London Tech Week ’22

It as has been three years since Exodus last came to London, and so much has changed since then. In 2019, we learnt about the UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme and how an EIS accredited company can attract significant support from early stage investors due to government tax incentives. Now, with the equivalent Early Stage Innovation Company status in Australia, we can offer Australian early-stage investors the same types of incentives to what they receive here in the UK.

Our big news of the last few months is that we have pivoted focus from our Kinetic Solution for Space Debris (KiSSD) to our Carousel Spacelab project, which is an enabler for In-Space Applied Research and Manufacturing (ISARM) applications. The Carousel Spacelab will provide a new platform to researchers and company R&D departments, enabling them to expand on over 20 years of research on the International Space Station, which has the potential to change industries like drug discovery, metallurgy, optical fibres, and more.

Our second trip to London has allowed us to experience once again the big-thinking optimism that the London tech scene is known for, but also approach the UK space sector with a much better understanding of the global space industry’s supply chain. Whilst finding a cost-effective and scalable solution to the technical problem of space debris is important, we have found that it will likely still be a few years before active debris removal will be a big enough market to make a company like Exodus viable. Instead, our Carousel Spacelab concept (a small, free-flying space centrifuge) is the result of significant effort to understand and address the existing customer pain points around doing research and manufacturing in space.

With an estimated market potential at least as big as the three other major markets in space (Communications, Earth Observations and Location-services), In-Space Applied Research and Manufacturing (ISARM) is a field with several leaders located in London, and we were fortunate to meet with some of them. It is only the start of some of these conversations, but we are glad to say the utility of a service like Carousel Spacelab was immediately obvious to those we spoke to.

More broadly, London Tech Week is about the startup ecosystem, and here’s a brief summary of key takeaways and acknowledgements:

  • The UK innovation ecosystem is 3rd largest in the world after USA and China.
  • The understandable emphasis of London Tech Week is to showcase the highly developed facilities available to help foreign companies enter the UK market. It includes initiatives like the Global Entrepreneur Program, as well as government grants and other financial assistance focussed on helping companies to understand the local economy, acquire local talent, and thrive.
  • It’s not all about London, and all of the regions around the UK have differentiated themselves in one way or another, often by having hubs of dozens or hundreds of startups that focus on FinTech, Cybertech, Gametech, PropertyTech, and of course SpaceTech.
  • The West Midlands for instance, claims that the overall cost of running a business in Birmingham is approximately half that of London, whilst retaining all the UK government incentives.
  • It was obvious that Australia can learn plenty from the incentives that attract innovative tech companies to the UK, which is why it was fantastic to have Western Australian Deputy Premier Roger Cook attend numerous events with the Tribe Global mission to London Tech Week.
  • We are especially grateful to the WA Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, represented on the trip by Richelle Gornik, for contributing funding to Exodus as one of ten Western Australian-based companies on the mission.
  • We’d also like to thank the WA Government Office in Europe, particularly Charlotta Kemp and David Burrows, for their above-and-beyond efforts to help us make the most of the trip.
  • Deputy Premier Cook attended the UK-Australia Space Bridge roundtable at Australia House in London on Wednesday, 15th of June, which was a productive discussion of efforts to bridge the skills gap in the space-trained workforce, and about how to use the strong bilateral ties between our countries to boost the space innovation ecosystem.
  • Points to consider: Suggested that we should stop referring to space as a separate ”sector”, and instead talk about it as it is: an enabler for activities that cut across a broad range of sectors, and attract talent from those same broad range of sectors.
  • We need to change the perception that you have to be an engineer to get into the space industry! Instead, all space organisations incorporate expertise from a range of fields, with Mike’s medical science background a case in point.
  • The companies in the Australian delegation attended numerous networking events where Mike spent time with some fantastic founders. A special mention goes to Ricci Schwarzler of Spydertech, Tim Brewer of Functionly, Katie Richards of Law on Earth, Dave Newman of PlanCare, Sofie De meyer of Resonance Health, Guan Tay of Customa and Simon Turner of SensaWeb.
  • Locations with events included the QEII building (LTW Hub), Australia House, Lancaster House, The Swan restaurant at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, TechUk, the Plexal co-working hub (at the former London Olympics media centre), and Octopus Ventures.
  • Another highly-recommended event run separately from London Tech Week was the MeetFounders event with 350 attendees, 30+ VCs over 8 panel sessions, plus 40 startup pitches competing for £10,000 in prize money. These events run monthly, and are well worth a visit for any startups/scaleups in London.
  • Here Mike also met the inspiring Indiana Gregg, who related the story behind her company Wedo.
  • We also visited the Harwell Space Cluster and Satellite Applications Catapult yesterday, and will visit to Surrey Satellite Technology tomorrow – more on these visits to come in future.
  • London Tech Week 2019 and 2022 are what we hope will be our bookends to the pandemic, and each trip was incredibly valuable. Time to go home, and hit the ground running, because there’s so much to do!

New Starship video is live!

Hi everybody! At long last, I’ve posted the video I’ve been working on covering how SpaceX’s Starship might be used as a point to point transport vehicle on Earth, as well as going through the many considerations that entails.

At 34 minutes long – it is easily the longest video I’ve ever produced, with the most research and design iterations of any of my videos too! This topic, more than any other, led me down many blind alleys where I’d do some modelling, and then think “there’s no way that will work”. Often on those occasions, it was easiest to start again.

Having said that, this video was a joy to work on, and very satisfying to see it come together. I hope you all enjoy this vision for how we might get point to point space transport around Earth.

A look back at 2021

Who knew that a year could go so fast? We’ve covered some of our news this year on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages, so this post will be more of a summary for the whole year. Going forward, we’ll aim to do better at keeping this news feed up to date as well.

Let’s start with a number of fun interviews where Mike talked about Exodus’ space debris solution with Startup Daily (title image), about the feud between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos with 6PR host Liam Bartlett (link now removed), and also Mike’s views on the creative process with If Innovation could Talk (video below):

Mike is interviewed by Eva Chye on “If Innovation Could Talk”

On the business side, we were very fortunate to have our first angel investor funding support this year, which gave us the means we needed to begin work on our KiSSD benchtop prototype, and we are now iterating towards the cost effective solution for space debris. It’s been fantastic to welcome our new intern Alex to the team, and we hope to have more to say on our progress in the new year.

A major part of our progress this year was the less-exciting-but-still-very-necessary work required to set up the accounting back-end and documentation processes required to claim our first R&D tax rebate (a must for any tech startup). As a result, we have now achieved the status of Early Stage Innovation Company (ESIC), which comes with tax benefits for our future investors.

In the last few months of 2021, we were focussed on a number of applications, from grants, to equity funding (both of which we hope to have announcements soon), and other programs, including our successful application to the Innovate to Grow: Space program, which is being run by CSIRO in association with the Australian Space Agency! From December 2021 through February of 2022, Exodus will work with other space-focussed startups and SME’s around Australia to further develop our KiSSD solution, but also explore collaborations which will benefit the broader Australian Space Industry.

Also in the second half of the year, we were a part of setting up the new WA Space Forum (LinkedIn, Facebook) which had its inaugural event on the 29th of October. Our guest speaker was Dr Benjamin Kaebe of Space Industries (pictured), and it was a well attended and received event. Our thanks to everyone who came!

As the year draws to a close, the team at Exodus would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and hope the new year bears fruit from all the hard work we’ve been seeing everyone put in. Onwards and upwards!

Onwards to 2021!

As 2020 comes to a close, I’m sure many will be happy to see it go, but for us at Exodus it has been a year of solid progress, capped off with the honour of being named a Core Exchange “Hot 30 company to watch” in 2021. It’s been phenomenal to have recognition from supporters both in Australia and abroad, and we’re excited to see how we can improve on it next year.

Representatives of Core Exchange “Hot 30” companies, at Core Perth, December 2nd, 2020.

Our key focus this year was making sure we’re not just promoting “a solution in search of a problem”. Instead, we need to make sure we have a strong case to convince ourselves (and everyone else) that a space debris cleanup service can pay for itself as a business, not just be a research project. Our optimism that we’re on the right track is based on three factors:

  1. Space debris cleanup will eventually be an essential service required by all space operators. The new space industry is going through a period of rapid growth, and is projected to exceed $1 Trillion US dollars annually before 2040. There is a gold rush atmosphere at the moment: hundreds of new companies are being founded to capitalise on increasing global demand for space services. These services are possible because of advances in miniaturisation, as well as cheaper and more reusable launch vehicles.

    We consider our position to be similar to that of Levi Strauss, who sold denim jeans to gold miners in the 18th century, because space debris cleanup will provide value to all space operators, and our aim is to be the premier provider of space debris cleanup services. One estimate already places space debris cleanup at 1% of the total space industry, indicating a $6 Billion US dollar space debris cleanup industry by 2029.
  2. Exodus Space Systems’ Kinetic Solution for Space Debris (KiSSD) can outcompete other Active Debris Removal (ADR) services. The KiSSD method requires an effector craft to perform a flyby maneuver, placing a column of low density solids in the path of the targeted debris, impacting it at a speed fast enough to transfer kinetic energy, but slow enough to not fragment it. This slows the target down in a manner akin to a truck arrester bed. The debris then falls back into Earth’s atmosphere, where it burns up like a meteor. Doing this gives us three key advantages over other ADR methods: Cost-effectiveness, Scalability and Safety.

    a) Cost-effectiveness will be measured by the ratio between mass of payload launched, versus mass of space debris removed. Because KiSSD flyby maneuver saves propellant and robotics mass through not having to rendezvous with or physically capture the target, Exodus’ cost of service will remain lower than its competitors and more cost-effective for the vast majority of smaller debris objects in low Earth orbit, even as the prices of launch services decrease.

    b) Scalability will be measured by the incremental cost of performing additional debris target removals in a multi-target mission. In the KiSSD method, the low density solid particles are generated from a simple fluid consumable, meaning that the particles are “dumb” and no space grade robotics/electronics is lost with each target. Also, the orbit of the effector spacecraft is such that removing additional debris targets within a given orbital cluster will use significantly less propellant. This creates a compounding effect where a multi-target KiSSD mission can be significantly cheaper than the equivalent ADR mission run using a competing technology.

    c) Safety will be measured (among other things) by the timeframes involved. Because KiSSD is designed to require only a single pass for most small targets, the method will be preferred when the debris target is posing a hazard in a congested orbit, such as could be the case with so-called “mega-constellations” of satellites currently being planned and launched. Once the target has been “KiSSD”, we expect that even targets in orbits at altitudes of 600km-1200km (the main bulk of space debris in low Earth orbit), will be deorbited in timeframes of less than 3 months, greatly reducing the risk posed to satellites and crewed space stations below.
  3. The KiSSD method enables a new business model in response to the question of “who pays?” Whilst this question is often asked rhetorically, we argue there is now evidence of willingness to pay to solve this problem (see the comments by Iridium CEO Matt Desch, the Series E funds raised by Astroscale, or the European Space Agency’s contract with ClearSpace). What has been missing is a commercial business model which will incentivise key stakeholders to participate in arrangements to fund such commercial missions, and this is what we think the cost-effectiveness, scalability, and safety aspects of the KiSSD method will enable Exodus to achieve.

    The four key stakeholders who stand to benefit from space debris removal are 1) spacecraft operators, be they satellites or crewed space vehicles, 2) entities with ownership of, and liability for damage caused by existing space debris (most likely also spacecraft operators themselves), 3) satellite insurance providers, who face a significant disincentive to raise premiums further to account for space debris collision risk (or the operational costs of expected excess conjunction avoidance), and 4) government space agencies and/or defence agencies, who through treaty or security imperatives have sought to encourage action to address the problem. 

    Each of these stakeholders derive different value from the removal of space debris, and as with any problem like space debris, it is important to incentivise all of these stakeholders in order to achieve success. Our development of the KiSSD method – with its unique advantages as listed above – give us insight on how best to provide maximum possible value to each of these stakeholders in our planned multi-target debris removal missions, and we look forward to working with all of these stakeholder organisations in the coming years.
Mike presents at the Innovation Australia “Flying Things” summit, at Liberty Centre Perth December 16th 2020

Along with our Core Exchange “Hot 30” award, we’ve received letters of support from a number of Australian organisations which we hope to talk more about in the new year. We’ve submitted a grant application to the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility program, and we look forward to hearing the results of that in coming months. Pictured above: Mike speaks at the (socially distanced) “Flying Things” summit hosted by Innovation Australia. It was an honour to be invited to speak along with some of Perth’s great innovators in aviation.

Lastly, I must mention our Youtube/Patreon crowd funding campaign, where our Starship Design Speculation videos have now been watched over 300,000 times! We have a small group of individuals funding Exodus to produce more videos, and these are in progress. The next video will be speculation on how a point-to-point transportation system may actually work with SpaceX’s reusable Starship technology. It’s such an exciting venture to think about, not just because of its potential to help drive the various Moon and Mars programs in progress, but also what it will do to expand the human use of low Earth orbit, and the technologies that will benefit all of humankind.

Here’s wishing you and yours have a happy and safe holiday season, and a chance to reach for something greater in 2021. Happy New Year!

Patreon Campaign Launch!

Exodus is excited to announce our new crowd-funding drive, which you can join using our Patreon campaign page. What we’re doing is a series of Youtube videos where we explore how humanity will expand out into the solar system, using a simple 3D animation style that allows us to understand how different systems might work together.

The first videos are focussed on SpaceX’s Starship design, with episode II released yesterday:

Which is a follow-up to the original video posted on September 10th:

With your support we plan to produce these videos whilst continuing our R&D into our Kinetic Solution for Space Debris. We’d be delighted to have you on board, so thank you in advance for your support!

Coronavirus and the origins of the Exodus Vision

Since social isolation is a precondition of space travel, astronauts are some of the individuals best equipped to deal with its challenges. Does that mean that going through the COVID-19 pandemic is making all of us that much more prepared to travel in space?

If you’ve been following our story, you know Exodus Space Systems is a company which is developing a new method to solve the space debris problem, and we think this will be a big part of the space industry in coming decades.  But let’s put that aside for a moment and talk about our long-term vision for humanity in space, the origins of that vision, and how a pandemic like COVID-19 relates to that.

If I had a time machine, and we could go back to the significant moments in my life which eventually led to the genesis of Exodus Space Systems, at least one of them would be in the early 2000s when I was an undergraduate studying Molecular Biology at the University of Western Australia, learning about pandemics and why they can be so devastating.

As is abundantly obvious now, the adaptation of a new virus to the human species is an event against which our modern healthcare system is relatively slow and ill-equipped to react.  For at least some time after human-to-human transmission begins, we are limited to fighting the disease with much more primitive tools: social distancing to stop the spread, and artificial respiration to give the most serious cases a better chance of survival.  It’s like trying to fight a forest fire with firebreaks and heat blankets alone.  Eventually it is necessary to bring in the water (vaccine).

Over the last century, humanity has been becoming increasingly susceptible to the spread of a virus with these characteristics (long incubation times, asymptomatic/low-symptoms transmission) because our modern world is extremely interconnected through trade and travel.  It’s not at all surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention that the measures which are necessary to control the virus have had such a horrific effect on the world economy.  The warnings have been out there for years, concerning the what, if not the when of it.  Those who say “nobody saw this coming” are in effect, proclaiming their own ignorance.

It is worth repeating what many visionaries and futurists have pointed out before: Humanity as a space-faring civilisation would be inherently more resistant to pandemic outbreaks, in part because of the time-frame over which space travel occurs.  As soon as humanity has self-sustaining outposts on the moon, Mars and elsewhere in the solar system, the transit times to go between these places would in most cases exceed the incubation times of every infectious disease known.  There are few plausible ways an infectious agent could infect a significant proportion of the human population when social isolation is a necessary pre-condition of space travel, so the relative cost of a pandemic to society would be much smaller.  The exodus of humanity to space is beneficial, not in the biblical sense of running away from an existing plague, but in the pragmatic way that the space between us creates barriers to any new infections that might arise.

I would also add that round-trip travel times to every destination beyond the moon will require far more significant measures to sustainably support other aspects of human health over the long term, including measures to address radiation-induced cancer risk, microgravity-induced biomedical issues, and the need for fully (or near fully) closed-loop environmental control and life support systems.  In the long-term, I believe the most plausible vision for humanity is of a solar system network of space settlements which are linked by an information economy, but largely separate in their material needs, since even cargo transport costs will remain prohibitively high and transit times will remain prohibitively long with foreseeable technology.

As difficult as this may be, it is still worth doing!  The process of making humanity a space-faring civilisation will not only protect us to a far greater extent against the infectious pathogens which have brought human civilisations to their knees in the past, it will also teach humanity how to be truly sustainable. This integration of sustainable practice into the cutting edge of our technological development processes will go a long way towards solving the other existential issues which now trouble humanity.

Space travel is better positioned to drive this kind of thinking into high technology than any other endeavour.  If every bi-product of every energy generation or production process was treated with the same consideration that led space scientists to figure out how to recycle human urine for drinking water, we would be far better placed to solve numerous challenges, including human-caused climate change.

This is why the Exodus vision advocates space exploration and human settlement of the solar system, not just as a dream for rich men, but as a goal for humanity that will benefit all of us.

Going back to my time machine journey, I didn’t know at the time what form it would take, but it was during my studies that I became convinced that humanity needed to go to space as a matter of priority, and that I wanted to find a way to be a part of that.  Another important influence for me was the 2004 X Prize, which planted the seed in my mind that maybe a start-up company was the right vehicle to do innovative things in space, and that I wanted to be a part of the “New Space” movement.  Being an Australian scientist however, I had no idea yet how I might make that happen.

With each successive space event I attended, my knowledge of the industry grew, with particularly strong memories of meeting the Armadillo Aerospace team at the X Prize cup in 2007 and learning why returning rocket stages to a pad via vertical landing was so much more efficient than horizontal (wing-based) landing.  It’s with that knowledge that seeing SpaceX perfect this process to a fine art has been incredibly satisfying to watch.

The International Space Development Conference in 2011 was another major step for me, as this was the first time I presented at a space conference (my Carousel Space Station concept).  Highlights included getting to meet Buzz Aldrin, having a great chat with Al Globus on his space settlement concepts and being incredibly inspired by Jeff Greason’s Keynote.

Eventually, I came to know the two co-founders of Exodus Space Systems, Carl Conquilla (we met at the NASA space apps challenge in 2016) and Alexius Julian (we met through Perth’s Latin dancing scene in 2015 and bonded over science fiction when he found out about my Firefly Season 2 pilot script).  Initial discussions between the three of us became ongoing talks, and upon completion of my PhD, we founded Exodus Space Systems.  That was in August 2017, and the rest is history.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, while it presents difficulties for us as a start-up company, is an interesting experience for me personally, since it feels like I’ve come full circle on why I think the exploration and settlement of space by humanity is so important.  Indeed, the recent return of the ISS expedition 62 crew highlighted not only how much the world has changed in the last 6 months, but also how accustomed to social distancing measures the astronauts already are.  I’d also point to these comments by Australian Astronaut Andy Thomas on how his space experiences apply to what we are going through now, especially the importance of having a daily routine.

The social distancing requirements we are all experiencing right now would simply become a new normal if space travel across the solar system were to become a common thing.  Also – in case you hadn’t already figured it out – the answer to the question I posed at the top of the article is a giant “yes! I’m sure this pandemic has made us all just a bit more prepared for space travel”.  Of course there are elements that are more difficult to deal with, but we are collectively proving that adaptation is possible, if not easy, when we have a sense of shared purpose.  I can only hope that when we come out the other side of the pandemic, we can reapply ourselves to the goal of space exploration and settlement with redoubled energy.

Currently, Exodus Space Systems is participating in the (now online) accelerator programs being run by both CERI and Quantum Tech Exchange, and we are continuing to develop our understanding of the space debris problem, and those who will benefit the most from our solution.  There’s more to come, so stay tuned!

Quantum Tech Exchange success!

The Exodus team is proud to announce that we’ve been accepted into the Quantum Tech Exchange Accelerator, which is run by Atomic Sky.  This includes a full professional development program, with visiting speakers and mentorship, as well as site visits to key tech facilities in WA.  We’ll be there at the AOG conference and the WA Europe Innovation Summit, and will finish with an opportunity to pitch to investors.

The cohort itself has already proven itself to be a diverse group of businesses, and I’m looking forward to meeting and working with all of them further.  You can find out more about the group in Peter Rossdeutscher’s LinkedIn post announcing the program.

Here’s to a great start to 2020. Onwards and Upwards!

Exodus at the Space Innovation Network

Our last public event for the year was on Tuesday 17th of December, with Mike giving a speech on our Kinetic Solution for Space Debris (KiSSD) method at the Space Innovation Network, which is run by Innovate Australia.  A huge thank you is owed to Peter and Adam, both for this invitation to speak, as well as their ongoing support over the last few years.  Congratulations also to Joshua Letcher, CEO of Space Industries, who joined Mike in speaking at this event, and showed some exciting plans for their construction of a new space precinct at the Perth Airport West, which they’ll use as a base for their plans to mine Helium-3 from the moon.

2019 has been the biggest year yet for Exodus, with our trips to London Tech Week and our participation in the Australian finals of Pitch at Palace being obvious highlights.  The number of extraordinarily talented entrepreneurs at these events alone has been a huge inspiration to us.   We’ve also given speeches at a number of other events, continued to explore funding opportunities, and kept our research ticking along in the background.

As we close out 2019 and think about what 2020 will bring, I (Mike) want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy holiday season on behalf of the whole Exodus team.  We could not have made it this far without the encouragement of our mentors and supporters, so all the best to you and yours, and let’s hope that 2020 sees us all achieving our goals, and more!

Seven Questions for Exodus

I recently finished reading “Zero to One”, the international bestselling book by Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and Palantir.  Although I didn’t agree with everything in the book, there is much to recommend about it, particularly the set of seven questions listed towards the end of the book.  These questions are what the author proposes that every startup company should be able to answer, and I wanted to relate some of our thinking on this below.

Firstly, a quick note about last week’s post, playfully titled Attention: Don’t Sponsor Exodus!  Some of the feedback we received was that this may have caused some confusion, especially for those who only came across the title in their media feeds, and didn’t have time to discover the tongue-in-cheek nature of the article.  So to clarify: we would love for you to download our Sponsorship Prospectus and think about how sponsoring us as a space company could help elevate your company’s profile.  For as little as AU$10,000 per year, sponsor companies could build a relationship with Exodus Space Systems that will help spread the excitement of Australian space exploration, could help those companies better take advantage of the growing space industry themselves, while helping us develop new technology that will benefit people in space and on Earth alike.

Here are the seven questions I mentioned, which Peter Thiel advocates every startup company be able to answer:

  1. The Engineering Question: Is your technology at least an order of magnitude better than the competition?
  2. The Timing Question: Is now the right time to start the business?
  3. The Monopoly Question: Are you going to start with a big share of a small market?
  4. The People Question: Do you have the right team?
  5. The Distribution Question: Can you deliver your product to paying customers?
  6. The Durability Question: Will your market advantage persist, decades from now?
  7. The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity?

For those readers who want to have a deep dive conversation into the answers Exodus Space Systems has for these questions, I encourage you to contact us.  This also applies if you’re interested in sponsorship, equity investment, or can even see your company being a future customer of our space debris cleanup services.

Let’s go through each question one-by one:

  1. The Engineering Question.  Exodus Space Systems has already done over two years of conceptual R&D on our kinetic flyby solution, which we call our “Street Sweeper for Space Debris”.  By avoiding the mass costs implicit in other “rendezvous and capture” methods – propellent mass, capture mechanism mass, and deorbit mechanism mass – we are able to deorbit debris in a far more efficient manner.  No matter how cheap the cost of launch becomes, a key ratio will remain how much mass is sent to orbit, versus how much (debris) mass is removed from orbit, and on this we believe our KiSSD method is at least an order of magnitude better than other proposed active debris removal (ADR) solutions.
    Being a space-based, range-limited method makes it more politically tenable than other non-ADR methods like ground-based lasers, and it’s small size also makes it more plausible than mega-structure solutions like electrodynamic tethers.
  2. The Timing Question: As an Australian company we are in an excellent position to take advantage of recent funding developments with the Australian Government and Space Agency, as well as the exponential growth of investment in the global space sector.  We also see significant new awareness of the space debris issue within the international regulatory and space insurance sectors, mainly due to the dramatic increase in satellite constellation proposals which will increase overall risk of space debris collisions in low Earth orbit.
    We see the potential for a new space debris cleanup market in the mid-2020s, growing into a $1B annual market in the 2030s, which will likely be dominated by a few players.  Given the timeframes of both the space industry, and of developing a deep-tech startup into a commercial organisation, we believe it is best to start now.
  3. The Monopoly Question: As large as we expect the space debris cleanup market to become, it is currently small, with only one established company that will not be a direct competitor for the types of services we are planning to offer.  With sufficient support now, we believe we can establish ourselves as a premier service provider of space debris cleanup.
  4. The People Question: Our team already has significant subject matter expertise, as well as experience in advanced prototyping, capital raising and corporate governance, and active connections in both the Australian and global space industry.  Once we achieve seed funding, we plan to grow our team to include more expertise in necessary engineering sub-disciplines, data science, IP protection, marketing, business development and legal competencies.  We also place high value on investors who have experience mentoring deep-tech startups from the initial stages, right through the commercialisation process.
  5. The Distribution Question: We have identified satellite operators as our future customers, as these have the most to gain from proactive methods to lower the risk of their assets being impacted by space debris.  This is particularly true for those satellite operators with plans to launch large constellations of satellites and/or those with assets in the most debris-congested polar and sun-synchronous low Earth orbits.
    While we expect to reach out to these customers directly, we also see the satellite insurance industry and national space agencies as key enablers, as both groups have large financial incentives to provide easier ways for satellite operators to behave as good citizens.  The current moves to encourage comprehensive planning for end-of-life satellite operations as well as reducing the timeframe by which old satellites must be de-orbited are excellent, but do not account for cases where satellites are unexpectedly lost during routine operations due to space debris collision or other electrical faults.  We aim to have our KiSSD method become a new gold standard for space debris removal, and we expect these enabling parties would become active participants in this process.
  6. The Durability Question: Our market advantage, once achieved, would be due to our space debris cleanup method becoming a recognised best practice, and our brand would be reinforced as an enabler of good citizen space operators.  Once an established space operator, we would be able work on different space technologies that also add value to this brand, eventually aiming to develop those technologies that would enable a safe exodus of humanity out into space.
  7. The Secret Question: Rather than trying to mimic other space startup companies, by building more communications or imaging satellites, or trying to start yet another small rocket company, we have chosen to focus on space debris cleanup, because we have identified that it is currently a small industry, but will become a service that all satellite operators will eventually need.  We have already achieved significant traction and endorsements by narrowing our service down to a simple concept that everybody understands – “a street sweeper for space” – and we’re aiming to execute on our vision in a way that makes best use of our current key advantages.

I hope that helps you understand a little better what Exodus Space Systems is trying to do.  If you have any further questions please feel free contact us, and one of us will be happy to have a chat.

Attention: Don’t Sponsor Exodus!

Why would you even consider doing a thing like that? Are you trying to inspire people or something?

Well, lucky I found you, because I’m here to tell you that you absolutely, totally, should not sponsor Exodus Space Systems.  There are far better uses for your money than supporting a space startup with new, versatile and cost-effective technology that can help solve a global issue no one else has yet been able to effectively address. Surely you don’t think associating your brand with the wonder of space exploration is going to be a good thing?

I want you to make a choice with your head, not your heart. Yes, I know we all grew up on stories that featured humankind out amongst the stars, and we know how NASA put people on the moon and sent robots to explore other planets, but does any of that really resonate with people today? It’s not like four of the top five grossing movies of all time involve some form of space travel.

Instead, let’s look at the numbers, shall we? Morgan Stanley reports the global space industry will triple in value to over US$1T before 2040, whilst Space Angels reports that yearly private investment in space startups has gone from $500M in 2009 to more than $3B every year since 2015, including the first six months of 2019.  So while you might say the space industry has a wee smidgen of growth happening, since when did innovation in space ever drive the creation of technologies useful on Earth? (aside from solar panels, water filters, digital camera sensors, weather forecasts, GPS or the Internet).

Also, if you really wanted to solve the space debris problem, why would you locate your company in Western Australia? Surely you’d want to go somewhere with world-leading experts on tracking space objects, as well as access to vast dark skies?  You’d also definitely want to have a national space agency that saw this as a key national strength and saw space debris clean-up as a key national priority for support.

In summary, I want to advise you in the strongest possible terms that you absolutely should not download the Exodus Space Systems Sponsorship Prospectus and think about whether sponsoring Exodus is a fit for your company’s goals. There’s no telling what kinds of benefits you might suffer.