Perspectives

180° Shift: You Think You Know What a Satellite Is?

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  • (All photos by Asa Mathat)

    (All photos by Asa Mathat)

  • Techonomy 2013 - Tucson, AZ
Speaker

Peter Platzer
Chief Executive Officer, NanoSatisfi, Inc.


Peter Platzer of NanoSatisfi talks about how his company is democratizing access to space.

Read the full transcript below. (Transcript by Realtime Transcription.)

Platzer:  My name is Peter, and today I want to take you on a little journey into outer space, the final frontier. I want you to close your eyes and think of a satellite. Picture the size of the satellite. Picture how expensive it is, how heavy it is. Picture how difficult was it to get up there. How many can be launched on a rocket? Who gets to use those satellites? And I want you to ask yourself when was the last time that you purchased a satellite.

Well, I actually brought my satellite.

This is my satellite. I just launched a couple of those in August, and I’m going to launch another one in just a few weeks. That is the modern day satellite. Instead of hundreds of millions of dollars, they cost a few hundred of thousands of dollars. Instead of tons, they weigh a kilogram. Instead of the size of a bus, they are the size of a latte, maybe the size of a bottle of wine. And that means that we have a complete paradigm shift in who and how we get to access space.

If I’d asked you a similar experiment maybe 30 years ago, I would have said, “Close your eyes and picture a computer and who gets to use it, and you would have pictured a mainframe, and you would have thought hundreds of millions of dollars as well. And if I had asked you, “When was the last time you purchased a computer,” I would have gotten a similar chuckle because back then no one purchased computers. We all know how that ended. PCs, Internet, iPhone, no more mainframes. A complete transformation who has access to computational power.

Now the very same thing is happening in space as we replace aging and limited technology with modern access to space that allows us to literally cover the globe and provide unprecedented access about Earth. It allows a company like ours to let students control their own satellite for a hands‑on educational experience for just a couple hundred dollars or give access to data valuable for a billion‑dollar industry; for example, whether machine to machine, Internet of Things, asset tracking.

So the next time you hear the word satellite, I want you to picture this, and I want you to say to yourself, I need to talk to Peter about having my own satellite.

Thank you.

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