ODYSSEUS Space — a Taiwan-based startup created in 2016 by French professionals to provide solutions for smallsat constellations and space resources exploitation missions — has won the SpaceResources.lu challenge of the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Exploration Masters competition that “awards the best business ideas for space exploration that also benefit society,” according to the company’s press release.
Initiated by the European Space Agency, the Space Exploration Masters competition targets participants from all around the world. The 2018 competition received entries from 42 nations, including China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Malaysia in Asia. A total of 7 prizes were awarded in collaboration with international partners.
The award is designed to support a development phase under the Luxembourg national space programme, LuxIMPULSE, and be implemented through an ESA contract valued at up to EUR 500,000. The winner will have to register a Luxembourg-based company and provide a sound business plan as well as a project proposal that are evaluated successfully. An expert team at the Luxembourg Space Agency will guide the winner throughout this process.
ODYSSEUS Space has started the process of relocating its headquarters from Taiwan to Luxembourg, while maintaining space activities on the island.
“It was truly inspiring to see so many people from different ages and backgrounds keenly working on technologies and solutions to make space resources utilization possible. But there could only be one winning team,” said Marc Serres, CEO of the Luxembourg Space Agency. “We are looking forward to supporting ODYSSEUS’ developments in autonomous operations and optical communications to enable space resources missions for the benefit of humankind.”
“We are very honoured and thankful to receive this prize, as this gives ODYSSEUS Space the opportunity to establish a new pole of activity in Europe, in a country whose national space roadmap of space resources exploration and exploitation is 100% in line with ODYSSEUS Space own vision and business plan. This will allow us to create significant value in both Europe and Asia thanks to the existing synergies between the two continents in terms of R&D and manufacturing capabilities, while addressing a much larger market,” detailed during the event Jordan Vannitsen, CEO of ODYSSEUS Space.
To date, ODYSSEUS Space team members have participated in over 15 small satellite missions from 7 different countries. In order to develop and accelerate its activities, ODYSSEUS Space is currently preparing a call for a first round of 5 million EUR investment.