Our second podcast is out now! During the European Space Week in Tallinn we had the pleasure to talk to Dallas Kasaboski analyst at Northern Sky Research and talked with him about e.g. the European New Space market, funding mentality, differences between the USA and Europe and the earth observation market. We learned a lot and are sure you will get some insights from this episode! The podcast was recorded on the 9th November in Estonia.
The NewSpaceVision Podcast series focus on entrepreneurship in the field of NewSpace in Europe and abroad!
„Data from space is the oil of the 21st century“ said Rolf Densing (Director of Operations and Head of ESOC). I would like to take this quote as an occasion to illuminate the Smallsat Business. For a little introduction check out an articleby Utah Public Radio (the Small Satellite Conference takes place each August on Utah State University campus in Logan, Utah, USA).
As you can read here the market forecast for Small Satellites is promising.In addition I have found a free report by Spaceworks for you here.
NewSpace in Europe
It is said that more satellites are built in Glasgow than in any other European city. At least the Glasgow based StartUp Clyde Space has developed a CubeSat with ultra-sensitve „cold atoms“ to accurately map slight changes in gravity across our planet’s surface.
Recently they have comissioned a ground station to be able to control and monitor the satellites throughout their journey in space.
The Suisse company ELSE SA got an initial 2,5 million € funding for its ambitous Astrocast project. In 2021 they want to get 64 satellites into space to build an IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) communication network.
LISA Pathfinder was using thrusters by Busek Company who have confirmed that they have passed a critical design test for iodine filled thrusters.
Prof. Ben Malphrus, Principal Investigator of Morehead State University’s Lunar IceCube mission said: „It’s a game-changing technology for the whole CubeSat community.”
On 1. August 2017 PacSci (Pacific Scientific) was testing its MAPS (Modular Architecture Propulsion System) rocket motors in a sun-synchronous, 515 km polar orbit operation. Instead of tanks, valves, tubing or heaters the company uses a different technology.
Finally I leave you with two App recommendations in which the correct thrust is very important. The first one is inspired by the SpaceX Falcon rocket landing and is called „Landing Confirmed“. (Link for Play and App Store)
In „A Comets Journey“ you have to choose the correct trajectory to collect items. This could be a satellite who has to collect space debris. (Link for Playand App Store)
Have a great time,
On September 3rdfrom 10am to 5pm we will start with a morning boost session together with h-aero at the DroneMastersConvention. There you can see a presentation next to the flying h-aero. The convention will take place at the Trabrennbahn Berlin Karlshorst.
We have organized a limited free ticket contingent for 50 NSV attendees. They are valid for the entire event. You can visit the following drone marathon and the ceremony with the Federal Minister of Economics, Brigitte Zypries. You can find the links to tickets which are free for the first 50 attendees in our Meetup group.
PS: We are looking for a Social-Media-Person!
We hope you like our content and we want to bring it to more people by spreading it on the social networks we are present on! If you want to learn about NewSpace topics, learn about social media strategies, tools like Buffer & Mailchimp and want to help us, we would be super happy to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org!
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.
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.
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.
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.
[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.]
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 INNOSpace, Copernicus, 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!
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.