Odysseus.Space: Understanding the Future of Space Exploration
Space exploration is a rising business form that many startups are indulging in. Odysseus is making new kinds of interplanetary missions possible and more accessible. We speak with Jordan Vannisten, Co-founder & CEO at Odysseus, to understand the future of space exploration and the high-end technologies they use to help humankind raise its consciousness about space travel and exploration.
How did Odysseus come to be? Tell us the story.
Since I was a kid, I have been passionate about space exploration. And so, I chose to study Aerospace Engineering. During that time, I met Julien Hennequin and after completing our Master’s, we ended up working on common space projects; him in the nanosatellite industry and me at the European Space Agency. I then went to Taiwan to study a Ph.D. in astrophysics and I became one of Julien’s customer. During that time, I also worked on a Martian nanosatellite mission together with Marco Agnan.
All three of us had complementary backgrounds; space agency, satellite industry, and space laboratory. We all knew Taiwan as we had spent some time there either for studying, internship or vacation. Taiwan had Space activities for more than 20 years but no dedicated space industry, thus the three of us founded our company here this is how Odysseus came to be!
Talk us through some of the high-end technology you use as part of Odysseus’s development plans.
At the moment, we are working on ARGO, which is an electrical micro-propulsion system for small satellites, together with a laboratory from the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Taiwan. Such technology is useful for trajectory maneuvers, station keeping, and de-orbiting.
We are also working on Birdy-T with Paris Observatory in France and NCKU. Birdy-T is a small satellite module for autonomous guidance, navigation, and control. This technology is useful for constellation missions and to reduce their mission operation costs. Also, it is mandatory for interplanetary missions in the context of trajectory changes during the cruise and proximity operations of asteroids.
How important have partnerships been in furthering Odysseus’s mission?
Local and international partnerships are keys for our activity, especially in the Space R&D domain. By working with different partners around the globe, we can build the best of each team and construct a strong consortium around our unique space technologies.
Tell us about some of Odysseus’s interesting projects.
We are currently supporting several small satellite missions with our system engineering and project management expertise. Examples include working on IGOSAT, COMPOL and the BIRDY family missions.
IGOSAT (Ionospheric & Gamma-ray Observations SATellite) will study the total electronic content of the Ionosphere by GPS occultation and detect gamma rays and electrons above the poles and the South Atlantic Anomaly.
COMPOL is an international CubeSat project for X-ray polarimetry for astrophysics study.
And the BIRDY family CubeSats will carry the Birdy-T module. BIRDY-1 and BIRDY-2 will demonstrate the full capability of the module to be used in the context of proximity operations of an asteroid with BIRDY-3.
What is the future of space travel and exploration? Do you reckon it will grow by leaps and bounds?
Recently, with the rise of the NewSpace philosophy, we now develop faster, better and cheaper access to Space. I am thus convinced that Space activities will exponentially grow in the coming years.
Why did you choose a .SPACE domain name? How is it helping you develop a unique online brand?
Not being a common domain name and fitting perfectly with our activity, the .SPACE domain name was a natural choice for us. As Space activities increase, I am sure the .SPACE domain name has a bright future coming ahead.