- In the spirit of looking beyond the norms, we pay homage to Pluto's redefined status while shining a spotlight on Zenno Astronautics.
- Aimed at moving spacecraft without fuel but electromagnets.
- Join us as we journey through the innovations that are taking us towards an exciting era of sustainable and independent space travel.
Raise your telescopes and your cosmic spirits, we are commemorating Pluto Demoted Day! Because even Pluto requires a 'small' reminder that size doesn't define importance!
Today, we think about space exploration and the innovative minds who are helping us go beyond our planet. We celebrate Zenno Astronautics, a company that is changing the way we use space technology. They work hard, make new discoveries, and are dedicated to making our space journey better. Zenno is making big progress towards making space travel more sustainable and independent.
The company shares a common purpose — to understand the universe. Space exploration is a necessary and timely step en route to this goal. The company envisions a future where space movement is sustainable, efficient, and autonomous. Their technology will form the backbone of space infrastructure, revolutionizing how spacecraft maneuver interact in orbit. By reducing the environmental footprint and enabling autonomous operations, they are transforming the way we explore, live, and thrive in space.
Agenda of Zenno Astronautics
Zenno’s mission is to build for life in space. They are doing this by creating and delivering a comprehensive set of enabling technologies for life to prosper beyond Earth. They value relentless honesty, grit, deep human connections, and above all, trust.
Zenno Astronautics is a New Zealand-based government-backed private company pioneering applications of superconducting electromagnets for use in space. The company has developed, successfully tested, and publicly announced the world’s first high-temperature superconducting electromagnet for space applications during the International Superconductivity Conference in Glasgow, in 2019. At present, the company is ramping up to enter the market with its first product, Zenno Super torquer—a system for satellite attitude control.
Now that was a ton of technical talk, let me explain. Basically, the aerospace industry has always used thrusters or a combination of reaction wheels and magnetic torque rods to control a spacecraft's position and movement. But they are bulky and heavy, and they limit how long a spacecraft can stay in orbit. Zenno Astronautics, though, has come up with an alternative! They use an electromagnet that creates a very strong magnetic field to interact with other magnetic fields (like Earth's) and generate torque. Pretty cool, huh?
The backbone and support of Zenno Astronautics
The technology caught the interest of investors, and since then, Zenno Astronautics has raised a total of NZ$10.5M in funding. The company is funded by 10 investors, GD1 and Alt Ventures being the most recent investors.
The company made a new sales agreement that requires the production facility to be ready within a few months. Zenno has many sales agreements with satellite owners and operators in the US, worth millions of dollars. They also have plans for a constellation, but the details are not yet known. Zenno is clearly preparing to move full-steam ahead in the coming few years.
Zenno will also use some of the seed funding to grow its team, which is currently at less than 15 full-time employees. At the time of the investment, the company only had four or five full-time staff, so the workforce has already doubled in a short period.
As we celebrate today, we're reminded that even celestial bodies can undergo changes, and definitions may shift. Yet, the spirit of exploration, innovation, and discovery remains constant in our pursuit of understanding the cosmos. And that's exactly what Zenno Astronautics is all about - pushing the boundaries of what's possible and showing us how creativity and sheer determination can revolutionize our journey into the great beyond.
Edited by Shruti Thapa