SAN FRANCISCO — Copernic Space, the latest company to add Kevin O’Connell to its advisory board, is unlike other companies the former head of the US Office of Space Trade has joined.
Unlike the space traffic management and space situational awareness startups that O’Connell tends to work with, Copernic Space has grand ambitions to create what the startup calls “the economical operating system for space in the digital”.
The vision is a combination of Amazon’s e-commerce platform and Robinhood Market’s commission-free trading app for space, said Grant Blaisdell, CEO and co-founder of Copernic Space.
“The other companies I’ve been supporting are developing the infrastructure for the space economy,” said O’Connell, who established the Washington consulting firm Space Economy Rising after leaving the Commerce Department last year. “The space economy is accelerating and diversifying. We are starting to see companies using, leveraging and experimenting with space that have never had anything to do with space before.”
Increased participation in the space sector is leading to another wave of innovation, O’Connell said. “What Grant and the Copernic team are doing is really establishing another aspect of the key economic infrastructure for this,” he added.
The Copernic Space Platform is designed to make it easy for people to acquire, access, buy and sell space assets, payloads, risk tokens and services.
The first asset for sale on the blockchain-powered platform is a tokenized payload on a Lunar Outpost Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform (MAPP) scheduled to travel to the south pole of the moon on an Intuitive Machines lunar lander. Lunar Outpost is selling a portion of MAPP’s cargo capacity through the Copernic space platform.
People can buy the rights to send a physical payload to the moon or they can purchase a fraction of the payload, which they can then resell. Copernic seeks to break down barriers to participation in the space economy, Blaisdell said.
While non-fungible, i.e. unique, digital tokens are an important part of the business that Copernic is establishing, they are only one aspect of it.
“Not everyone can afford a suborbital flight, not everyone can afford a satellite image,” O’Connell said. “With the approach Copernic takes, people will have access to these capabilities in ways they never have before, but will need to drive the $1 trillion to $3 trillion space economy we are all talking about. about.”
Copernic Space is seeking O’Connell’s advice on the broader space market and various sectors as the company works to create the digital interface standards that will make it easier for clients and investors to discover, buy and sell space-related assets.
“The problem with the space economy, to be honest, is that its transactional nature is not scalable,” Blaisdell said.
The satellite data market, for example, is segmented.
“How do we simplify that, so that I can purchase the license digitally, request the data I want, and if the request is approved, download the data,” Blaisdell asked. “Maybe I don’t use my full license and I can resell half of my license.”
Copernic Space calls itself a Web3 digital platform. (Web3 is a popular term for a decentralized, blockchain-based future Internet as opposed to today’s Internet, which tends to be dominated by major tech companies.)
“We are excited to have Kevin O’Connell join the Copernic Space team,” Blaisdell said in a statement. “Someone of his stature who is behind what we do only makes us feel stronger in working to become the economic operating system for space in the digital economy… His extensive knowledge and hands-on collaboration with us will enhance our effectiveness within the space industry and beyond. new space economy.