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

Funding
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.

Special

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 www.innospace-weekend.de 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




The NewSpace Sector in Germany / Status of the German New Space Economy

An article by Sven Przywarra

The global space sector is going through profound changes. Ventures with innovative concepts are entering the market, backed by venture capital and often with a focus on the generation of data or vertical integration. A popular term for this development is NewSpace which was accelerated among other things by progress in miniaturisation, standardisation and activities from well-known billionaires and NASA.

What is the status of the German NewSpace Sector?

Where are companies which follow such an approach? The short answer is: The German NewSpace Sector is small and still in its infancy. You can count the few companies which are “NewSpace PurePlayers” on the fingers of one hand with “Components & Hardware” and “Earth Observation” as the two biggest groups. Within the first category protagonists are still following mostly relatively conservative business models but are more and more offering their products and services “off-the shelf” and to a fixed price, Berlin Space Technologies is a notable exception and an interesting example. OHB and Airbus are still trying to figure out how to incorporate the start-up idea into their companies. Within “Earth Observation” most of the companies analyse public satellite image libraries. Interestingly one of the most important acquisitions of the US American company Planet was a German-based company founded as RapidEye which now is the German branch of the NewSpace giant. (Thus, we see them as a part of the German NewSpace Ecosystem.)

Other smaller groups within the sector are “Navigation & Communication” which faces big international competition (e.g. OneWeb) and “Science & Ex-Orbit” with PTScientists as an endeavour backed by sponsors.

NewSpace Germany / New Space Germany

What is the reason for this situation?

Germany, with its excellent network of Universities and research institutes, has a perfect base for successful high-tech companies in this field but a lack in culture of starting up and difficulties in finding funding for such ambitious and risky business hinder the development of a strong sector.

There are signs and efforts for a change of the status quo. Numerous VC firms expressed their interest in investing in NewSpace companies, some of them made deals abroad. OHB as well as Airbus founded their own venture arms but notably investments in German Space StartUps are not known to us. It seems like the institutional site also wants to stimulate movements in this sector: StartUp Nights at the Federal Ministry for Economic Effairs and Energy and competitions for early stage projects on a national (InnoSpaceMasters) and European level (Copernicus Masters / Gallileo Masters) show small successes.

From our understanding at NewSpaceVision the lack in culture must be tackled at an even earlier stage: People must be educated about the grown opportunities and applications of space technology in the upstream (hardware) and downstream (software) market and individuals from different industries and backgrounds need to be connected and brought together over this topic to catalyse a free discussion and finally develop new use cases and businesses. With our events and the conference, we are trying to pursue that goal.

Actions need to be taken now to avoid the space market (after the internet) to be dominated by American companies only. For the benefit of a well flourishing market the last frontier should also be tackled by more NewSpaceVisionaries from Europe and Germany.

Disclaimer:

[This article was prepared and written by me in my personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are my own. I would be happy to receive your feedback! Feel free to contact me via direct message or via e-mail.]




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!

 




Upcoming Events in 2017

Dear NewSpace Visionaries,

our second period from October 2016 to February 2017 was a huge success with more than 250 active attendees. We want to thank everybody for taking part in NewSpaceVision and all the inspirational conversations. In the third period starting in April 2017 we´ll continue with awesome presentations, lab visits and hacking events. Until now we can officially announce the following companies and events.

  • 0n 1st of April we gonna visit the Part Time Scientists to see the Audi lunar quattro.
  • Airbus is going to tell us more about their NewSpace activities
  • The awesome company hybrid airplane is presenting their new flying concept H-aero which we may see flying on Mars and will definitely see here on Earth.
  • With our Earth Observation Hacking session we both (Sven and Daniel) will show you what our company Weisser Sand Erdbeobachtung is doing and how you can analyze satellite data and build your own company. Laptops gonna heat up at this session.
  • High temperature superconducters may change the world and the space industry. We´ll hear a presentation with the current status of this technology.

We are in talks with more companies and organizing the dates. If you want to get informed automatically when the events are going to happen you should sign up for our newsletter follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook.

You will read some articles from Tom Segert, the co-founder of Berlin Space Technologies. And we are proud to have a lot high level podcast guests who will tell us more about NewSpace and Entrepreneurship.

Last but not least we want to recommend a few events and awards we are also visiting and that are awesome. If you are thinking about starting your own space company there you can apply with your ideas or find a lot of important people of the space industry to connect with.

See you soon NewSpace Visionaries,

Sven and Daniel