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Cold Star Project

Author: Jason Kanigan

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The Cold Star Project digs into the challenges of scaling fast that tech and Space manufacturing founders encounter. Money does not solve all problems--so what now? Listen in to discover what scaling problems you'll be running into soon, and get a serious advantage in starting to solve them before they run you over!
116 Episodes
Richard Ward of OrbitsEdge is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan to share the promise of edge computing in orbit.  Described as an enabler by NASA, OrbitsEdge is working to put compute processing power into space.  We discuss:   what edge computing is why this focus for a space business what barriers to adoption Rick foresees the state of the space industry in the computing field today the projected impact of edge computing in orbit on the commercialization of space over the next decade.    Satellite still from end of episode: OrbitsEdge website:   Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Andrew Aldrin is Director of the Aldrin Space Institute at the Florida Institute of Tech, ISU Center for Space Entrepreneurship; past President of Moon Express; and a former Boeing Business Development Director. Andy joins Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan to discuss the challenges of space entrepreneurship.   Developing technical capability is not enough to have a business. This may seem obvious; however, out there in the real world it is not often the case. We cover the Commercial Space Studies Graduate Certificate Program he leads, what Dr. Aldrin has seen that space graduate students need the most, what it's like having Space Angels as a supporting partner of the program, and insights from his past space business roles.    FIT-ISU Commercial Space Studies Graduate Certificate Program info:  Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Gordon Roesler, past DARPA Program Manager and founder of Robots In Space, is on the Cold Star Project. With host Jason Kanigan of Cold Star Tech, Dr. Roesler discusses the coming capabilities and uses of robotic technologies in space.   Servicing satellites, recovering dead spacecraft and potentially recycling them, allowing in-orbit construction rather than having to expensively ship everything up are just some of the ways robots in space will have an impact on the industry.    Robots In Space website:   Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is my guest on the Cold Star Project, and our space topics are many. Main-belt asteroid 4589 McDowell was named after him in 1993, and he was a contributor to Sky and Telescope magazine from 1993 - 2010. Since 1989 he has authored and edited Jonathan's Space Report, which tracks all known space launches.   We discuss:   the Chandra spacecraft x-ray telescope, which recently hit the 20-year-old mark what Dr. McDowell has discovered about dark matter and quasars whether or not he believes the ISS can be considered practical for commercial ventures how much time and attention Jonathan's Space Report (JSR) takes, and what opportunities have arisen for him because of the consistent effort maintaining it how good or poor registering and tracking of space objects really is, and whether we are truly ready for megaconstellations.    Planet4589 site:   Jonathan's Space Report signup page:    Talk to Cold Star:
Michael Maloney, founder of the advocacy organization Satellite Design for Recovery, is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan to talk about the need for including a critical but not-yet-required component to the design of all objects launched into Earth orbit.   Satellites and other orbital objects should have mandated design requirements for rendezvous, capture and disposal. The cost of not doing so will be chaos in orbit. Mike is here to tell us about these consequences.    Satellite Design for Recovery website:   Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Christopher Dreyer is the Associate Director of Engineering and co-creator of the Center for Space Resources at Colorado School of Mines. The School offers an exciting Space Resources Program and Dr. Dreyer has played an integral role in developing it. Chris meets with Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan to discuss the Program.   We cover:   how Chris got involved with the idea of asteroid mining   the way one creates a curriculum for something that hasn't existed before  - why the School decided to go with an online program format instead of in-class  exactly what is taught in a course Dr. Dreyer developed for the program, such as Space Resources Fundamentals   what if any relevance Earth-based capabilities and experience the Colorado School of Mines developed has for asteroid mining  technologies available and being developed to prospect for and process resources in space   how close or far away Dr. Dreyer believes we are to actual asteroid mining.   One of the first things I noticed on Dr. Dreyer's LinkedIn profile was a recommendation from Dr. Joel Sercel, also a guest on this show. Dr. Sercel's Momentus firm and Dr. Dreyer's School do have a relationship and we discuss that in this episode.   Dr. Sercel's appearance is here:    Space Resources Program:   Talk to Cold Star:    Boring legal stuff:  This is an impartial interview and Cold Star Tech and its representatives did not receive any compensation for it. Nor do we receive any compensation for any other episodes. No one reviews our content before it is posted. All opinions are those of Jason Kanigan, Cold Star Tech's founder.
Clinton Clark is the Vice President of First Impressions at ExoAnalytic Solutions, and our topic is space situational awareness.    Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Space Domain Awareness (SDA) Space Traffic Management (STM) Space Situational Awareness (SSA)   are all terms--some newer than others--applicable to what ExoAnalytic does.   Clint Clark and Cold Star Project host Jason Kanigan dig into what these terms mean, how the company goes about providing such services, and their impact on space.   ExoAnalytic Solutions website:   Talk to Cold Star:
Robert Whearty is Senior VP, Space Projects at Marsh, an insurance brokerage for the space industry. He's also a satellite engineer. On this episode of the Cold Star Project, Bob joins host Jason Kanigan of Cold Star Tech to explain how insurance for satellites works.   We take a broad look at the state of the space insurance field right now, with questions like: what's the process for insuring a satellite or constellation? is the money supply for space insurance expanding or contracting at the moment? how is space insurance different from traditional insurance fields?  Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Pete Worden, NASA Ames Research Center Director from 2006 - 2015, is the guest on this special episode of the Cold Star Project. Dr. Rick Fleeter hosts at the Space Horizons 2020 conference at Brown University on February 8, 2020.  Dr. Worden shares his views on his long career in the Space field, and because he is answerable to no one we get to hear some powerful opinions. Dr. Fleeter is a Professor at Brown, host of the annual Space Horizons conference and Cold Star's Technical Engineering Advisor. Talk to Cold Star:
Managing Director of Space In Africa, Temidayo Oniosun, is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan. Voted in 2018 as one of the World 24 Under 24 Leaders and Innovators in SPACE and STEAM by The Mars Generation, as well as one of the recipients of 35 Under 35 space industry recognition award by the International Institute of Space Commerce, Temidayo is an important voice in the Space field.   Hearing what is going on from outside the traditional North American and European centers of space industry is valuable and so we strive to bring you such interviews. Here, we discuss:   what brought Temidayo to the love of space? what he believes is the most exciting development in the African space industry right now what he wants people living outside Africa to know about space investment on the continent...unexpected capabilities, rising stars the state of the African space economy, and how much or little cooperation is happening between nation states  how he gathers the data for his Space In Africa industry reports, which are typically bought by executives and analysts outside the continent...and who makes for the best consumers of this information.    Talk to Cold Star:
Xinabox co-founder Judi Sandrock from South Africa is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan, and we're talking about their modular smallsat teaching tools.   XinaBox designs, develops, and sells modular electronics for the IoT and STEM education markets, in senior schools as well as universities. The technology allows for rapid IoT, embedded and electronics prototyping and development, without soldering, wiring or other hardware knowledge … just coding.   We discuss:   successes and challenges of working on the MEDO Space (Meta Economic Development Organisation) and the Space STEM program in Africa   what's missing in STEM education, both in Africa and abroad   what Industry 4.0 is and why it's important   How Xinabox is creating a huge opportunity for impact in STEM education worldwide   How the Xinabox team was involved in the ThinSat and xSat STEM satellite constellations.    For those listening on the audio version, a still of an Xinabox kit is at    Further info about Xinabox products including shop:  (not an affiliate link)    Talk to Cold Star:
Dr. Pauline Faure, Assistant Professor at California Polytechnic State University's Aerospace Engineering Department, is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan. We're talking about what it's like to be a student in Cal Poly's CubeSat Lab.   Dr. Faure has international experience in Europe, Japan and the USA. The lab has completed eight missions in the past year including the bus for Lightsail 2. This is a great interview for space students.   Talk to Cold Star:
Astralytical founder Dr. Laura Forczyk is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan to talk about her new book, Rise of the Space Age Millenials. We also cover a number of other space topics, such as commentary on policy questions like:  reduced ISS crew size NASA's Commercial Crew Program Space Tourism US Space Policy Megaconstellations and astronomer rights   Rise of the Space Age Millennials book page (not an affiliate link): Talk to Cold Star:
Space lawyer and scifi writer Laura Montgomery is on the Cold Star Project, and we're digging into how Congress, US agencies and operators work to create and enforce space regulations.   With host Jason Kanigan, we discuss:  the basics of how space law works in the US and for US citizens abroad   how Laura's FAA experience built and impacted her approach to space law  the question of sovereignty in space law ("They didn't say I couldn't so I can"; OST Article 1 vs Article 2)   the way regulatory and treaty issues can impact space law   how human space flight is regulated in the United States of America   how Laura's space law practice has influenced her science fiction writing.   Laura Montgomery is Proprietor of Ground Based Space Matters, Adjunct Professor of space law at Catholic University's Columbus School of Law, a former manager FAA space law branch (3 years) and senior attorney for commercial space transportation (18 years).    Talk to Cold Star:
Michael Lyon, founder of Xtronaut Enterprises, is a mentor at the Creative Destruction Lab tech accelerator, with a history of work in the space tourism and education fields. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University School of Management, and was general counsel with James Cameron on Deep Ocean Expeditions (Titanic, Bismark).   On the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan we discuss:   the experience of traveling in a submersible to hydrothermal vents 8600 feet beneath the ocean surface   what Michael has learned as a mentor at the Creative Destruction Lab   what space and AI company founders need to do before they start looking for seed round funding   the deadly things startups consistently miss to protect themselves legally as they begin operation   how Michael's company, Xtronaut Enterprises, is involved in the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission   the hurdles to commercial space tourism and how the field may develop.    Talk to Cold Star:
Jim Cantrell, founder of StratSpace, was SpaceX's first senior business development executive. StratSpace has been involved in 46 satellite and deep space missions, with clients ranging from NASA, USAF, NRO, major aerospace companies and many space startups including ICEYE, Moon Express and York Space Systems.   In this episode of the Cold Star Project, host Jason Kanigan asks Jim Cantrell about funding and building space companies. We dig into:   what investors at different levels are most looking for in space ventures, beyond making a profit how Jim's hiring practices have changed and what he looks for to bring the right people on board why StatSpace focused on smallsats as a core business, rather than launch vehicles experience with ICEYE, OSIRIS-REx, and other missions Jim's fun projects of restoring vintage racecars.    Playlist:  Subscribe:  Talk to Cold Star:
On this episode on the Cold Star Project, hosted by Jason Kanigan, our guest is Dr. Moriba Jah. Dr. Jah had an amazing career as navigator of a number of NASA Mars missions, and is now Director, Computational Astronautical Sciences & Technologies, Oden Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.   I was referred to Dr. Jah by Fred Kennedy, past director of the US Space Development Agency, as a person "leading the charge" on space traffic management.   In our interview, we cover:   the reason current collision detection equations are so lousy, and what we can do to improve them how photoacoustic sensing can be improved and used to develop Resident Space Object (RSO) signatures what we need to learn before machine learning/AI can be used to identify threatening behaviors or as a forensic tool after anomalous events what credibility metrics are for collision prevention, what's missing, and why we need these how Bayesian equations can be used to improve our space tracking data, orbital collision detection models and certainty what curved space is, and what is challenging about modeling RSO travel within it what we can investigate and build so we have a tool to estimate debris fields upon reentry--no models of which exist now.   Notes:  Dr. Moriba Jah's article on Wikipedia:  Orekit database by CS Group (creator of which will be a guest on an upcoming episode):   Playlist:  Subscribe:  Talk to Cold Star Tech:   Jason Kanigan is producing a weekday update series of short videos, called Make Space Boring. These cover who he's meeting and what he's studying in the space field. If you'd like to follow along, sign up here for updates by email: https://www.coldstartech/msb
The Lazy Project Manager, Peter Taylor, is on the Cold Star Project to share his experience in what it takes to improve project performance. Space engineers, like other technical executives, are typically excellent at the practical and material side of project tasks; however, as in other industries would greatly benefit from improving their project management skills.   With host Jason Kanigan, Peter discusses:   the origin of the ‘Lazy Project Manager’ (book: -- NOT an affiliate link)   whether project managers are learning or becoming ‘productively lazier’ the upcoming new book releasing in January 2020 (Project Management: It's All Bollocks: -- NOT an affiliate link)   Project Sponsorship weakness   Lack of connection from C-Level execs to on the ground project change delivery   The rise of ‘projects as usual’ with people delivering change as part of their day to day job  - The future of project management, including the potential impact of artificial intelligence / machine learning / data science.    Cold Star Tech is on a mission to bring automotive-style continuous manufacturing process improvements to smallsat and cubesat commercial operations. In doing so, costs will be lowered; profits will be increased; and most importantly, smallsat mission success rates will be raised. User adoption of space technology is our goal.   Talk to Cold Star:
The Mini Bee asteroid mining craft prototype is the topic of this episode of the Cold Star Project, and Dr. Joel Sercel is our guest. Momentus Space and TransAstra are teaming up with a NASA NIAC grant and other investors to prove the concept of this new asteroid mining technology.   Dr. Sercel has considerable experience in the space field, having designed JPL's space project process. We cover:   tradeoffs in vehicle design of the Mini Bee  process for Mini Bee proof of concept  "process maturity" concept for Air Force projects he lead  biggest surprise in his JPL experience  smallsat market predictions.    Mini Bee project info on NASA site: Cold Star Tech is on a mission to bring automotive-style continuous manufacturing process improvements to smallsat and cubesat commercial operations. In doing so, costs will be lowered; profits will be increased; and most importantly, smallsat mission success rates will be raised.   Talk to Cold Star:
Space lawyer and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center Christopher Johnson is on the Cold Star Project. With host Jason Kanigan, the Secure World Foundation space law advisor shares what the public needs to know about space law.   Space law is a complex and often unclear subject, operating on corporate, national and international levels. Chris explains how space law approaches topics such as:   Government regulation of services and nation state liability  Planetary protection   How space resources may be used   Property rights on celestial bodies   Achieving consensus on space policy and regulations   Militarization of space.    Notes:   Softwood lumber dispute summary: Space Law summary resource: Secure World Foundation:   Cold Star Tech is on a mission to bring automotive-style continuous manufacturing process improvements to smallsat and cubesat commercial operations. In doing so, costs will be lowered; profits will be increased; and most importantly, smallsat mission success rates will be raised.   Talk to Cold Star:
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