Celestial Space Technologies | X-Europe Startup Interview
Welcome to our X-Europe startup interview series. We have virtually sat down with a number of our founders from past cohorts to hear all about their solutions, vision for the future, and what made them tick during our X Europe programme. So whether you are a deep tech founder looking for startup support, an eagle-eyed investor, or simply interested in the possibilities that technology can bring to society, then we welcome you to take a read. Please meet Celestial Space Technologies, a startup that enables the space industry to stay ahead of the increasing demands on telecommunication performance.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
Celestial develops telecommunication hardware and software for space and terrestrial applications. The current focus is on high-performance small satellite antennas. These antennas are being integrated by satellite developers. The antenna´s performance is 3 times as high as the industry baseline established by most of the competitors. In an upcoming R&D project, we aim to develop multifunctional antennas that integrate additional sensors to extend the system´s performance beyond communication.
What led you to start or join your company? What is the key motivation and mission behind the startup?
Celestial started with the vision to make space more accessible and enable deep space small satellite missions. Today, we are on a mission to redefine antennas used in satellite communication. With these antennas, we want to extend the performance capabilities of satellites significantly. Our technology will increase mission lifetime and range and with that impact the type of missions, small satellites can be involved in.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what has surprised you most on this journey?
In early 2021, the performance testing of the first developed antenna design was completed at an external, independent facility. The testing results indicated a very competitive performance. Based on this, the antenna was introduced to the market. The same was completed for a second antenna design in July 2021. The first antenna has already been integrated into a small satellite and will go on an in-orbit demonstration mission scheduled for launch in December 2021.
What are your goals over the next 3, 6, and 12 months?
The next months will focus on commercial activities related to existing products and R&D of the next-generation products. Within the next 3 months, we expect to acquire the first customers for the antennas that we already have on the market. In the same timeframe, we expect to start the R&D project for the next generation of antennas. Within the next 6 months, we will have results from the in-orbit demonstration mission which is scheduled to take our antenna into space. With that, we will have received flight heritage and gain significant recognition in the space industry. In the same timeframe, we expect that the R&D project will have resulted in a new type of antenna with integrated sensors. This innovative product will be the first of its kind and allow Celestial to disrupt the satellite antenna market. Within the next 12 months, we expect the company to grow significantly in terms of team size, numbers of deliveries, and revenue to be considered an established space industry supplier.