Meet the founders – Levity Space
We talked briefly with the team of Levity Space, Lars Kesseler & Andres Lüdeke, to understand a bit more about their solution in the space sector and to know about their story.
1- Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
LEVITY is developing a universal and flexible space satellite platform called ESCI. It is specifically designed for orbits beyond the established LEO market and features a cost-optimized, one-of-a-kind development approach based on COTS components.
ESCI is designed to replace the development of satellite platforms with plug-and-play, as is already the case for components, payloads, rockets, ground stations, satellite operations and other services. In addition to all these COTS segments already available and important to space missions, the most important one – the satellite itself – has not yet been available without major hurdles. A large number of potential users need an out-of-the-box platform for which they can design their mission within its clear performance spectrum and mission capabilities.
A solution like ESCI is not available on the market today.
2- What’s the story behind your company? How was the idea for this business born?
Aspiring space users above the CubeSat level still face a major hurdle to making their businesses in space a reality. Users are usually forced to use successful but hardly innovative solutions to realize their goals.
We wanted to change that. We have already received good feedback from large established companies that would like to use the platform today – if it were already here.
3-Which is the challenge that your solution tackles, and how do you set apart from the other companies with similar solutions?
There are long-frozen design approaches based on decades of experience and knowledge, as well as the established financial models of the current “OldSpace” monopolists. While this has changed for CubeSats over the past decade, the prevailing approach to custom spacecraft development in the small satellite space (and beyond) still ties up a large number of people who must be paid at the development stage and take enormous time to deliver an optimal solution, often repeating multiple processes.
This move towards simple solutions in spaceflight with CubeSats has awakened our vision to provide easy access to space not only around the Earth but all the way to the Moon and interplanetary. Only a StartUp can afford something like this, as established companies can hardly address future markets with running costs. So, in a way, we are called by the opportunity that can be derived from the past 10 years and the current boost in spaceflight.
4- What are your goals, and what’s the biggest challenge you are trying to overcome at this moment?
Our goal: Accessible infrastructure for small satellite missions up to the Moon and in deep space.
We are currently in contact with many investors, but they either want to see hardware and machines already in place or say that we should already have a paying pilot customer on board – both of which are difficult to achieve without initial large amounts of funding in a satellite mission. We need an investor that is just as visionary as we are, who does not “only” want the earliest ROI from another hyped beverage or food product but believes in the future of small and accessible satellites in spaceflight. As the micro-and electromobility on earth have shown that small flexible solutions work – we have a pretty good example of that right here on earth!
5- What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the space sector landscape?
As entrepreneurs, we have learnt and proven, that to every problem, there is a solution. If you are motivated to achieve your goals for your most pressing inner reasons, you will find your way, even if it will be hard and troublesome.
6- About SUN, why did you apply?
We believe, that the Space Hubs Network program including mentoring connects us to believers and partners in our endeavour and helps us and our partners to change space business for the better, becoming more affordable, less sluggish, more transparent and therefore available and considerable for the bright minds of the world. Since every step counts, we hope to advance more steadily within the Space Hubs acceleration. We can already say that this was successful with a promising exchange with other candidates of the cohort/network and meetings with our mentor that lead to successful action with possible customers!