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TerraWatch Space

TerraWatch Space

By Aravind
Demystifying Earth observation and space technologies - for everyone outside the 'space bubble'.
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#13 - Space for Everyone: Diversity in the Space Industry with Shelli Brunswick

TerraWatch Space

#39: Demystifying Spacecraft Operations for Exploration and Earth Observation Missions - Thomas Ormston, ESA
Today, I am speaking with Thomas Ormston, Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager for the Sentinel-1 mission at the European Space Agency. Thomas has over 15 years of experience in spacecraft operations from being part of the operations team for the Mars Express mission to then becoming the spacecraft operations engineer for EarthCARE and Sentinel-1 missions. In this episode, we discuss the role of a spacecraft operations engineer, his experience flying a spacecraft in Mars orbit, the differences with operating Earth observation missions, the Sentinel-1B incident, the growth of the space sustainability market and more. - ESA Operations on Twitter - Thomas on Twitter ----- 01:06: Thomas's story and intro to ESA Operations 05:20: The role of a Spacecraft Operations Engineer 11:31: Operating a spacecraft in Mars orbit 17:29: Transitioning to operating an Earth observation satellite 19:12: Rosetta mission 21:14: Working on ESA's EarthCARE mission pre-launch 29:30: Operating the Sentinel-1 mission (Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B)  35:10: The Sentinel-1B incident 42:00: The growth of the space sustainability market 47:01: The impact of satellite megaconstellations 51:08: Wrap-up
June 26, 2022
#38: Interoperability, Standards & Trainings: Solving "Boring Problems" in Earth Observation with Julia Wagemann
Today, I am speaking with Julia Wagemann, an independent consultant and project manager in the Earth observation sector. Julia works in the intersection of data providers and users aiming to make large volumes of EO data better accessible and used. She has several years of experience in EO and she has worked with organisations including ESA, EUMETSAT, ECMWF and more. For me, "boring problems" are categories of problems very few are interested in working on, but unless they are solved, the industry cannot grow. I call them "boring" in an ironic way - because there is more attention given to launching more satellites and getting more data down, than figuring out how to work with all that data together. In this episode, Julia and discuss the similarities & differences between imaging data and meteorological data, the role of platforms in EO, the significance of standards and interoperability and diversity in EO, particularly focused on Women+ in Geospatial, an initiative that was co-founded by Julia. Julia's Twitter Julia's LinkedIn Women In Geospatial Speaker Database ----- 01:45: Julia's story 04:55: What encompasses Earth observation data - imaging data vs meteorological data? 10:18: State of adoption of EO data 13:37: What is the role of platforms in EO? 21:01: The significance of standards in improving adoption 28:38: The current state of interoperability in EO 32:22: The role of the private sector in working on interoperability and standards 35:13: The importance of training & workshops in Earth observation 44:41: Making EO more diverse with Women+ in Geospatial 52:04: Wrap-up
June 17, 2022
#37: Demystifying Weather from Space with Dr. Marshall Shepherd
Today I am speaking with Dr. Marshall Shepherd, an American meteorologist, professor at the University of Georgia and the director of the university's atmospheric sciences program. Dr.Shepherd was the 2013 president of the American Meteorological Society and a past chair of the NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Committee.Dr. Shepherd is also the host of the popular podcast Weather Geeks and a contributor to Forbes Magazine. In this episode, Marshall and I discuss his story, the fundamentals of weather, the gaps in weather observations and modeling, challenges in communicating weather and more. I have been wanting to do an episode on weather for a while now, and I think this really was the perfect conversation to get started with this subject. I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I did recording it. Marshall's Twitter Weather Geeks Podcast JetStream, by National Weather Service Climate.Gov --- 01:20: Marshall's story 07:21: How does weather work? 11:39: Are people taking weather for granted? 15:08: Explain the following terms in about a minute - i) weather vs climate, ii) meteorology vs atmospheric science and iii) climate modelling 20:08: Gaps in weather observations from space 23:00: Why do we have so many gaps in observations? 26:33: Gaps in weather modeling 30:05: Gaps in weather communication 33:50 Are we going to get tired of weather forecasts? 37:02: Why is weather not discussed a lot within the space industry? 39:42: Diversity and inclusion in the weather industry 43:23: Wrap-up --- My Twitter My LinkedIn
June 03, 2022
#36: Market Leading Strategies in Earth Observation - John Murtagh, Airbus Intelligence
Today, I am speaking with John Murtagh from Airbus Intelligence. I don't think the company requires an introduction - Airbus Intelligence has been delivering value from satellite imagery for over 30 years. John Murtagh is the Head of Strategy for the Intelligence program unit of Airbus Defence and Space. Since joining Airbus in 1992, John has undertaken a wide range of roles, worked in over 30 countries on all continents, and is an executive member driving Intelligence strategies.  In this episode, John and I talk about the Airbus Intelligence business unit, the Pléiades Neo mission, the One Atlas Platform, key trends in Earth observation and more.  LinkedIn: Twitter: YouTube: ----- 01:00: Intro 02:45: Airbus Intelligence: Satellites & Activities 09:39: Overview of Pléiades Neo 17:30: OneAtlas Platform 24:12: Key Trends in Earth Observation 31:10: Dealing with Competition and Partnerships 36:23: Commercial Adoption of Earth Observation 40:11: Wrap-up
May 20, 2022
#35: From a Software Entrepreneur to a Space Tech Investor - Jonathan Lacoste, SpaceVC
Quick housekeeping: I am going to go back to a biweekly cadence from June, now that I have published lot of what I had in my backlog. So, you are going to have more time to listen to every episode and I am going to have more time for editing :) Cheers! ---- Today I am speaking with Jonathan Lacoste, General Partner at SpaceVC, a venture capital firm investing in space companies. I was keen on getting Jonathan on the podcast because he has quite an interesting story. In 2011, he co-founded Jebbit, an enterprise software company, built it and scaled it into a multi-million dollar businesses. Following that, he decided to get into the space industry as an investor. In this episode, we discuss the journey of his transition into space tech,  his thoughts on state of the space industry, venture capital and space, learnings from enterprise software that are relevant for space tech and more. --- 00:56: Jonathan's journey  06:35: Transitioning from enterprise software to space  12:25: How to navigate the way into space tech 17:25: State of investing in space tech  22:24: Thesis for SpaceVC and the "due diligence" process 28:52: Earth observation 2.0 and transferable learnings from enterprise software 33:23: Markets that Jonathan as a VC is not very optimistic about    35:03: Why "outsourcing of space" will be the next big thing in space tech 38:35: Worries about the state of the space industry 42:30: Wrap-up ---
May 15, 2022
#34: End-to-End Space Mobility - David Henri, Exotrail
Today, I am speaking with David Henri, co-founder and chief product officer of Exotrail. Exotrail is a French NewSpace startup that is focusing on space mobility  meaning, enabling small satellites to move in space, optimising their deployment, and increasing their performance. I was interested in Exotrail because I thought that they have a pretty interesting strategy. I first heard of Exotrail as a propulsion company few years ago. So, obviously I put them in the satellite subsystem bucket in the space industry. But then, they started evolving as a company - they started offering satellite constellation design and operation software. And finally, last month, they announced their on-orbit transfer vehicle, called SpaceVan - for last-mile delivery in space. So, essentially they are one company that can help design satellite constellations, launch them and then operate them, which I thought was pretty cool - because each of them can be its own space company. In this episode, David and I talk about what is going on in the French NewSpace ecosystem, the differences between US and European startups, the last-mile delivery market (in space), Exotrail and their strategy and more. ----- 01:24: Intro 02:54: Exotrail: Overview 09:18: What's going on in the French NewSpace ecosystem? 13:54: The last-mile delivery market 21:15: NewSpace: US vs Europe  24:45: Exotrail: Founding journey 30:27: From a propulsion company to a space mobility company 39:40 Exotrail's go-to-market strategy 44:05: Launch brokers vs last-mile delivery operators 48:08: Worries about the state of the space industry 51:01 Wrap-up
May 08, 2022
#33: Thermal Infrared Imagery (+Hyperspectral) for Agriculture - ConstellR (+ScanWorld)
Today, I am speaking with Max Gulde, co-founder and CEO of ConstellR, Cassi Welling, COO of ConstellR and Guerric de Crombrugghe, Chief Product Officer of ConstellR and former CEO of ScanWorld. ConstellR is an Earth observation startup, focusing on collecting thermal infrared data from space for agriculture. I find them interesting because, even though infrared data has applications across industries, they decided to focus on building products for the agriculture sector. This is what I call, "verticalization" - a growing trend in EO. What's also interesting is that ConstellR acquired ScanWorld, a couple of weeks ago. ScanWorld is a hyperspectral Earth observation startup, also focusing on the agriculture sector This was an example of another growing trend in EO - "data fusion." In this episode, we discuss ConstellR and their plans, the importance of thermal infrared imagery and of course, their acquisition of ScanWorld. Sit back and enjoy! PS. Guerric was on the podcast a few months ago - check out episode #27 to learn more about hyperspectral imagery and ScanWorld!  ----- 01:20: Intros 05:00: State of Earth Observation Market 09:27: ConstllR: Elevator Pitch 11:30: Thermal Infrared Imagery - Overview & Significance 21:26: Is ConstllR a spacetech or agritech company? 24:25: ConstllR's go-to-market strategy - data vs insights 27:16: Recent ISS milestone and satellite plans  32:07: Acquisition of ScanWorld (welcoming Guerric de Crombrugghe) 46:12: Worries about the state of the EO today 47:33- Wrap-up
April 30, 2022
#32: Building an Earth Observation Company in India - Prateep Basu, SatSure
Today, I am speaking with Prateep Basu, co-founder and CEO of SatSure, an Earth observation company from India, that just closed a $5M pre-series A round earlier this year. In this episode, Prateep and I discuss the state of Indian space ecosystem, being a space tech entrepreneur in India, SatSure's plans and the Earth observation market. ----- 01:20: Intro 03:34: Being a space entrepreneur in India  08:43: Thoughts on the Earth Observation market  15:33: Overview of SatSure 19:33: Use of satellite data in Indian financial sector  23:42: Why SatSure wants to launch satellites 30:48: SatSure: Roadmap & Plans 34:09 What could go wrong in EO?
April 22, 2022
#31: Earth Observation in China - Blaine Curcio and Tianyi Lan
This episode has been in the making for a while, as I was really interested in understanding the Earth observation market in China. So, it was great to have Blaine and Tianyi, two experts on the space industry in China, on the podcast to discuss this subject. Blaine Curcio is the founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting, a Senior Affliate Consultant at Euroconsult and the co-host of Dongfang Hour, a podcast and YouTube channel devoted to the Chinese space sector. Tianyi Lan is the founder of Ubnebula, a consulting firm focused on the space industry in China. In this episode, we discuss everything from how EO industry works in China, the emerging private sector, the users of EO data, external collaborations etc. ----- 01:03: Intros from Blaine and Tianyi 04:42: Why don't we hear more about Chinese EO companies? 10:40: Overview of Chinese EO missions 17:55: Is the EO data collected from those missions open source? 24:35: Overview of the private EO sector 33:28: EO analytics companies in China 37:25: Public-private partnerships 41:55: Awareness of the western EO ecosystem in China 45:12: Market expansion to the west? 48:25: Collaborations and partnerships 53:39: Overall outlook for the Chinese EO ecosystem
April 08, 2022
#30: Can Space Infrastructure Be Outsourced? - Alex Greenberg, Loft Orbital
Today I am speaking with Alex Greenberg, Co-founder & COO of Loft Orbital.  Loft is actually one of my favourite companies in the space industry. I will let you listen to Alex explaining about what they do, but what got me interested in Loft is - they are actually trying to solve something that I have been asking myself over the last couple of years, which is whether we can "outsource space" especially the part of building, launching and operating satellites.  In this episode, Alex and I discussion that question, talk about Loft's journey, how they manage to become a household name both in the US and in France, their go-to-market strategy and more. One small request: Do you like listening to this podcast? What do you like? What don't you like? Please get in touch with me on Twitter and LinkedIn and let me know. I would love some feedback! --- 01:24: Intro from Alex 04:12: Loft Orbital - Overview 05:30: Some surprising trends in the space industry 15:00 Can space be outsourced today? 24:24: To vertically integrate or not? 28:55: Becoming a US company and a French company 32:30: Who are Loft's customers? 39:30: The EarthDaily case study (an Earth observation company that "outsourced space" to Loft Orbital) 42:47: Loft's go-to-market strategy and business model 50:10: Wrap-up
March 29, 2022
#29: Building an Earth Observation Company and Taking it Public - Emiliano Kargieman, Satellogic
In this episode, I am speaking with Emiliano Kargieman aka EK. EK is the founder and CEO of Satellogic, an Earth observation company founded in 2010 that just trading in the public market, about a month ago. EK and I discuss the founding story of Satellogic, the early challenges and learnings, the state of the Earth observation market, Satellogic's strategy, their roadmap and more. Please note, this was recorded before the 24th of February - so there is no mention of any current events.  ----- 01:28: Intro  05:08: Satellogic's founding story 08:25: Early challenges, successes and learnings 20:38: Was there a market for Earth observation in 2010? 25:44: The important factors in the growth of the EO market 34:41: Vertical integration and verticalization  37:44: Satellogic - roadmap and plans 44:01: What could go wrong in the industry?  46:12 Wrap-up -----
March 04, 2022
#28: Space Cybersecurity - Mathieu Bailly, CYSEC
We are going to discuss something that is usually not discussed as much in the space industry. And that's the topic of cybersecurity. As we continue to launch more and more commercial satellites, I guess it is not a question of if we will see the first big satellite hack, but when. To explore this subject further, I invited Mathieu Bailly, VP of Space from CYSEC, a cybersecurity startup from Switzerland. CYSEC is not a space company per se, but they do offer cybersecurity solutions for space tech. Check out their satellite hacking event: Hack CYSAT. In this episode, Mathieu and I delve into why cybersecurity is relevant for space tech, the status quo of solutions available, CYSEC and what they do, how different cybersecurity for space tech is from cybersecurity for software and more. ----- 01:02: Intro 02:33: Context: Why is cybersecurity relevant for space? 09:30: The cybersecurity solutions available today 15:39: Have there been cyber attacks in space? 23:10: CYSEC: Overview and experience in space tech 31:25: Cybersecurity standards in the space industry 34:01 About "Hack CYSAT" - A live satellite hacking event  37:16: Difference between space cybersecurity and software/IT cybersecurity  39:02: Blockchain for Space 41:02 Best-case/worse-case scenarios for space cybersecurity -----
February 13, 2022
#27: Hyperspectral Imagery from Space for Agriculture - Guerric de Crombrugghe, ScanWorld
Welcome to another episode. This one is all about hyperspectral Earth observation. You might have come across this buzzword quite a bit in the last couple of years in the space industry.  So, I decided to invite Guerric de Crombrugghe from ScanWorld to understand what all of this means. Guerric runs a startup based in Belgium building products for the agriculture sector using hyperspectral imagery from space. In this episode, we discuss what is hyperspectral data, its applications, how ScanWorld uses hyperspectral data, their plans and roadmap and some interesting topics related to the Earth observation market. Sit back and enjoy! ----- 00:56: Intro 02:47: The "messy" Earth observation market 06:30: What is hyperspectral imagery? 09:16: Applications of hyperspectral imagery in agriculture 20:52: Why ScanWorld focuses on agriculture 24:38: Is ScanWorld an AgTech company? 28:29: ScanWorld's plans and roadmap 33:03: Institutional hyperspectral missions 40:50: What could go wrong in EO? 42:55: Wrap-up -----
January 28, 2022
#26: Building A Software Company Powered by Space - Shimon Elkabetz,
Happy new year everyone (I really don't know when I stop saying that). I want to share this conversation I had with Shimon Elkabetz, one of the co-founders and CEO of In this short episode, Shimon and I chat about why the company was founded, the overall strategy, building a multi-vertical platform, the subject of being labelled as a "space company", the rationale for going to space and more. ----- 01:10: Intro 02:14: Overview of 09:52: Multi-platform platform vs verticalised product 13:20: Being labelled a "space company" 15:32: Investing for the future 19:20: Why go to space? 23:18: We are hiring - 24:02: Wrap-up ----- DISCLAIMER This information is not a proxy statement or solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the transaction and does not constitute an offer to sell, buy or exchange or the solicitation of an offer to sell, buy or exchange any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction, nor shall there be any sale, purchase, or exchange of securities or solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law.In connection with the proposed transaction between Pine Technology and, Pine Technology will file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 which will include Pine Technology’s prospectus and proxy statement (the “Proxy Statement/Prospectus”). Pine Technology plans to mail the definitive Proxy Statement/Prospectus to its stockholders in connection with the transaction once available. INVESTORS AND SECURITYHOLDERS OF PINE TECHNOLOGY ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED OR TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PINE TECHNOLOGY, TOMORROW.IO, THE TRANSACTION AND RELATED MATTERS. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC by Pine Technology through the website maintained by the SEC at In addition, investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC by contacting Pine Technology or using the contact information below.Pine Technology, and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and employees may be considered to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the transaction. Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be deemed participants in the solicitation of the stockholders of Pine Technology in connection with the transaction, including a description of their respective direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be included in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus described above when it is filed with the SEC. Additional information regarding Pine Technology’s directors and executive officers can also be found in the Pine Technology Final Prospectus. These documents are available free of charge as described above.”
January 14, 2022
#25: From Concept to Operations: How to Build a Satellite Constellation with John Springmann,
In this episode, I am speaking with John Springmann, VP of Space at Prior to Tomorrow, John worked at Blacksky and Rocket lab and has extensive experience in building and launching satellites, that is, taking a concept on a slide deck to operations on-orbit.  We discuss trends in the space industry, and what's changed from an engineering standpoint, John's experiences at Blacksky building their EO satellites, Rocket Lab building Photon as well as what we are building at Find all the open roles at (in space, in weather and in software) here: ----- 01:05: John's story 04:40: What's changed in space from an engineering standpoint?  06:37: Is space really "democratized"? Can space be "outsourced"? 11:45: Some surprising trends in the space industry 16:55: What's the easiest type of satellite to build and launch 20:20: John's experience at Blacksky building EO satellites 22:11: Engineering challenges before & during NewSpace era 31:29: John's experience at Rocket Lab building Photon 37:58: What we are building at 44:35: Wrap-up -----
December 05, 2021
#24: Space in Asia-Pacific and Amazon Web Services in Space with Mani Thiru, AWS
In this episode, I am speaking with Mani Thiru, Aerospace and Satellite (A&S) Solutions lead for Amazon Web Services in the Asia Pacific region. We discuss space activities in the Asia Pacific region, AWS and space, what AWS offers for the Earth observation market as well as touch on diversity in the space industry. --- 00:50: Mani’s story 05:40: Overview of space activities in the Asia-Pacific region 18:59: What does AWS have to do with space 26:04: Earth Observation and AWS 39:01: What worries Mani about the state of the space industry 42:10: Diversity in the space industry -----
November 11, 2021
#23: A Special Conversation with Kathy Sullivan PhD, Former NASA Astronaut and NOAA Administrator
I was absolutely privileged to have former NASA Astronaut and ex-NOAA Administrator, Kathy Sullivan on my podcast. Kathy can be called a geologist, an oceanographer, a scientist, an astronaut and an explorer. From being the first American woman to walk in space during her Shuttle missions to becoming the first woman to dive to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the world's deepest point, Kathy has had an incredible career. She was also the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of NOAA from 2014 to 2017. These days, among doing a number of other important things, Kathy hosts a podcast called Kathy Sullivan Explores, which I really recommend. In this episode, we talk about her astronaut journey, her experience diving to the world's deepest point, weather, the importance of providing intelligence over data and what action we can take with respect to climate change. I don't think a 40-minute episode is enough to get all her thoughts and advice, but I tried to cover different subjects. I hope you get inspired listening to Kathy as much as I did. ----- 01:54: Kathy's intro 03:41: Kathy's astronaut experience 09:20: The overview effect 15:45: Kathy's experience diving to the world's deepest point 20:30: The interconnectedness of the world 25:50 Kathy's journey at NOAA 28:02: Is weather a solved problem? 32:57: Providing "intelligence" over "data" 35:09: The importance of space for climate 36:37: What action can we take? 38:15: What's keeping Kathy busy these days  41:08: 1-line message for everyone -----
November 01, 2021
#22: From Big Tech to Space Tech: A Vision for Planet & Earth Observation with Kevin Weil
In this episode, I am speaking with Kevin Weil, President of Product and Business at Planet. I am guessing most of you know Planet - the poster child of the NewSpace industry and the Earth observation sector. For those of you that don't, Planet has the largest constellation of EO satellites that image the Earth every day. And, Planet is also just about to go public following a SPAC deal with dMY Technology Group, earlier this year. And as for Kevin Weil - I am going to let you listen to his story in his own words. Kevin joined Planet about 6 months ago. With past leadership roles in Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, his CV speaks for itself. I really enjoyed this discussion with Kevin on Planet and his vision for the Earth observation sector.  Sit back and enjoy! ----- 01:20: Kevin's story 07:35: Foray into space tech 13:30: About the space industry  16:22: Outlook on Earth observation 22:49: Planet - The Present & The Future 26:17: Evangelising EO and Simplifying EO  28:40: A B2C app based on EO data? 32:30: Data fusion and verticalisation 34:58: Horizontal EO vs Vertical EO 38:16: Vision for Planet 41:35: What worries Kevin about the industry 44:28: 1-thing to learn from Big-Tech to Earth observation -----
October 25, 2021
#21: Taking Earth Observation to Enterprises with Daniel Seidel, LiveEO
If you enjoy listening to the TerraWatch Space podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts - it's shown to be the most effective way to get the podcast to more people. Thanks a lot! ----- In this episode, I am speaking with Daniel Seidel, co-founder of LiveEO, one of my favourite Earth observation startups, based out of Berlin, Germany. LiveEO offers an end-to-end EO-based solution for infrastructure monitoring in the Utilities industry, and their mission is to take Earth observation to enterprises. In this episode, we talk about LiveEO's journey, their go-to-market approach, the importance of building scalable EO solutions, their investing journey and a bunch of other topics related to EO.  ----- 01:25: Daniel's story 03:27: Outlook on the space industry  06:16: LiveEO - the elevator pitch and their story 10:25: LiveEO's go-to-market strategy 13:55: How customers use LiveEO's product 22:15: The importance of building scalable EO solutions 24:12 LiveEO's investing journey and lessons learned 31:23 The role of EO within the space industry 38:45: Prioritising data availability vs data access  43:18: Lessons learned from LiveEO - for future EO entrepreneurs 47:36 $100m in hand - where would you invest in space tech? 50:00 Roadmap for LiveEO 51:37: About NewSpaceVision 53:48: 1-line message for the space industry -----
October 17, 2021
#20: The Business of Space and Interplanetary Economics with Sinéad O'Sullivan
Welcome to the second season of the TerraWatch Space podcast!! ---- In this episode, I am speaking with Sinéad O' Sullivan. Sinéad is one of the most interesting people I know. She has a super interesting background - from working at NASA on space missions to working with Michael Porter on strategy. Her official bio reads: Sinéad is a space economist whose research lies at the intersection of geopolitics, technology, and economics of interplanetary space missions. She works on behavioral science at Veriphix, Geopolitical AI at MIT, space technologies at the Center for Climate and Security, and a lot more. Sinéad also does a lot of teaching. In fact, she has a course coming up, which I definitely recommend. It's called "The Business and Economics of Space", starting in November. In this episode, Sinéad and I discuss her journey, the business of space, boring problems in space, strategy applied to space, challenges of building space companies in the public market among others. ----- 01:46: Intro & Sinéad's journey 12:28: What's exciting about the space industry today? 15:42: What should investors be wary of? 19:13: Boring problems in space 27:15: Strategy applied to the space industry 34:30: Building in the public markets in the space industry 36:53: Space and climate 42:13: Interplanetary economics 46:53: What worries Sinéad about the space industry 49:03: Wrap-up -----
October 08, 2021
#19: From Software to Space: Launching Satellites for the Future of Weather Intelligence - Rei Goffer,
In this very special episode, I am speaking with Rei Goffer, the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of (aka my boss). We discuss Rei's journey, how weather forecasting works and the role of satellites in it, Tomorrow's products, why they decided to launch satellites being a software company and more. P.S: This is going to be my last episode as an independent consultant. From the 30th of August, I going to be working at as their Director of Strategy, Space & Federal. ----- 01:36: Rei's journey 03:59: An overview of 05:38: How weather forecasting works 10:13: Who are the customers of 11:47: What sets apart from other weather companies 18:01: Why launch satellites in the first place? 25:51: Some details on the satellite constellation 28:19: The reaction from the space industry and the US Government 32:55: Competition within the space industry? 35:50: Tomorrow's plans for the future -----
August 23, 2021
#18 - Space Around the World: Temidayo Oniosun, Space in Africa
Hey everyone, I haven't released any new episodes for a while as I wanted to take a short break. However, before we get to the next season, I have three bonus episodes for you, focusing on the state of the space industry from places around the world.  ----- This episode is about Africa. There's not a great deal of information about the African space ecosystem and how space industry works over there. So, I invited Temidayo Oniosun, the Managing Director of Space in Africa, a startup providing business and market analysis for the African space Industry. In this episode, Temidayo and I discuss the landscape for space in Africa, how important space is for Africa and more.  Sit back and enjoy!  ----- 01:16: Temidayo's story 02:50: An overview to the African space ecosystem 11:12: Launch in Africa 15:25: Earth observation in Africa 24:28: How important is space for Africa? 30:16:What are the main opportunities for investing in space tech for Africa? 33:30: Who are the major partners for the African space industry? 35:35: What is Africa's USP? 37:53: What do people get wrong about the African space ecosystem? 39:20: How does the African space industry look like in 2030? 41:05: Space exploration missions from Africa? 42:00 Is space for everyone? Does Africa feel included?  -----
August 04, 2021
#17 - Space Around the World: Space in China
Hey everyone, I haven't released any new episodes for a while as I wanted to take a short break. However, before we get to the next season, I have three bonus episodes for you, focusing on the state of the space industry from places around the world.  ----- This episode is about China. We usually get news about the space industry in China in bits and pieces - from when they are launching to what kind of satellites they are launching as well as their overall space policy. In order to get a comprehensive overview of the Chinese space ecosystem, I decided to invite Blaine Curcio to my podcast. Blaine aka #ChinaSpaceGuy is the founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting and a Senior Affliate Consultant at Euroconsult (also check out his podcast/newsletter on space in China) As his alias suggests, Blaine is the go-to-person in the industry for news about space in China. It was great to chat with him and get an idea of how the space industry works in China. Sit back and enjoy!  ----- 01:28: Blaine's story 03:20: An overview to the Chinese space industry 08:20: How important is space tech to China? 12:26: Launch in China 17:50: Where does the demand for launch come from? 22:45: Earth observation in China  31:07: Space exploration and human spaceflight in China 34:03: How public budget allocation is made for space in China 37:55: Who are China's partners in space? 46:30: What is China's biggest USP? 49:18: One exciting thing about the Chinese space industry 51:19: What do people get wrong about the Chinese space ecosystem? 53:26: What does the space industry look like in China in 2030? -----
August 03, 2021
#16 - Space Around the World: Space in India
Hey everyone,  I haven't released any new episodes for a while as I wanted to take a short break. However, before we get to the next season, I have three bonus episodes for you, focusing on the state of the space industry from places around the world.  This episode is about India. Not many people both within and outside the space industry know a lot about the Indian ecosystem. So, I decided to invite Narayan Prasad to get an overview of space in India. Narayan is currently the COO of satsearch, a startup based in the Netherlands. In the last few years, Narayan has become the go-to-person to speak about the Indian space ecosystem. He has worked closely with ISRO and the Indian government, advised Indian space startups as well as been a  core point of contact, really, for the space industry in India. Narayan hosts the NewSpace India podcast, which I really recommend and has also published his thoughts on the Indian space industry in various publications. It was a pleasure to have him on the podcast to speak about the Indian space ecosystem. And even though I am from India, I learnt a lot of interesting things about the Indian space ecosystem. Sit back and enjoy!  ----- 01:47: Narayan's story 12:16: An overview of the Indian space ecosystem - past to present 22:34: Is military space a thing in India? 30:47: India's launch ecosystem 45:10: The potential for Earth observation in India 56:01: OneWeb, Starlink and the future of satellite internet for India  01:01:52: What should a potential investor know about the Indian space ecosystem? 01:07:27: What are the most exciting things about the Indian space industry? 01:10:30: What is the USP for the Indian space industry? 01:13:33: What do people get wrong about space in India? 01:17:48: What does satsearch do? -----
August 02, 2021
#15 - A Spontaneous Discussion on SPACs in Earth Observation with Joe Morrison
Today, I am speaking to Joe Morrison (again - he was my guest on the first episode of this podcast). We decided to record this conversation spontaneously after hearing about the SPAC exit announcements in Earth observation - specifically the ones of Satellogic and Planet that happened back to back.  If you are not familiar about the Earth observation market, you can check out Episode 1 of this podcast. We had a lot of fun chatting about all things EO, and I hope you will too. Sit back and enjoy! -----
July 08, 2021
#14 - The Significance of the Defence Industry for Space with John Holst
Today I am speaking with John Holst, who is an independent analyst in the space industry. John conducted space operations for in the United States Air Force and space segment testing for the Missile Defense Agency. He has performed research and worked for the Space Foundation and Quilty Analytics, and continues to work on publications in the space industry. John also writes an interesting blog on the state of the space industry and the path towards commercialisation.  --- 00:30: John's story 04:07: About John's blog  06:00: How commercial is the space industry, outside defence? 12:02: Dependency of the launch industry on defence 20:40: How long will the defence industry continue to be an anchor customer for Earth observation companies? 29:20: When could space technologies be used commercially first before being adopted by governments and military? 37:20: Commercialisation of space exploration 45:15: 1-line for the space industry ---
July 01, 2021
#13 - Space for Everyone: Diversity in the Space Industry with Shelli Brunswick
Today I am speaking with Shelli Brunswick, the Chief Operating Officer of the Space Foundation. Shelli is also a coach, mentor, advisor and is part of a number of important organisations such as UNOOSA Space4Women, Women Tech Network and Women in Aerospace.     In this episode, Shelli and I talk about diversity (or the lack thereof) in the space industry, in terms of gender, nationality, ethnicity and educational background. We also discuss the actions we can take to bring more underrepresented groups into the space industry in order to make space truly accessible for all.   Sit back and enjoy. ---- 01:10: Shelli's story 07:51: What does the Space Foundation do? 11:20: Thoughts on diversity in the space industry (gender, nationality, ethnicity and educational background) 15:25: How to improve gender diversity in the space industry 19:58: How can we make space more global (improving the nationality diversity) 23:59: What are some ways to make the space industry more accessible for all? 28:30: The current state of space and the major trends in the space industry 34:38: The 1 action we can take today to improve diversity in the space industry 37:50: What could go wrong in the future of space? 40:20: 1 line for the space industry ---
June 17, 2021
#12 - The Commercial Case for Lunar Exploration & Mining on the Moon with Simon Drake
Today, I am speaking with Simon Drake, an entrepreneur and investor in the space industry. Simon is the Founding Partner of Space Ventures Investors, focusing on early-stage startups. He is also the CEO of Space Commodities Exchange and Lunar Resources Registry, two organisations focused on the lunar economy.  Simon and I talk about the lunar exploration market, the commercial case for going to the Moon and the importance of involving the mining industry in extracting resources on the Moon. We also discuss the feasibility of asteroid mining as well as the arguments for investing in the lunar economy. ----- 01:12: Simon's story and what his work involves 08:28: Why go to the Moon? What is the cislunar economy? 19:23: Why would governments and people be interested in mining the Moon? 23:42: Do the mining industry see a business case in the Moon? 27:43: How big of a milestone will Starship be in kicking off the lunar economy? 31:45: Is continuous human presence on the Moon necessary? 35:18: What is the deal with asteroid mining?  38:48: What is the argument for investors to back lunar exploration companies? 45:15: What can go wrong with respect to the lunar exploration plans? -----
June 04, 2021
#11 - Demystifying Investing in SpaceTech with Raphael Roettgen
Today, I am speaking with Raphael Roettgen. Raphael is an investor and venture capitalist whose firm E2MC Ventures invests in space businesses.  Raphael is also the co-CEO of Space Acquisition Corp I, a SPAC focused on the space industry. He is also a lecturer, writer and podcaster with over twenty years of experience in global financial markets at investment banks and hedge funds. In this episode, we talk about investing in the space industry, the differences between investing in space versus other deep tech domains as well as prospects for the future of the space economy. Raphael and I share the same passion for demystifying space tech and so, we also discussed space outreach and ideas for making space tech accessible for all. Check out Raphael's book, podcast and course here: ----- 01:52: Raphael's story 11:25 Is it overwhelming to get into the space industry? 18:23 How is investing in space different from other deep tech domains? 20:53 Raphael's perspective of SPACs and Space Acquisition Corp I  23:12 Investing exercise: Would you invest in a launcher startup from India, Earth observation data analytics startup and an in-orbit manufacturing exercise? 29:19 Should space investors invest in Earth observation startups? 33:35 Space industry's prospects in the short-term, mid-term and long-term 38:55 What is the biggest gap in space outreach today?  43:13 What is the best place to start to understand the space industry? 45:23 What are the most exciting technologies coming up in space? 47:58 Raphael's 1-line for the space industry -----
May 20, 2021
#10 - Investing in SpaceTech, Exploring the Oceans & Making a Case for Venus with Guillermo Söhnlein
Today, I am speaking with Guillermo Söhnlein. Guillermo has over 20 years of experience in technology innovation, "NewSpace" ventures, and early-stage investments. From co-founding technology companies in Silicon Valley to launching the Space Angels Network, from organising ocean exploration expeditions to advising emerging space ventures, he has had quite a fascinating career. Currently, Guillermo is part of the advisory team at New Vista Acquisition Corporation, a SPAC focused on the aerospace and defence sector. In this episode, Guillermo and I discuss a number of subjects including the evolution of investing in space companies in the last 15 years, the similarities with the internet era, and of course, SPACs. Guillermo also gives his perspectives on exploring the oceans as well as why we should also be looking at Venus for human settlement. [Hope you don't mind the disturbances to the connection during the recording. Apologies!] ----- 01:54: Guillermo's story 03:30: Guillermo's experience across industries and how it relates to working in space tech 05:58: Does the space industry have anything in common with other industries? 08:58: What has changed in the space industry in the last 20 years? 10:58: What is the next big thing in the space industry? 14:45: The similarities between the growth of the internet and the commercialisation of space 17:02: The Space Angels Network and investing in SpaceTech 25:05: Guillermo's perspectives on SPACs and working with New Vista 29:59: Guillermo's thoughts on exploration and what it means 34:10: Are we doing enough to explore the oceans? How is it related to space exploration? 40:27: Exploring the solar system and making a case for Venus 46:10: What could go wrong in the next decade?  49:22: What Guillermo is excited about in the space industry 51:01: Guillermo's 1-line for the space industry -----
May 10, 2021
#9 - Consulting in the Space Industry and Prospects for Earth Observation with Luigi Scatteia
Today, I am speaking with Luigi Scatteia, who is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers or PwC, within its Space Practice. It is a pretty special episode for me because I used to work within the PwC Space Practice team up until last summer, meaning I am interviewing my ex-boss. Luigi and I discuss how space policy is set up in Europe with institutions like the European Space Agency and the European Commission. We then move on to discussing the Earth Observation market, the Copernicus Programme and its applications for the European Green Deal. We also talk about how to improve the uptake of Earth Observation data and the role of professional services firms such as PwC in bringing satellite data to different sectors. If you are enjoying this podcast, please give it a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts and share the word. Sit back and enjoy Luigi's amusing Italian accent! ---- 01:21: Luigi's story and how he ended up working in the space industry 05:42: What does PwC have to do with space, and what are they involved in? 09:52 How is space organised in Europe within ESA and the European Commission? 16:02 Is there a market for Earth observation today? 22:17: What are some sectors that are using Earth observation today based on PwC's experience? 28:16: The potential for Earth observation in the European Green Deal 31:05: The role of PwC in enhancing the uptake of Earth Observation data 34:14: What Luigi is looking forward to in the space industry ---
April 26, 2021
#8 - Broadband, IoT and the Quest for Global Connectivity through Satellites with Doug Mohney
Today, I am speaking with Doug Mohney. Doug has been working in and writing about IT & satellite industries for over 20 years. His real-world experience including stints at two start-ups, a commercial internet service provider that went public in 1997 for $150 million and a satellite internet broadband company that didn't. We discuss all things satellite communication, particularly satellite broadband, the promise of connecting with the world by SpaceX, Amazon and a couple of other companies and whether they will. I also get Doug's perspectives on the similarities between the start of the internet era in the late 90s and the NewSpace era today. Follow Doug on Twitter at @DougonIPComm. ---------- 01:09: Doug's story and how he ended up in the space industry 04:51: What are the similarities/differences between the IT era of the late 90s and today's NewSpace era 08:19: Where is the demand coming from, for all the rockets being developed 20:40: Chances of a Big 5 in Space similar to the Big 5 in Tech 26:32: Can space companies become telecom companies? 33:08: Have we solved the connectivity problem for the world with satellites? 35:35: The satellite-based IoT market 39:50 Space tugs and their impact on the launch market 41:10 The importance of antennas in the satellite communication market ----------
April 13, 2021
#7 - The Geopolitics of Space and The New Space Race with Namrata Goswami
Today, I am speaking with Namrata Goswami, a strategic analyst and consultant on space policy, international relations, great power politics and alternate futures. Namrata has authored a number of books on those topics with the latest one focusing on the second space race titled, "Scramble for the Skies: The Great Power Competition to Control the Resources of Outer Space", co-authored with Peter Garrettson. In this episode, Namrata and I discuss all things geopolitics and how it is very relevant in the world of space. We touch upon topics including  whether there is a cold war brewing between the US and China,  the role of Russia, India, Japan and Europe in the global space race and  the emergence of the spacefaring nations in the Middle East.  Namrata also provides her thoughts on why Elon Musk is so special for the space industry and also provides a note of caution in our quest for a future in space. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider giving the podcast a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts. And, please share with anyone who might be interested. Aravind. ---- 01:30: Namrata's story: From growing up in north-east India to becoming a geopolitical expert 03:03: About Namrata's recent book 05:49: Is geopolitics in space still relevant? 08:31: Is geopolitics in space underrated? 12:52: What is the 'space power theory?' 15:59: Why do we have so many space agencies being established today? 19:35: About the series 'For All Mankind' on Apple TV+ 22:31: Is there a cold war developing between the US and China? 27:17: Where does Russia fit into the picture? 30:05: What is the role of Europe in the new space race? 34:07: No borders from space vs borders on Earth 36:53: India's position in the global space race 40:05: What about the role of Japan in the future? 43:04: The emergence of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel and potentially Turkey  50:15: The impact of geopolitics in space arms and military  54:28: Why Elon Musk is so important for the space industry 58:24: What should we be worried about in terms of our future in space? -----
March 30, 2021
#6 - A Rational Perspective on the Space Launch Market with Pierre Lionnet
About Today's Guest: Today, I am speaking with Pierre Lionnet, the Research & Managing Director at Eurospace, the trade association of the European space manufacturing industry. Pierre is an economist with more than 25 years of experience in the space industry, and a well-known expert on space markets.  Pierre's LinkedIn: Pierre's Twitter: About Today's Episode: In this episode, Pierre and I discuss what is NewSpace, recent developments in the launch sector, launcher economics particularly focusing on the micro launcher segment, meaning small-lift launch vehicles capable of lifting up to 2,000 kilograms to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Being an experienced analyst, Pierre provides a realistic assessment of the recent developments in the launch sector. ----- 01:42 Pierre's story 05:55 What is Eurospace? 08:45 How policy-driven is the space industry? 13:10 What is NewSpace - is it based on the source of funding or based on the source of revenues? 26:04 Number of launch companies needed to satisfy the market demand 35:46 The business case of Astra (a small-lift launch vehicle) 40:14 Why is there so much investment flowing into the space industry? 48:41 The last-mile delivery market in space transportation 53:31 The importance of price and quality of service in the launch market 59:39 Is Uber & Deliveroo part of the space industry? 1:07:10 What Pierre is looking forward to in the space industry (hint: Earth Observation & SpaceX Starlink) 1:11:10 The 1-line Pierre wants to tell the space industry ----- Aravind
March 23, 2021
#5 - Being a Space Enthusiast, Venture Capitalist & Building Factories in Space with Delian Asparouhov
Today, I have a very interesting guest, one who wears 3 different hats - a self-proclaimed space enthusiast, a venture capitalist and a space entrepreneur, Delian Asparouhov. Delian is a Principal at Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that has invested in SpaceX, Palantir, Facebook, Airbnb and more. Delian also recently cofounded Varda Space Technologies that is building factories in space in order to manufacture products for use on Earth. In this episode, Delian and I talk about his story, how he juggles multiple roles and his perspectives on the space industry including the recent phenomenon of SPACs. I also got to hear some of his plans for Varda and how he sees in-space manufacturing evolving over the next few years. Before we get to it, just a small request: I am looking for feedback from you, the listeners - it can be whether you are enjoying this podcast or not, if you have any suggestions on the format, questions or maybe you have recommendations for guests. Just let me know on Twitter or LinkedIn! Now, onto the episode. Sit back and enjoy! ---------- 01:53 Delian's story 07:04 Why Delian is passionate about space 08:52 How Delian managed to keep track of developments in space tech without actually being in the space industry 13:20 Why are we hearing so much about the space industry recently 17:23 Delian's thoughts on SPACs and whether Varda will also look at a potential SPAC 23:54 Delian's comprehensive overview of the space industry 35:00 About Varda's plans for space factories and manufacturing in-orbit    39:43 Why isn't anybody doing this and looking at this market? 42:05 How will we get the manufactured products down from space? (Note: we wait for further updates) 43:55 Will there be more startups working on space factories founded as a result of Varda? 45:25 Is in-space manufacturing the next big thing in space tech? 48:46 Should we get more people excited about space? 51:05 What could go wrong in the next decade or so? 53:53 What does the space industry not do well? 55:42 Delian's favourite hat to wear - space advocate/space-tech VC/ space entrepreneur
March 16, 2021
#4 - Space Tourism: Hype vs Reality with Laura Seward Forczyk
Today, I am speaking with Laura Seward Forcyzk. Laura is the owner of space consulting firm Astralytical specializing in space science, industry, and policy, and also offering space career coaching services. She is a NASA Subject Matter Expert for planetary science missions. She has researched astrophysics and planetary science at three NASA centers, flown two parabolic “Zero Gravity” campaigns and conducted geological research in a meteor crater. She is also the author of "Rise of the Space Age Millennials." In this episode, we discuss a lot of exciting topics including when are we going to be space tourists, how much do we need to save for going to space and whether we will start going to space for a vacation. We also talk about the use of stratospheric balloons for space tourism, the effects of going to space on the human body as well as the importance of space for Earth. Follow Laura on Twitter: and check out Astralytical: ---- Chapters: 01:40: Laura's story 04:35: About Astralytical 07:30: About Laura experiencing zero-gravity 10:42: When are we going to be space tourists? 14:48: How much do I need to save for going to space? And, when can I go? 18:18: Are we going to have space hotels? Are we going to start going to space for a vacation? 21:30: Going to the edge of space through stratospheric balloons 25:20: Should we make space tourism more equitable? Can we? 29:26: Why are we talking about the space industry so much these days? 34:26: Laura's take on the developments in the launch sector 37:40: Understanding the importance of space technologies for life on Earth 41:07: Team Moon or Team Mars? 42:21: Team Human Exploration or Team Robotic Exploration? 44:24: What impact does going to outer space have on the human body? 46:26 What is Laura looking forward to in space tech? 48:21 Is Pluto a planet? 49:23 What is the 1-line you want to say to the space industry?
March 08, 2021
#3 - An Investor's Outlook on SpaceTech - Part 2: Jeff Crusey
Our guest today is Jeff Crusey,  a venture capital investor at Seraphim Capital that invests predominantly in space tech. Seraphim has invested in many startups across space domains including Spire, Iceye, D-Orbit as well as AST & Science. In this episode, Jeff provides his perspectives on the space industry, including the recent developments in space tech and the applications of space technologies for Earth. We discuss how big of a problem space debris is and how companies are using innovative technologies to tackle it. Jeff also has some interesting thoughts on what the space industry could do better - to tell better stories with a bigger vision. Chapters: 01:55: Jeff's Story 06:30: What is the "Space Industry?" 08:55: Why Create an Investment Thesis Around Investing in Space? 12:50: Is Space Debris a Big Problem? 14:25: Are We Worrying Too Much About Space Debris? How Can We Clean Space? 16:14: Do We Need More VCs Investing in SpaceTech? 18:27: Would You Invest in an Earth Observation Company, a Satellite IoT Company or a Launch Company? 21:53: SPACs and Space 24:33: What Can the Space Industry Do Better? 27:09: What Would You Want to Say to the Space Industry?
March 01, 2021
#2 - An Investor's Outlook on SpaceTech - Part 1: Andrew Lapham
This episode is all about investing in space. Our guest today is Andrew Lapham, the CEO of Northern Private Capital, a private equity firm based in Canada. In 2019, Northern Private Capital acquired MDA, the Canadian aerospace company, from Maxar Technologies of the US, for a deal valued at about 1 billion Canadian dollars. In this episode, Andrew provides an investor's perspective on the space industry. As an outsider who ventured into space by investing in MDA, Andrew has some interesting insights on the recent trends in space tech including Earth observation, launchers, robotics and space exploration. He also some thoughts on the recent phenomenon of SPACs in the space industry as well as suggestions for investors exploring opportunities in space tech. Chapters: 01:39: About Andrew and Northern Private Capital (NPC) 04:31: Andrew's Perspective on SPACs  09:28: Segments of the Space Industry That Were Easier to Understand As A Generalist Investor 12:06: Satellite Systems 13:32: Robotics 15:04: Earth Observation 18:03 Invest in an Earth Observation Startup, a Launch Startup or A Startup Building A Moon Lander? (Hypothetically) 23:30 Strategic Outlook for MDA 28:30 Does Andrew Recommend the Space Industry to Non-Space Investors? 31:15 What Does The Space Industry Do Well? And What Can it Improve? 34:03 What Are You Most Looking Forward To In Space Tech?
February 22, 2021
#1 - A Closer Look at Earth Observation with Joe Morrison
In this first episode, I am stoked to have Joe Morrison on the podcast to talk about all things Earth Observation - the domain of space tech related to collecting data about the Earth through sensors in satellites.  Joe and I discuss what is Earth...
February 14, 2021
Hello World!
Welcome to the TerraWatch Space podcast. This is Aravind.In this podcast, I will attempt to decode what is going on in the space industry, by interviewing thought leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, space professionals and more, to get their perspectives...
February 02, 2021