PTScientists CEO Robert Boehme - Interview

What Is the Background of PTScientists’s Top Management?

Our senior management comes from a wide range of backgrounds, but perhaps unusually for a space company, none of us began our careers in the space industry. Between us we’ve got experience across a range of fields including electrical engineering, medical engineering, and cyber security. Each of us brings a different set of skills to the team, and the diversity of perspectives – not only from within the team, but from our key technology partners also – gives us the chance to come up with innovative solutions that bridge our different specialisations.

What Is PTScientists’s Core Product or Service and Its Unique Proposition to Their Market Sector?

As our mission statement says, “PTScientists is a new-space company built on passion, technical expertise, and innovation. Our goal is to make space exploration accessible by bringing down the cost of missions and developing reusable space-based infrastructures to support future exploration, and inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists”.

In practical terms, what we offer is the opportunity for anyone interested in delivering payload to the Moon (either to orbit or the lunar surface) to do so. They don’t have to have existing space infrastructure, or worry about securing a launch, we look after them from end-to-end, and can even provide power and communications links for payloads once they are on the Moon. One of the pillars of our work is the establishment of reusable, in-space, infrastructures that will help to enable the future of space exploration.

We are unique in having a lander that is capable of transporting 100 kg of payload to the lunar surface. For our first mission, Mission to the Moon, we will carry two solar-powered Audi lunar quattro rovers that can each carry 5 kg of payload as well as additional payload attached to the ALINA (Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module).

ALINA has been designed to be compatible with any of the current commercial launch vehicles, giving us an excellent position for negotiating contracts – and reducing the problem of launch delays.

In addition to the scientific objectives, we will also use Mission to the Moon as a technology demonstrator mission, to test LTE as a lunar communications system. ALINA will act as an LTE base-station, and could be used as a navigational beacon or communications system for future missions. This is a first step towards building a sustainable infrastructure on the Moon.

What Are PTScientists’s Growth Objectives over the next 5 Years?

We are not a one mission company. Following Mission to the Moon we aim to make regular trips to the Moon and open access to space exploration. We would like to work with national space agencies, academic institutions and industry, and provide a reliable and affordable service.

What Competitive Changes Does PTScientists’s Envisage Within Key Markets over the next 5 Years?

We are starting to see more and more public-private partnerships in the space sector and this is a trend that we think is set to continue – and one that we welcome. There is renewed interest in the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars, and this is likely to encourage more commercial companies to develop lunar operations.

The development of high quality COTS parts, as well as competition in the launch services sector will help to bring down the costs of missions. I think that we will begin to see the Chinese space sector coming into its own and also offering opportunities for other nations to co-operate with them in space.

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