What do you do if you started professional life as a high-energy physicist, but landed a job in finance after graduating? Answer: stay true to your fascination with space exploration and help develop an aerospace startup.
That’s exactly what Peter Platzer, a rocket scientist who got a job in Wall Street, has just done. And to prove he’s no pie-in-the-sky fantasist, he’s just secured seed funding worth $1.2 million for his new tech enterprise, NanoSatisfi.
He’s capitalizing on the rise of nanosatellites, the minuscule (and vastly cheaper) relatives of satellites and microsatellites. This year, his company plans to (literally) launch two 10 centimeter, one kilogram cubes called ArduSats, both versions equipped with cameras, Geiger counters, magnometers and spectrometers, plus much else besides. They’ll stay active for two years, whereupon they’ll be replaced by new versions stuffed to the cudgels with the latest technology.
Platzer may have been a space-exploring physicist as a youth, but on graduating he decided to keep an arm’s length from the aerospace industry, largely because it was so government-dominated (and quite dim on the innovation front). But his years in Wall Street have finally interacted with his inner physicist, turning him into a scientist, a chief technology officer, chief revenue officer and business development associate in one.
NanoSatisfi, Platzer says, aims to produce “a constellation of nanosatellites that get updated on a regular basis.” The weekly cost for access to the first satellites will be $250, and they’re dedicated to education and science experiments. The whole thing is banging. Product managers should note that last summer the project aimed to raise $35,000, but ended up more than trebling this modest ambition by bagging $106,330 instead.
From science to data services
The advancement of science is just one of the early aims of the company. As soon as it sends more satellites into orbit, Platzer says, NanoSatisfi will sell a range of “very attractive data services” to a raft of industries.
The first launch is scheduled for July 15th. Already, the International Space Station has taken the satellite up for one of its re-supply missions. And according to Platzer, these flights are “the most secure and safe and well-guarded.”
NanoSatisfi is being nurtured in Lemnos Labs, San Francisco’s hardware-focused incubator. The stratosphere, quite literally, beckons.