Space has been long thought of as a frontier only attainable by large governments and elite billionaires, while commercial activities have been largely limited to satellites for communications, navigation systems and remote sensing. More ambitious projects - lunar and Mars rovers, planetary probes and human exploration aboard the International Space Station (ISS) - have become commonplace. Now, at the dawn of the NewSpace era, we are starting to see innovative new business opportunities, such as asteroid mining, debris clean-up and satellite servicing. ROOM managing editor Clive Simpson met up with Anders Cavallini and Hatem Alkhafaji, two entrepreneurs who firmly believe there are ever more innovative ways of benefiting from space.
What first sparked your interest in and love of space?
We are both space enthusiasts and met while studying at the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, France. The spark occurred during a class where the instructor presented a graph depicting the decline in space interest to record lows among Americans from the 1960s to the present day.
We were in complete disbelief that this could be happening and decided to do something about it. We didn’t quite know what at the time but the general idea was to create some form of public space outreach.