Open Cosmos welcomes ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, and ESA Director for Earth Observation Simonetta Cheli to Open Cosmos’ Harwell facilities


pen Cosmos recently had the privilege of hosting Josef Aschbacher, the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation, at the company's facilities in Harwell Campus. 

During their visit, they were given a tour of the Open Cosmos cleanroom and were able to see the progress of several flagship ESA projects, including MANTIS, Phisat2, and NanoMagSat, all of which are demonstrators of cutting edge of satellite technology and scientific research the company is leading in partnership with the agency. 

MANTIS - a 12U satellite which will be the first launched under the ESA InCubed program which supports innovative Earth Observation projects in the commercial market. The satellite will host an innovative multispectral, high-resolution optical payload for EO and a secondary payload, a high-performance and reconfigurable processing unit aimed at exploiting the power of Artificial Intelligence to derive insights onboard. The data from MANTIS will help address the needs of the natural resources sector, providing high-quality data and improved coverage by enabling remote viewing of critical infrastructure, reducing costs and risks in support of a sustainable transition in the energy and mining industries. 

Phisat2 - a 6U mission that combines multispectral imaging and reprogrammable capabilities for artificial intelligence algorithms. It will host AI algorithms developed by European partners and will be able to be reconfigured in orbit to test future on-board AI applications developed through the ESA Philab challenges here. By leveraging the power of AI and hyperspectral imaging, Phisat2 has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of Earth's ecosystems and drive sustainable development.

NanoMagSat - an ambitious and agile research mission taking advantage of the NewSpace approach as part of the ESA SCOUT programme. The 3x16U satellite mission led by Open Cosmos with IPGP, CEA-Leti, UiO and COMET-Ingenieria aims to monitor Earth's magnetic field and ionospheric environment. By harnessing state-of-the-art magnetometers and innovative engineering, NanoMagSat will provide invaluable insights into the intricate workings of our planet's magnetic field, advancing our understanding of space weather and its impacts on Earth's systems. NanoMagSat is currently in its phase 2 of the mission plan, undergoing risk retirement activities which will be concluded in September of this year.

Rafel Jorda, CEO and Founder of Open Cosmos said of the visit:

“We were thrilled to host Josef and Simonetta and other key personnel from the European Space Agency this week - especially as this is the month we celebrate our 8th birthday! 

Six years ago we were at ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) as a startup with huge ambitions. Today, we’re working on flagship ESA missions with the ESA EO and Space Solutions teams, incorporating technology which is at the forefront of satellite design. This has been made possible by the partnership we have built with ESA, and the knowledge and expertise they have been generous enough to share with us. Their support has truly been invaluable and it was incredibly exciting for the team at Open Cosmos to be able to showcase satellites, some of which will be launching in just a few months”

Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation at the European Space Agency:

“Open Cosmos is a company that has a strong knowhow in terms of experience, and they are showing the value of using technology and data in support of environmental and climate issues.

They have been a partner of ESA for quite a few years and today, to see the concrete results of the achievements of what we have done together, is a really big satisfaction”