astrofactum GmbH

Space telescopes are revolutionizing astronomy just as digital cameras once did photography.

Founded in 2014 by

  • Heiko Wilkens

  • Christian Wiederer

Incubation period

15-03-2017 to 14-03-2019

About astrofactum GmbH

The commercialization of space is enabling new business models that offer access to space technology to large new target groups. Space-based astronomical telescopes push the boundaries of astronomic science but enable important societal and commercial applications too, such as in planetary defense, space-based life sciences and asteroid mining. Our mission is to build and operate a fleet of commercial astronomic space telescopes available to private astronomers for the first time.

Contact info

The challenge

The Hubble Space Telescope is a masterpiece of astronomy and astrophysics, and it has also been a breakthrough in public outreach and education thanks to its ability to inspire all mankind. However, Hubble has begun to show its age and will have to be retired soon. Consequently, the UV community would be left behind or even blind. The fact that professional UV astronomers are mostly interested in observing celestial objects in the local universe, and that the interest of the hobby astronomer community (as well as the general public) in astronomy is centered on bright objects, presents an interesting opportunity to establish a follow-on telescope to Hubble that can be extremely cost-effective:
- A sub-meter space telescope for ultraviolet, visual, and near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging
- An Internet-based service platform for orders and configuration
- The chance to combine an essential scientific need with sustainable commercial potential

The solution

Astrofactum provides two services:
1) On-demand acquisition of astronomic data from a space telescope
2) Cloud-based processing and archiving of astronomic data
The data acquisition services will be based on astrofactum's own space telescope fleet and the space telescope observation capacity of other providers, which will be ordered and distributed through astrofactum.
Cloud-based astronomy data services will be based on astrofactum's astroCloud platform, a highly scalable cloud IT solution for open science astronomy projects.
Astrofactum's space telescope fleet and cloud-based services offer great benefits to commercial companies, as well. This includes the identification of asteroids that are particularly suitable for minderal extraction and the exploration of suitable habitats for humans in space.