​”Opportunities for New Space Services and Space Systems Research at Skoltech​!”

The first part of this talk will provide business context motivating some of the most exciting startup opportunities in the New Space sector.

Operating within this context, the second part of the talk provides an overview of some of the work developed by Prof. Golkar’s research group in the field of space telecommunications and space systems engineering.

It will outline research opportunities for Master’s and Doctoral students currently enrolled in any disciplinary track at Skoltech and interested in doing their thesis or term research projects with us.

There has never been a more exciting time in the space industry since the Moon race. Fifty new space startups are being created every year around the world. Private and institutional investors around the globe are currently spending more money in space than what was spent for the entire Apollo program in the 1960s. More than 2,500 private ventures are currently operating across the value chain. Therefore one naturally asks oneself the question: which startups will eventually be in the money? Which ones are going to fail? The first wave of large satellite constellation projects appeared in the 1990s. Most business cases failed due to the advent of less expensive terrestrial infrastructure. Why are the services delivered by modern mega-constellations different from those proposed in the 1990s? In conclusion, can the space sector be considered today an active part of the global economy?

“In this talk I will overview the recent advances made by the space ecosystem in the last decade in translating technology to business. I will discuss fundamental differences in space businesses based on translating photons (information) and atoms (mass) – and why the former have higher chances of turning into economic profit. I will present the space value chain, and discuss the allocation of enablers and services, and ultimately identify where most business opportunities lie for startups. I will discuss the different roles of institutional actors, large industry and startups in creating value in the space ecosystem. I will ultimately propose a long term vision for New Space Services – where “could we go” and where “should we go” to advance in the development of the private space sector.”

Alessandro Golkar is Associate Professor in Space Systems Engineering at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Skoltech. He is the former Interim Director of the Space Center at Skoltech. In 2017-2019, he was on leave from academia as Vice President in the Leadership Team of Technology Planning and Roadmapping within the Corporate Technology Office of Airbus in Toulouse, France. He holds a Habilitation a Diriger des Recherches (HDR) degree from INP Toulouse, a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and graduate and undergraduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Università di Roma “La Sapienza” in Italy. He is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Senior Member of the IEEE. Among other international recognitions, he is the 2019 recipient of the “Innovators Under 35” Award of the MIT Technology Review Italia, the 2017 Overall Winner Award of the Copernicus Masters, the Winner of the 2017 ESA Sentinel Small Satellite Challenge, and the 2014 Luigi G. Napolitano Award of the International Astronautical Federation.


Contact information:
Skoltech Communications
+7 (495) 280 14 81

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