Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Making Space Accessible: NanoSatisfi

They say that when you love your job, you never work a day in your life. That's exactly what the guys at revolutionary space company, NanoSatisfi strongly believe in. Nestled in the heart of San Francisco, three International Space University graduates (like myself) work towards making space more affordable and accessible for everybody. Together, Peter Platzer, Jeroen Cappaert and Joel Spark juggled ISU exams, lectures, team projects and summer internships with creating a business plan and running a Kickstarter campaign. This all took place in 2012 and now, a year later the company has achieved great success with their main products, miniature cubic satellite ArduSat and ArduSat Academy. I visited NanoSatisfi HQ to learn more from the guys about their journey and what they think is the key to unlocking both happiness and success.

Based out of a collective workspace provided by tech incubator Lemnos Labs, CEO Peter Platzer treated my friends and I with a breakfast array of coffee, pastries and orange juice, before taking a seat on the office floor (there were 12 of us!) and answering our questions with Jeroen and Joel. We were keen to find out how exactly they succeeded at both university and starting a company and they provided us with a great deal of advice towards achieving our dreams, no matter what. Using the example of the 4 minute mile, Peter described how something can only be achieved when you believe it can be. Simply because it is thought to be impossible, does not make it so. The fact that this is merely a state of mind signifies a gap in the market and consequently an opportunity for you to change this thought process.

NanoSatisfi CEO, Peter Platzer holding a prototype of the ArduSat payload package (Source: Space Fellowship)
NanoSatisfi co-founders, Jeroen Cappaert and Joel Spark

Beginning his career as a high-energy physicist at CERN, Peter completed an MBA at Harvard before heading to Wall Street. However space exploration called. I asked Peter what NanoSatisfi meant to him personally & professionally: 

" NanoSatisfi is the culmination of my personal mission statement to have an positive impact on the world, and professionally it is a happy return to my early career aspirations as a physicist and to my passion for space exploration.  These were put on hold for 15 years while I worked in business and waited for a time when the commercialization of space would make it possible to do something impactful without relying on the whims of government budgets.  NanoSatisfi has allowed me to do that, and I am lucky that both personally and professionally I have found a way to be doing something that I love and exactly what I am meant to be doing at this point in my career." - Peter Platzer, CEO NanoSatisfi

Together with aerospace engineer Joel and mechanical engineer Jeroen, the team are driven to  providing regular people with affordable, convenient and on-demand access to space. Their two main products include ArduSat, which allows the public to buy time to run their own experiments, games or applications on board the satellite for as low as $250 a week. Their ArduSat Academy offers training on program design and building, bringing the magic of space science closer to people like you and me. 

ArduSat illustration (Source: Science Business)

Meeting people that exactly a year ago were in my position as an ISU Masters student on their summer internship gave me a strong sense of motivation to achieve similar success. I left NanoSatisfi feeling as though I can and will accomplish anything that I put my mind to. And it really is as simple as that. 

Follow @NanoSatisfi for fun space facts, updates and all-round entertaining140 retweet-worthy characters

- Nikita

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