaturisation of rocket engines or reusing rocket parts going on in Europe as you can see on the pictures. Thanks to the innovation driver SpaceX!

After presentations and panel talks the winner of the awards gave pitches and got prizes. There was a very big suprise. The jury made good choices for most of the prizes like last year (full list of winners). But there was one winner which we think shouldn´t have won the ESA BIC challenge. This was the winner „Bake in space“! Sorry, but the European old and Newspace industry has more optimization potential than an astronaut eating fresh baked bread. Giving „bread“ (which is by the way a holding of a communication and marketing company) the first price and not a company with young engineers like Levity Space who want to build launch opportunities for smallsats is not the right message. I just saw the original gemini capsule which is really small and where two astronauts spent three days in space. They had to suitup and open the roof to stand up flying with more than 7.81 km/s in orbit. Of course you need more comfort when you spent a year in a spacecraft. But if you want to go to Mars you have other problems than getting a fresh french baguette.

Our Statement: INNOSpace is a great opportunity to connect with people and to validate your space idea. Apply for the INNOSpace with your Upstream Idea or for Copernicus Masters if you love Earth Observation. But let´s not talk about bread!

There was one statement from Astrosat which sums up what we love about space. So we use this as our closing sentence:

„Give us a problem, and we´ll solve it with space.“ – Steve Lee, CEO of Astrosat.

Stay tuned!


NewSpaceVision #8: CloudEO (Event following the INNOspace Masters)

When: 17.05.2017, 19:00 – 22:00
Where: Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at TU Berlin, Marchstraße 12-14, 10587 Berlin 

Dear NewSpaceVisionaries,

On the 17th of May we will be able to welcome the CEO of CloudEO Dr. Manfred Krischke!

CloudEO is one of the most interesting companies on the german earth observation market. Their unique software  and market place helps companies to understand and analyse earth observation data more easily. They provide a worldwide and vendor-independent GeoMarketplace, simplifying the geobusiness for customers and partners. These services include solutions for many industries from agriculture to urban planning as well as multi-purpose remote sensing imagery, elevation data and thematic maps.

The Final of the INNOSpace Masters will take place in Berlin on the same day and we thought that would be the perfect occasion for our next NewSpaceVision event.

If you are a visitor of the INNOSpaceMasters Final: The INNOSpace Masters will end at 16.30 so there is plenty of time to come to the TU Berlin and close the day with an interesting talk about downstream applications of earth observation, a topic which is not really covered at the masters.

• If you want to support our MeetUp you are invited to do so by donating a free amount on this eventbrite page: Eventbrite.

• We wrote a small piece on the status of the german new space sectorhave a look and tell us what you think. Follow us on facebook and twitter and feel free to tell your friends and colleagues about NewSpaceVision.

See you at the event!


Sven & Daniel