A Fireside Chat with Fabien Apper from U-space

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and about U-Space? Why did you choose to get into the development of nanosatellites?

I graduated from the engineering school Isae Supaero in Toulouse, France. During this period, I had the chance to work on nanosatellite projects such as EntrySat and EyeSat, two student projects of complete nanosatellites. I quickly realized that there was a real potential, an emerging market for nanosatellites. Then, I combined my passion for space with my desire to create and share projects within a team.

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In fact, at ISAE I was the director responsible for the Jazz band and I also created a technical club dedicated to CubeSat projects. I really like the thrill of putting together a team to take on new challenges! In addition, what I like about nanosatellites is the fact you can really see all the steps and aspects of a project from start to finish, unlike with larger satellites.

As a result of this, I decided to create U-Space with my two co-founders Antoine and Nicolas, that I met when we were interns on the EyeSat project in 2014/2015. We told ourselves that we would finish building EyeSat, a student demonstration nanosatellite, and, once the satellite was launched, we would set up our company. We realized it would be an amazing opportunity to offer a complete service providing end-to-end missions with satellites. Seeing how fast the Americans were advancing on the subject, we wanted to make things happen.