The space industry has long been a monopolized market reserved for defense, government organizations, and private telecommunications giants. The development and operating costs of these huge satellites have typically cost hundreds of millions, and the projects span several decades.
The emergence of the so-called NewSpace paradigm, supported primarily by private companies developing smaller COTS-based satellites, has led to less expensive and faster access to space than ever before. However, developing and operating a satellite is still out of reach for most existing companies.
This situation made a young man, from La Línea de la Concepción (Cádiz), curious and wanted to propose a solution to society. Julián Fernández began at a very young age to be interested in the aerospace world, but it was in 2018 when he fully entered the picosatellite’s market.
Through a crowdfunding campaign on Reddit, Julián raised enough money to develop, from scratch, the first Spanish picosatellite that, together with the help of the University Rey Juan Carlos of Madrid and the Spanish company Everis, managed to put into orbit in December of 2019.
The emergence of this project caused that, in January 2019, Julián and two other young people, Richard Bamford (England) and Jan Gromes (Czech Republic), formed the non-profit youth association FOSSA Systems, an association that would later give way to the organization FOSSA Systems S.L.
The association, currently called the FOSSA Ad Astra Association, was created with the aim of fostering the development of picosatellites and inspiring young people and students in their space careers.
Through informative talks and conferences, the FOSSA Ad Astra Association tries to motivate the new generations to enter these innovative sectors. This informative aspect is complemented by the sending of educational kits, such as a PocketQube kit, so that schools and universities can carry out free trials and studies.