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EnduroSat offers a cheaper alternative for academia and businesses to access space, Source: EnduroSat website

EIB invests in Bulgarian space company in a bid to democratise Space

EIB invests in Bulgarian space company in a bid to democratise Space

EnduroSat’s NanoSatellites will help academia, businesses and science teams reach the last frontier faster and easier

On 26 August, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it would team up with EnduroSat, an up-and-coming Bulgarian space start-up. The EIB will invest up to 10 million euros in the form of a venture debt agreement to help support the company’s bid to democratise access to Space through their innovative NanoSatelite programme.

Think small

EnduroSat is one of the fastest growing space companies in the EU, with an annual growth of more than 250%. They offer innovative, high-performance and affordable NanoSatellites that go hand in hand with a Shared Satellite Service. The service, in essence, eases access to space data, allowing customers to lease the company’s satellites to deploy sensors and instruments instead of developing their own satellite fleets.

This is all made possible with their use of a special NanoSatelite modular design – CubeSat. NanoSatelite is a term loosely defined as any satellite weighing under 10 kilograms. However, CubeSats can be even smaller and are measured with their own special unit.

CubeSat explanationThis is how the modular CubeSat system works, Source: Alén Space website

A CubeSat unit is one cube-shaped structure measuring 10x10x10 centimetres, weighing around 1 to 1.3 kilograms. This unit is known as 1U and because of the modular design, it is very common to see satellites of up to 6U and 12U. This allows for a lot of flexibility when it comes to payload sizes and scientific measurement instruments that need to be applied onboard.

With the standardised design of CubeSats comes the possibility of using commercial electronic parts and technology suppliers, thereby dramatically cutting costs in engineering and development.

Think big

EnduroSat plans to use the investment to scale up its production and provide the academic and commercial sector with a more affordable and sustainable alternative to the big government and commercial satellites.

EIB signingL-R: Raycho Raychev and Lilyana Pavlova, Source: EIB

This is mainly through their access to Space data as a service, which will inevitably lead to a reduced need for satellite launches and less orbital debris.

The EIB vice president Lilyana Pavlova praised the development of the new space industry segment, opening up the way for more equal and democratic access to the last frontier. She expressed her hope that the EIB’s involvement would boost job creation and innovation in this highly disruptive, cutting-edge sector that would define the future.

The CEO and founder of EnduroSat, Raycho Raychev said he was thrilled to announce the company’s partnership with the EIB. According to him, this would help the company streamline their mission of offering academia, businesses and science teams across the globe an easier way to test out their technology in Space.

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