December 9, 2015

Reaktor to launch Finland’s first commercial satellite

Reaktor’s goal is to learn more about satellites and launch a Finnish ecosystem for the satellite business.
Reaktor’s goal is to learn more about satellites and launch a Finnish ecosystem for the satellite business.

The Finnish technology company Reaktor has announced that it will launch Finland’s first commercial satellite, to be known as Reaktor Hello World, in autumn 2016.

“We want to continuously develop our expertise, in terms of both our core competence and entirely new areas such as this – one that we don’t know a lot about yet. Before the satellite project our focal areas have been applications involving robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing,” says Juha-Matti Liukkonen, in charge of the space programme and robotics at Reaktor.

According to Liukkonen, a further aim of the project is to start up a Finnish ecosystem. Currently there are only two commercial test laboratories worldwide that focus on the testing of small satellites, which can be built quickly and cost-efficiently. Aalto University’s laboratory in Finland is the third, and its manufacturing and testing services for small satellites will be made available for broad commercial use through a spinoff company that will start operations in conjunction with Reaktor’s project.

“Around 50 per cent of all nanosatellite projects fail because their quality assurance and testing practices are not yet established. Having a laboratory in Finland focusing specifically on small satellites would be a major step forward for the entire industry and for Finland’s ecosystem,” Liukkonen explains.

In the long term the project aims to support the European Space Agency’s (ESA) plan of building a space base on the dark side of the moon.

According to Reaktor, the space base project will require new technological solutions that will transform entire industrial sectors.

“Naturally our satellite is a part of this long-term objective. We want to be at the forefront of these disruptive technologies. This could very well mean that we will have something to offer the ESA’s ambitious project in the future,” says Liukkonen.