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Get your own satellite in orbit in just 10 months

18/06/2019 3911 views 7 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

Meet the ESA BIC start-up Open Cosmos at Paris Air Lab in Concorde hall 20/6 and learn how the company provides simple, quick and affordable space access allowing businesses, research institutions and organizations from across industries to use space technologies as a tool.

Get into space with Open Cosmos´s services. The company provides all the tools necessary to develop, launch and operate the satellites in orbit.

Rafel Jorda Siquier
Rafel Jorda Siquier

Started by Rafel Jorda-Siquier, now CEO, Open Cosmos takes customers´ payload from early design phases to launch and operations on nanosatellites with a payload of up to 20kg at a fraction of the cost and time when compared to conventional options.

While it traditionally takes several years and costs of millions of euros to get satellites into orbit, this UK-based company offers a one-stop-shop solution that slashes both time and price.

The baseline total cost for a three-unit nano-satellite mission starts at UK£500 000 (about €600 000) and the timescale from planning to launch is less than one year.

Mass customization of satellites

Signing contract with ESA
Signing contract with ESA

“This is actually about opening the [satellite] market to entrepreneurs, researchers, developing countries and other industries so that they can use our technologies as a tool,” explained Rafel Jorda-Siquier.

“For example, one of our customers want to monitor 400km of pipeline in the south of Spain. Another one wants to test an innovative camera in space.”

The solutions Open Cosmos propose are based on a range of multi-purpose nano-satellites with a payload agnostic approach.

“We are building a small and affordable platform, which removes three space access barriers: complex technology, paper work and costs. We are doing that by supplying our customers with a set of development tools that allow them to build their own technology at their own pace,” explained Rafel Jorda-Siquier.


Joined ESA BIC UK to boost the business

Open Cosmos, founded in 2015 and now hosted at the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) UK, provides end-to-end mission services that allow its customers to focus on their specific needs for getting in-orbit data and not having to worry about how to get the satellite into orbit.

The company enables dedicated nano-satellite missions for remote sensing payloads, Internet of Things (IOT), telecommunication services, scientific research and space technology in-orbit demonstration and validation.

Open Cosmos standardized nano-satellite production pipeline
Open Cosmos standardized nano-satellite production pipeline

Open Cosmos manufactures its satellites in-house, procures launch services from partners and operates its satellite fleets using its own satellite operations system while leveraging existing ground segment infrastructure.

Open Cosmos designed and delivered its first concept nano-satellite (qb01) in just 6 months with a launch granted by the European Commission. The current commercial pipeline contains multiple customers involving an entire nano-satellite mission for ESA, in-orbit demonstrators and constellations for both private and public commercial customers.

The team to open up for affordable access to space

Open Cosmos team
Open Cosmos team

Open Cosmos employs 35+ people of more than 10 nationalities and is currently looking to attract more talent to enable simple and affordable access to space.

Open Cosmos raised $7 million in a series A funding round as part of its mission to make satellites more affordable and more accessible to everyone. It is based in ESA BIC UK located at Harwell Campus in the UK and is looking to manufacture 30 satellites a year

Be one of the 10 winners to get a satellite into space
Having a great idea but you “just” need a satellite to bring your assets into space? Now it's your chance. Apply to ESA BIC UK alumnus Open Cosmos` Call To Orbit competition, a joint partnership with ESA giving away free payload development and  qualification support over the next year.

The call is open to all kinds of space applications and technologies from remote sensing to telecommunication and navigation. It will boost innovation in the space sector, enabling organisations of all sizes and backgrounds to get payloads ready for In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation.


“This opportunity supported by ESA continues our ongoing efforts to democratise the use of space missions as a tool to solve big global challenges,” said Rafel Jorda, CEO of Open Cosmos.

“With this Call To Orbit we want to make sure that anyone with useful space technologies or space applications can bring them to orbit benefiting from Open Cosmos fast and affordable space missions.”

Accepted projects will benefit from Open Cosmos’ set of tools and services to speed up early design processes and enable progress to the needed higher technical development levels.

Read more here about this opportunity, and speak with Open Space at the Paris Air Lab about your idea of having your own satellite in space.

Meet Open Cosmos in Concorde hall 20/6 - pitch on INNOVATION STAGE 16:00-16:30

Meet the ESA Business Incubation Centre UK Open Cosmos entrepreneurs at the PARIS AIR LAB at Paris Air Show in the Concorde hall 20/6 at ENABLE S6.

PARIS AIR LAB -  Paris Air Show


After the success of its first edition 2 years ago, Paris Air Lab returns at the heart of the Paris Air Show, in the Concorde hall, with 3,000 m² dedicated to innovation and prospective in the aerospace, an industry decisively open to the future. Mobilities of tomorrow, AI, exploration and environment; Paris Air Lab will focus on major topics in the field.

Spotlight on industrial innovations and startups
Twelve booths are dedicated to 80 new comers: startups from more than 20 countries around the world display their projects and present their work. Discover important innovation programs through 12 collaborative booths around 4 key areas:

- ENABLE, focusing on innovative technologies in the industry
- PROTECT, dedicated to the sustainable aerospace industry
- TRAVEL, focused on the future of aeronautics mobility
- EXPLORE, featuring iconic space missions.

In the heart of Paris Air Lab, the booth «Understanding climate change» shows how planes and satellites contribute to the monitoring of climate change through embedded devices.

ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions

ESA’s Business Applications and Space Solutions programme has a network of 20 ESA Business Incubation Centres, 15 ESA Innovation Partners and 14 ESA Ambassadors throughout Europe. It co-funds projects and start-ups, while also offering technical and business support to companies that seek to deliver rapid innovation and to raise private investment.

Overall ESA spends €400 million a year on strengthening the competitiveness of European and Canadian companies in the global markets for both satellite communications andr downstream applications.

ESA BICs - World's largest ecosystem for space-related entrepreneurship
The ESA Business Incubation Centre Hessen & Baden-Württemberg was founded in 2007 and it part of the wider network of 20 ESA BICs throughput Europe.

The 20 ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) form the largest ecosystem in the world for space-related entrepreneurship and have fostered over 700 start-ups throughout Europe. Spread across some 60 cities in 17 countries, more than 300 start-ups are currently under the two-year business incubation development booster programme.

The centres offer complete access to all aspects of space-related innovation, technology and intellectual properties and is a gateway to ESA and European space research and developments. Located in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and UK, with more to open, over 700 start-ups have been fostered and another 180 new start-ups are taken in yearly to be supported under the two-years business development booster programme.