ESA, Spacejunk3D, LLC

Vyoma wins German NewSpace Award

Published on Tue, 13.04.2021 – 11:16 CEST in Awards, covering Vyoma

April 12 is a very special day for space enthusiasts. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to fly into space. Twenty years later, on April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle Columbia took off on its maiden flight. Originally, NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity was also scheduled to take off in the thin atmosphere for the first time on April 12, 2021. And the Darmstadt-based startup Vyoma will probably also have fond memories of that day. Because as part of Spacebrewery and GAIA Aerospace's Juri's Night Germany 2021, the company was presented with the German NewSpace Award. Co-Founder and Spacecraft Systems Engineer Luisa Buinhas convinced the audience with her pitch, which after a total of four presentations was allowed to vote on which concept was the most convincing.

Space is a natural resource - with limits

Vyoma's primary goal is to address the problem of space debris. Already, 25,297 (as of the end of 2019, Space Environment Report, ESA) objects, from retired satellites to payload fairings to rocket stages, are orbiting the Earth. Projects such as Starlink (SpaceX) and Kuiper (Amazon) are expected to put thousands more satellites into space in the coming years. To avoid collisions, Vyoma relies on fully automated satellite operation. This is based on data that is combined using machine learning technology. Based on this, algorithms plan evasive maneuvers that also take into account subsequent constellations. This makes satellite collision avoidance - according to Vyoma - a fully automated service. A look at the partners and sponsors also shows that this concept is an important part of providing future generations with access to space. In addition, Vyoma received an award as part of the Galileo Masters 2020 and is funded by the BMWi, among others.

In space, (almost) anything is possible

Also pitching for the award were Juri and HOSTmi's joint venture Spacevenirs, space brewers Hopstronautix and North Rhine-Westphalia-based Kunststoffverarbeitung Hoffmann. Particularly impressive was the range of ideas generated by NewSpace. Souvenirs from outer space, craft beer with "space hops" or modules for nanosatellites show only a small part of the possibilities that arise.

Header Image Credit: ESA, Spacejunk3D, LLC
Written by M. Weissflog
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