What is Newspace? What’s the difference between Newspace and the old Space economy? And why does it matter?
Karista is launching a new mini-series across its social network about Newspace and its application in our daily lives.
The world of technology has a tendency to evolve by disruptions, often triggered by quantum leaps in the performance of specific technological components. In the 70’s and the 80’s, the PCs disrupted the mainframes, paving the way for the rise of Microsoft (software) and Intel (microprocessors) to replace a once dominant IBM (mainframes).
In the 90’s, the IP protocol disrupted the telecommunication world, enabling the internet and the eventual surge of new giants such as Cisco, Google, and Amazon, at the cost of traditional Telcos such as ATT or Alcatel.
Another common factor in those disruptions is very often a dramatic fall in costs, related to the standardization and commoditization of the underlying technologies.
We are witnessing today the start of such a disruption in the space sector. Indeed, we can observe the classical symptoms of a paradigm shift: the costs of access to orbit are plummeting, and the performance to cost ratios of payloads (what is inside the satellites) are improving in strides.
For example, the cost of accessing low earth orbit (500 km) went from €20k per kg or more, 20 years ago, to an alleged cost of €4500 per kg with the most recent launchers. This trend parallels the explosion of satellite launches, from an estimated 30 units in 2000 to 1200 units in 2020.
The three main applications of satellites, by number of units are telecommunication (50% of all satellites launched), military and civilian observation (25% of satellite launches), and navigation (around 5% of satellites launched).
Satellites themselves are changing they lose weight, their shapes become standardized with cubesats and they cost less. New satellites of a few hundred thousand euros achieve a level of performance which required a tenfold budget a few years ago.
The first material impact of “Newspace” is a profusion of new data, nurturing a bubbling ecosystem of applications. It is already impacting almost all terrestrial activities, from mining to agriculture and from banking to insurance. The industrial sector also leverages the new capabilities, especially for supply chain with IoT applications.
Such profound changes modify the landscape in terms of market players and business models. A sector once reserved to institutional participants is becoming accessible to SMEs and start-ups.
CosmiCapital is a pioneering early-stage fund in Europe dedicated to the New Space sector. In partnership with the CNES and ISA, CosmiCapital invests in disruptive startups in the New Space ecosystem. The fund finances predominantly data and software downstream applications, and occasionally upstream, infrastructure-related projects.
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