Kepler co-founder says entrepreneurship in space is now easier

At the latest TechToronto event, Wen Cheng Chong, the co-founder and chief technology officer at Kepler Communications, presented how the space industry is on the cutting edge of technology and the Internet of Things.

Chong said how Kepler, a satellite communications startup, is working towards establishing a telecommunications network for space-born assets. In other words, the startup is building cell phone towers in space to improve connectivity to satellites.

“Space activity is moving towards the private sector these days,” said Chong, calling this the NewSpace industry. The OldSpace industry, Chong says, are clunky satellites that are over 1,000 kg and cost millions of dollars to build.

He said that the NewSpace industry because of a standardization of the form factor of satellites — now, a company can make a satellite for $70,000 within six months just by buying standard parts and putting it together.

“Because satellites are standardized, launching them is easier than ever before. There are companies that put together ‘boxes’ that literally push your satellite out into space on any rocket going to resupply the ISS. This is really the Uber is space travel,” Chong said.

He added that satellite creators and satellite communications companies are trying to use new software and technology to make the communication process more efficient and streamlined.

“In the NewSpace industry, we’re bringing this agile approach to the aerospace world,” said Chong. “We’re trying to apply all the software knowledge into space.”

Watch the full presentation below:

The next TechToronto is on Monday, November 14. Get your tickets now!

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.