These women rocking the world of SpaceTech

“” Like other engineering and technology departments, the space department suffers from a lack of female profiles. », Lament Annafederica Urbano, an engineer researcher at ISAE Supaéro, who has a higher education in the field of aerospace engineering. Despite efforts to feminize the proportion of teachers, managers and female students, facility statistics are stagnant at 15% of female students.

This observation is shared by Stéphanie Lizy-Destrez, an associate professor of spatial systems of the same structure. “” In recent years there has been a growing desire to leave room for women in our field, but we are still timid.Lament the latter. The more women in the stats, the more girls go to these areas of activity … more role models are needed to feed this slow feminization in space.Women attract women “.

Maddyness decides to paint portraits of six women. Her company and career certainly shows the early history of SpaceTech.

Barbara Belvisi, founder of Interstellar Lab

At the age of 37, Barbara Belvisi seems to have already had some lives. After investing in several funds and co-founding the Hardware Club, a unique investment structure dedicated to DeepTech startups, the latter decided to create SpaceTech to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure. An entrepreneur who has been passionate about space since he was a child said, ” Childhood dreams “, favorite She explained it to Les Echos.. To do this, Barbara Bel Geddes rolled up her sleeves and was drawn to the heart of the NASA Center in the United States for a year, putting all the opportunities on her side and successfully carrying out the project.

Result? Born in 2018, Interstellar Lab has been making waves since its inception. This startup is ” Biodome », A module for growing plants in a controlled environment of the earth and the moon. She quickly managed to reach her manufacturing stage. BioPods -70 has already been ordered-is supported by successive fundraising activities. The latest € 5 million, conducted in March 2022 with French and American investors specializing in climate and space, shows confidence in the technology developed by the Barbara Belvisi team. ..

Today, if young shoot customers are cosmetics, pharmaceutical companies, colleges, Interstellar Lab will not lose sight of its purpose. It is to take off the technology in space. “” It has helped us a lot by integrating the Space Founders program envisioned by ESA, CNES and DLR (German Space Agency). », Delighted Barbara Belvisi with Madness, During the final funding round. Interstellar Lab also collaborates with NASA on Artemis missions and other projects.One of them is to create Food production system for deep space and low earth orbit » By 2025. InterstellarLab is one of the few companies using CNES and NASA at the same time. Former SpaceX and Blue Origin employees have already joined the ranks.

Ane Aanesland, co-founder of Thrust Me

After earning a PhD in plasma physics in her country of origin, Norway, Ane Aanesland joined CNRS and École Polytechnique, where she became director of research. But if you often hear her name in the SpaceTech world, it’s thanks to a French startup that she co-founded with her colleague Dmytro Rafalskyi: Thrust Me. Created in 2017, this start-up specializes in the manufacture and marketing of new small propulsion systems for satellites. Goal ? Not only does it make microsatellite more accessible, it also makes it more durable.

Four patents have been filed and the 2019 CNRS Innovation Medalist has developed two major discoveries. First, Ane Aanesland demonstrated that expensive and pressurized xenon can be replaced with cheaper, less dangerous iodine and stored in solid form to provide the energy needed for space propulsion. .. Another masterstroke of ThrustMe is to enable unprecedented miniaturization of nanosatellite propulsion systems. How? ‘Or’ what? Through the development of radio frequency voltage technology, we guarantee that the electrical load of the satellite will be kept neutral.

“” We want to make this new space use sustainable, Claiming Ane Aanesland in an interview with CNRS.. As the number of satellites launched increases tenfold, satellites need to be better controlled to avoid collisions and extend their lifespan. “. Last November, ThrustMe succeeded in publishing the results of the orbital launch of the world’s first iodine electric motor for microsatellite in a well-known scientific journal. Nature..

Hélène Huby, co-founder of The Exploration Company

Enalke, a former innovation director of Airbus Defense and Space and a pilot of the Ariane Group’s Sparrow Space Mini Launcher project … but that’s not all. In 2017, Hélène Huby launched Global Space Ventures, a venture capital fund specializing in this sector. In 2021, the latter also decided to launch its own startup at SpaceTech. TheExplorationCompany was co-founded with five other former Airbus employees.

This young shoot has the humble purpose of democratizing space exploration by building a new generation of ships. “” Our ship is like a car, multi-mission, capable of carrying cargo and men, but also reusable, Explain the entrepreneur in an interview given to Morning.. It can also be refueled in orbit with gasoline produced from space resources. “.

Using its modular orbital vehicle, Nix, the Exploration Company’s mission is to enable Europe to catch up in terms of space exploration and space resource development in the face of Chinese and American civilian players. Much research is currently being done in the fields of recycling, agricultural technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry, and thanks to products aimed at facilitating access to this environment, startups are in all these markets. Will be supported.

Starburst co-founder Sandra Budymir

When you’re drawn to the world of SpaceTech, don’t miss Sandra Budymir’s profile. Indeed, the latter co-founded Starburst, alongside Francois Chopard, in 2013, the first startup accelerator in the fields of aerospace, space and defense.

Currently the European director of support structure, she is at the center of strategic consulting activities for players on the continent, but to accelerate her efforts to create European leaders in this area, she has nuggets in New Space. It also plays a role in detecting. Starburst claims to identify 1,500 new startups each year in the defense and aerospace markets, market 200 each year through eight offices around the world, and eventually accelerate 30 per year to integrate into the wallet. Carefully selected!

In 2021, Sandlab Dimir took over as chairman of Blast, a French program that helps create and accelerate startups in the fields of aviation, space and defense. The program brings together Starburst, the Aerospace Research Institute (Onera), Ecole Polytechnique, and SATT (Technology Transfer Accelerator) Paris Sacre, with the common goal of developing innovation from French academic research.

Géraldine Naja, the face of the “new universe” of the ESA (European Space Agency)

Since the end of 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) has been working in the same order as NASA, the American alter ego a few years ago, to more strongly support private investment in the space sector. About the program: “” set by 2025 Accelerate the use of European spaceSpecify ESA. To take full advantage of the growth of the European Space Economy, ESAs need to contribute to the success of start-ups and businesses and take a more aggressive, more dynamic and more responsive approach. “.

It was an opportunity for this new strategy that Géraldine Naja was appointed director. Marketing, industrialization and supply From ESA. Specifically, the latter mission is to bring New Space actors to the agency. Therefore, this new member of ESA’s management not only brings her scientific perspective as a polytechnic engineer, but also as the head of the European Space Agency’s institutional issues after spending 30 years in the world of European Space Policy. Experience can also be brought.

“” Using this network, SME office, technology and patent transfer office, entry points of various programs, my goal is to start private investment as soon as possible and make the European space industry beautiful soon. That is.unicorn, Closing the director with a Les Echos article.. Europe is slow to start, but once it starts, it can move fast “.

Zephalto CEO Amicie Monclar

€ 125,000 is the price of a ticket to fly to the stratosphere with a balloon. It is a solution developed by startup Zephalt (formerly Zephyr Endless Flight or Zéphyr Exalto), founded in 2016, and is dominated by Amicie Monclar. idea? Climb to an altitude of 25 km (enough to observe the curvature of the Earth) to float in space for hours or even a week. Goal ? Thanks to solar energy, space travelers will be able to travel low carbon by 2024.