Space IoT: The Final Frontier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The greatest transformation in the history of aerospace is happening now. The confluence of new technology combined with the evolution of space-based markets presents incredible opportunities for companies in the connected space.

Joining us on this episode to break it all down is Dennis Muilenburg, Former CEO of Boeing and current CEO of New Vista Acquisition Corp., a SPAC focused on emerging technologies in the aerospace and defense sectors.

Topics we covered:

- Significant changes in the connected space over the last 20 years

- How SPACs help emerging space IoT technologies

- Evolving space-based markets

- What’s on the horizon for space exploration

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You think about things like Earthobservation alone and the number of different market sectors that that kindof new information and data serves it's it's an incredible new opportunity forthe future, an Taylor made for small startins. You are listening to over the Air Iotconnected devices and the journey brought to you by vary in each episode. We have sharpunfiltered conversations with executives about their ioti journeys,the mistakes they made the lessons they learned and what they wish they'd knownwhen they started everybody welcome back to over the AirIot connected devices and the journey today we're going to be talking aboutspacks space and Space Iot. My guest today, former co Boeing and current CEOof new Vista Dennis Mullenberg, Dennis welcome to the show. Hey thanks Ryan isgreat to be with you. Thanks for coming on so Dennis most people know you as alife for at Boeing. Can you give us a little bit of background on your newadventure? Yeah, you met just a couple F weeks ago. We did the IPO on a newspack called Nuwvista acquisition, Corp and I were focused on the emergingtechnologies of the arospace and defense sector. So when I look backover the history of Ara face o the last one hundred plus years, I think this isthe greatest transformation in the history of aerospace and that's,including you, K, ow, the jet engineaids the space age. The number ofnew technologies that are all Comieng together at once right now and reallytransforming aerospace is an incredible opportunity and that's where new vistais focused. I totally agree, as you know, you know going back to Boeing andthen will catch back up with this space theme. You guys were doing some reallycool things that would later be called Iot. I think at the time we referred tomore s systems of systems, but you just bring in the audience kind of up tospeed. Can you give a little background on some of the cool projects that youwere working on during your time there...

...and then, like? Maybe we'll look forsome connective tissues through to you know the projects that you'reinterested in right now, yeah right. You know this. This goes back almosttwenty years back when we were working on system of systems programs as wecalled it back then, and she said that was iot before I was Iowa t and one ofthe big programs we worked on was something called Future Combat Systeme,and this was a program for the US army to try to bring new networkingtechnology and robotic technologies, Jo soldiers, and to push that out to thetactical edge, and we worked on a number of different systems that wouldconnect soldiers and new ways: New Communications gear robots, both flyingand frawling robots that could be controlled in the hands of soldiers outin th platoons. All of that connected back to their main tanks and otherplatforms that they would operate in all of this network to cross about twodozen different systems of wereall being developed in parallel, all ofwhich could operate us a cohesive. What we called Brigade Combat Team. So itwas fantastic technology in terms of condectivity and new ways of operations,and it also brought about new organization structures, operationalstructures for the US army. So it's interesting how the technology andorganization structure both kind of transformed together that that was anawesome effort, really a precursor to allow the other system assistanse work.That's now been done over the last two decades. If I recall that award wascirca, two thousand and two two thousand and three is that about right,Yeah Yeah, just about twenty years ago. What would you say like looking back inthe the years from then to now? What are some of the significant changesyou've seen in the connected space? Can you talk a little bit about that arcthat, like have got you feeling really jazzd about two thousand and twenty one?Well, I think some of the the trends that we see in anare continuing toaccelerate in priest band with and reliability of, conactivity. So as nowas we look at the proliferation of Fiveg and new levels of conectivity, welook at things like satellite...

...communications technology, which is nowvery commonplace. Those high band with hiconactivity capabilities are enablingall kinds of new technologies on their own vehicles that are connected peoplethat you can stay connected. You know around the clock around the world. Allall of those things are transforming how we live and it's exciting to seethat arc and it's actually not slowing down it's feeding up, as we think aboutnew communication technologies for the future. Okay, let's take that push thatthread forward, bring us up to present day so new Vista, you guys just raiseda boatload of money, quarter of a billion, maybe slightly north of thatfor your spack. Your orientation is towards space. Specifically, as Iunderstand, is space Iot WIC, which is the coolest term anyone's ever said onthis podcast. What can you tell us about what you guys are interested infocused on at kinds of things? Are we going to be seeing out of Nuwvesta yeahwe going back to Newvista when we look at the emerging technologies that areinterest to us. You see things like artificial intelligence, autonomy, newnetworking technologies, new manufacturing technologies, newpropulsion systems, new savellite networks made up of micro, satellitesand Nano satellites. These are mo much smaller scale network satellites. Ifyou want to use that term of space biot connecting thousands thousandsatellites on worbit. All of those technologies coming together at onceare transforming lagistics and transportation things like e commerce,which are satellite en able things like advanced arremobility flying taxis,which are highly connected machines again using space base, communicationsareas like next generation defense systems and then the foundationaltransformation of the space ECO system. You think about low earth orbit. I Ahundred miles plus up above the the surface of the earth. Today, there'sreally one destination there international space station, but overthe next decade, there's going to be...

...massive growth in new destinations,space factories, space tourism, a whole new transportation system serve thatINCO system all connected by satellites and communication techniques. All ofthat prace this new space io to and it's transformational, it's going tomake lowerth orbit the next big ecosystem, and it's really interesting.One of the things that we often hear from venture capitalists is that thecompany's doing really interesting things in space have much too long of atime horizon to be like interesting as portfolio companies. It feels likespacks fill that gap effectively. Is that your view on it yeah, I agree.Packs are a great new vehicle to help some of these private startup companiesmature, with with the time skills needed to feel new hardware in spaceand ultimately become a successful public company and traditionally spaceis a hardware and software kind of business, VC, money, often I'll, sayshies away from hardware businesses and tends to focus more on just digital andsoftware space business also tends to have higher regulatory burdens. It AlCertification for space hardware, if you're going to put humans into space,arguably the most difficult thing that mankind does its putting humans inspace, but those higher regulatory boundaries Youl also tend to extend thetimelines, so sometimes venture capitalists don't have enough patiencefor those kind of investments, whereas a spack can come alongside theseprivate companies not only be a provider of capital, but also aprovider of additional technical depth and operational experience, really along term kind of business partner. An and that's really the business modelthat we've developed with our new bistapack. So we're looking for greatemerging technology space companies, companies who will make this space iotenvironment a reality, but they can also use a partner who can bring astrong amount of capital along...

...technical expertise and operationalexpertise with a long view of the idea of ultimately producing a successfulpublic company. You know so some of our listeners out there are probably askingthemselves hey look. Space is the most fascinating thing that you can do. IThe entrepreneur in question this you know, fictigious person am interestedin starting a company or directing my company towards space to participate.You know in this really exciting arena. What advice would you have for asmaller company that wanted to participate in Space Iot? What are someof the gaps that you think will be there? Maybe a smaller company could bereally effective at that, like the larger companies, obviously going to dothe huge pieces like the propulsion systems and things like that, but arethere gaps that you say if you were advising you say, hey look. I reallythink if you FOCUSD here there's some opportunities to get in there a we seeseveral several evolving space based markets where small companies are beingsuccessful. One is in the in the launch, parket and smaller rockets, medium size,rockets mini rockets, if you will, with smaller payloads, so as satellites getsmaller insize these these nano satellites and microsatellites I talkedabout earlier the size of the rocket to take them into space, comes down and ensimplified and and we're seeing a number of companies that are enteringthat marketplace with the idea of reducing the cost to get to space,breaking the cost curb and thereby increasing access to space. That's avery lucrative area and a number of new startups are being very successfulthere. A second ARA of interest is in a satellite design itself, with companieswho are now thred printing satellites, designing new, very small scale,satellites that are networked with very sophisticated payloads and puttingthousands of those on orbit with multiple launches again, that'ssomething that the capital and scale o a small company can actually achieve.So that's an exciting area for the...

...future that, if you think about theservices that ride on these networks, these new satellite IOT networksfabulous variety of companies that are working in it in that area and thingslike Earth observation, new reconnissance and surveillancecapabilities, new communication capabilities, dozens and dozens ofsmall startups that are primarily software companies that are nowoperating on this new space based network and satellites and the numberof applications. There is almost unlimited. It's incredible how muchvalues being created. You think about things like Earth observation alone andthe number of different market sectors that that kind of new information anddata serves it's. It's an incredible new opportunity for the future atTaylor made for small startups mm yeah interesting as you're thinking aboutcommercial applications of some of these things. Let's talk about the moonfor a second I've heard you mention that traveling from Ers to moon andback needs to be well. thise are my words, not yours, bypair phrasing, butmore like a highway and less Lewis and Clark. Can you talk about what some ofthe specific challenges you know obviously take off and landing feelsextremely important, but what what are some of the really important technicalchallenges that you think ne would need to be solved for to turn it more intothat highway? Experience where you just don't even think about it too muchyou're able to something that you would feel good, recommending your friendsand family embark on well. This is the exciting part about space travel,that's evolving right before our eyes, Ryan! It's it's the most exciting timeand space exploration that I can remember even going back to theapolodays, and the first step is going to be building out this lower thorbitecosystem that I talked about. I think space travel in that realm will becomevery commonplace over the next decade or two. You already see a number ofcompanies that are working on things like space jourism, the ability tobring humins to the International Space...

Station, there's going to be a numberof companies that operate in that space successfully and before too long you'regoing to see lower athorbic space travel become as common as a commercialairplane travel is today, then stepping from there. The next thing is to returnto the moon with Nassa there's a program under way to do that. TheARTIMIS program, the the big rocket, that's going to bring humans back tothe moon, the new space lodge system that development testing is underwayand Anassis planning the first mission in two thousand and twenty four andthink about this. Putting humans back on the surface of the moon. This timeto stay- and I think that's one of the big big changes- is to create apermanent Munor base permanent operations that will allow thetransportation that traveled between Earth and moon to become morecommonplace, become a highway, as you said, and then developing a lunargateway that can then serve as a gateway for deeper space exploration tothings like asteroids and then ultimately putting humans on thesurface of Mars and one of the my favorite things to talk about back whenI was at Belingwas that same space launch system rocket, which I believewill be the rocket that ultimately does take the first human to the surface ofMars. I want to ask you one last question about the moon. Ther we' talkabout Mars, and then I definitely can't let you go without talking about miningasteroids, but sixty nine was the first time we went to the moon. When was thelast manned Dmission to the moon? Whohas been early s early seveneas year.It feels when you talk to folks from the baby boomer generation. It feelspersonal. You know that was a such a big part of their story to go and andin a way that I'm not sure, like all space narratives feel it feels likewe're back. We've come full circle. We haven't been it a long time. It's atopic. A lot of people touch on. Do you feel like returning to the moon? IsPersonal for you. Do you feel a personal attachment to Bein part ofthat story? I do, I feel, a very...

...personal attachment to it. I stillremember, as a very young child watching th the Moonlanding, the Apollolandings and just marveling marveling, at that I had the privilege, during mybowing career, to meet Neil Armstrong and spend some time with him, what afantastic guy, crebible man, grat courage and very humble about what heaccomplished me and first human stepping foot on the moon, and I wasalways inspired by that something that inspired me throughout my entire careerand now it's just exciting to see us returning to that opportunity. As Isaid, not only getting back to the moon, but setting up a permanent base there,a lot of people don't realize how much of the technology from the ApolloProgram have changed. So much of our lives here back on earth over the lastmany decades. A lot of the computing technology, the IOT technology that wetalked about, can trace its way back to the space program, new materials, newmedical equipment. So many things that transformed life on earth because ofthe space program- and now I think, we'll see a second wave of that as wego back to the mood set up, a permanent presence go to Mars. The technologyripple the benefit back to to humans. Here on the surface of the earth, it'sgoing to be extraordinary and many things that we don't even know yetright so asterants. I've heard it said that the world's first trillionairewill be mayvery, possibly be the guy or person t that gets this right. Thatreally figures out how to get in there mind some of these. What are to us,rare elements may not at all be rare in the Corpe of of an asteroid. Is thissomething that really turns your crank? Is that something that you thinknewvesta would be Takeng a hard look at? Is companies that are maybe oriented inthe direction of being able to be a part of that story? Is that on you guysis Ratar Yeah? I think that there's something. Certainly it's going to beof high interest tous over over time. I don't see any companies that are, youknow, ready to go public yet in that sector Ers, certainly a lot ofinvestment, that's going into into...

...asterait mining, and I think this wholearea of deep space expliration will ultimately be of commercial interest tous as well, at New Vista and this idea of asteroid mining. I is a fantasticone right. There, thereare almost unlimited possibilities there. It couldbe rare, minerals and and other pakabilities that we couldfind on these asteraites their companies already demonstrating theability to rendezvous with an asteroid Land Wan to be able to pick up materialfrom the asteraid return it to Earth. So those technologies are o alreadybeing developed and demonstrated now that the trick will be to do that atscale and to do it in a way, that's economically viable, and it's not onlyabout going to asteroids and mining and bringing stuff back to Earth. It's alsoabout spacebased operation. So there's some who propose, for example, findingasteroids that might be rich in ice and be able to harvest that ice and move itto the moon as a source of water on the moon, going fom low gravity to lowgravity, so thereare all kinds of possibilities once you tap in theability to reliably and economically gain access to asteroits. So my lastquestion for you, Elon Musk is famously said that he's fine to die on Mars,just not on impact at what point do we see Dennis Mullenberg? What is yourthreshold for space travel, so you're, obviously very interested in investingbeing close to it? At what point do we see Dennis Mellenburg race, his handand they'll put eyes on up close on on something in our space? You want to beone of the first guys in this next wave. Are you waiting to see certain safetythresholds kind of be in place? Oh, I want to be in that first wave for sure.So as soon as I can, I want to fly into lower thorbit without a doubt and withall the energy and investment. That's going into that. I think that's goingto happen fairly soon, so one of my personal goals is within the nextdecade to be to be flying in space and to be in looth orbit, and you know if Icould rundemoo with the International...

Space Station or maybe go check out thelatest space factory. I'd be Abe for that. So that's a your version of theroaring Twentis I like it. That sounds pretty cool Dennis Mullenberg. Wereally appreciate you coming on the show today, always great to see youappreciate it. Ryan, thanks to Enjoye the conversation and thanks for theopportunity you got it. You shouldn't have to worry about IOTprojects dragging on or unreliable vendors. You've got enough on yourplate. The right team of Engineers and project managers can change a pilotalmoment for your business into your competitive edge. Various close knitcrew of ambitious problem, solvers, continuous improvers and curiousbuilders know how to turn your ideas into a reality on time and up to yourstandards, with a focus on metigating risk and maximizing opportunity willhelp you build an Iot solution that you can hang your hat on. Let's bring yourIot idea to life, learn more at very possiblecom. You've been listening to over the AirIot connected devices and the journey. If you enjoye today's episode make sureto hit subscribe in your favorite podcast player and give us a rating.Have a question or an idea for a future episode. Send it to podcast at verypossiblecom. SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

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