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Aerospace tech startup NanoSatisfi banks $1.2 million in seed funding

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.

Nanosatel­lites rock

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.

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