On October 4, 1957, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics successfully launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth. While the satellite sent a radio signal back to Earth for three weeks before its batteries ran out and remained in orbit for a mere 90 days, this one act forever changed the course of humankind.
Igniting the imagination of generations to come, Sputnik 1 achieved one of humankind’s fundamental desires, to seek and explore beyond its own horizons. Pioneered primarily as a proxy war between two politically opposed factions, the outcomes of this exploration into extraterrestrial realms have provided us with a multitude of technological benefits (and arguably detriments) in the areas of communications and media, weather forecasting, remote sensing, and navigation, to name but a few.
While the US and the USSR duked it out over space supremacy over two decades, Europe’s presence in space went relatively unnoticed (yes, the Soviet Union was part of Europe, but let's define Europe in this case as areas non-Soviet), a fact that today’s European space tech players are challenging.
Granted, a couple of billionaires on the other side of the Atlantic tend to gather the majority of headlines when it comes to putting people and/or objects into space, that’s not to say that Europe is going to be left behind in the space race v2.
Representing only a sliver of the European space tech industry and joining me onstage at the Tech.eu Summit on the 24th of May will be Space DOTS CEO and co-founder Bianca Cefalo and Skyrora CEO and founder Volodymyr Levykin.
I’m going to do my best to cover the entirety of the space tech industry, what, where, how it benefits us back here on Earth, where Europe fits into the picture, and what needs to happen to make sure we have a viable place in space race v2. In 20 minutes. Wish me luck.
I’m also going to try and get Bianca to give us the lowdown on just how she and her team have minaturised a materials testing lab to the size of a phone, and when exactly we can expect Volodymyr and the Skyrora team to be overtaking that guy with the blue ticks. Wish me luck.
I’ve got my deck of questions, if you’ve got some for these two exciting space tech pioneers, hit me up at @sensorpunk on the Tweeters and I’ll see what I can do about working them in. Until then, grab your ticket, and dif-tor heh smusma.