Success for the first Life Session at Mesh Youngstorget in Oslo

October 21, 2021
Ole Dokka

A bit over 5:00 PM yesterday, we could kick off the first of five Spaceport Norway happenings at Mesh Youngstorget in Oslo.

223 registered for the event in Oslo, 151 of them were there in person, the rest was watching the digital stream. It was a great and diverse audience; space industry specialists, entrepreneurs and space start-ups, delegates from many of the leading space companies in Norway, design companies, investors, artists (!) and students. Our goal as to have 150 of the right people in the room, so we reached our goal!

Opening the the first Life Session by Ole Dokka, for a good crowd at Mesh Youngstorget in Oslo. Photo: Eirik Viljen Befring

After the Spaceport Norway 2021 context-video and introduction was done, our first speaker from ISAR Aerospace, Sebastian Straube, set the tone: The future of Norway´s space economy is exciting and bright, and ISAR Aerospace mission is to lower and simplify access to space for many more businesses and organisations in Norway and Europe. With a planned maiden flight from the new commercial launch facilities on Andøya in 2022, the future is not far away - and the opportunities will be many. Straube invited all the companies in the audience to reach out to discuss possibiliites for collaboration and partnerships, and sent a strong signal to the audience that ISAR Aerospace is looking for talent.

Sebastian Straube, ISAR Aerospace
Sebastian Straube (ISAR Aerospace), giving his keynote at Spaceport Norway The Life Sessions (Oslo), 20 October, 2021 Photo: Ole Dokka

The main topic for the Oslo event was space exploration, with world class speakers from ESA (James Carpenter), NASA JPL (Dr. Morgan Cable) and Prototech (Dr. Bjarte Solheim) from Norway. This session was moderated by the Norwegian Space Agency(Arvid Bertheau Johannessen) and we learned that the activity level for space exploration is very high all over the world, a lot of missions are planned and in progress, and a lot of technology need to be developed and tested the coming years. All the agencies are increasingly sourcing technology from the private sector, and want to engage non-space companies in this development going forward.

James Carpenter (ESA), making the case for going back to the moon. Photo: Ole Dokka
Dr. Morgan Cable (NASA JPL), prestented multiple concepts for future missions , searching for life in our outer solar system. Photo: Ole Dokka

The EELS concept: Exobilogy Extant Life Surveyor. Illustration: NASA JPL
Dr. Bjarte Solheim from Prototech, presented possible energy solutions for the Moon, Mars and beyond Photo: Ole Dokka

After the space exploration session, there was a small break before the progam progressed. We got to know the Norwegian startup NTENTION (Moina Medbøe Tamuly) currently developing new human machine interfaces that might be integrated in future astronaut suits, the electronics company IDEAS (Gunnar Maehlum) from Oslo, specialising in complex electronic circuits enabling detecting of radiation (and used on a wide range of deep space missions), and last but not least, we met the comic book artist Øystein Runde, who gave an entertaining talk about his relationship to history and science, and presented early stages of a new sci epos called COSMIC BULLET.

Work from Cosmic Bullet. Art by Øystein Runde.

In addition to the three hour program that was stretched 30 additional minutes, we also had an art exhibition by students at Høyskolen Kristiania in Oslo. They are participating in an art competition arranged by ESA. 20 of the works by the students were exhibited at Mesh Youngstorget, enabling all the attendees to vote on their favorite.

Spaceport Norway will always look to evolve as a space business arena in order to create as much value for our attendees as possible, and give as many as possible the opportunity to be a part of a Spaceport Norway experience and the growing global community.

This time we tested three new approaches:

  • Venue: From formal hotel and conference venues to informal start-up hubs and co-working spaces
  • Format: from complex and costly to faster and leaner, without compromising on content quality
  • Digital streaming: For the first time we are streaming the whole event - for free. We will continue to develop this into a better experience, but we have to start somewhere.

Based on the feedback we received from speakers and attendees last night, we are on the right track - the feedback was very positive.

The audience had a great time, met old friends and new people, got introduced to new companies that might develop into valuable relations, and most importantly: learnt new things and got inspired about our near future.

We are thankful and humble for all the positive feedback we received in the hours and day after the formal program ended - this encourages us to continue to develop Spaceport Norway as platform for new space innovation, entrepreneurship and business development.

Now we are focusing on our next four The Life Sessions the coming weeks, and will set the bar even higher, inspired and fueled by our successful Oslo experience.

Check the Tickets-section to see dates, locations and link to tickets - and stay tuned!