Vista Space - Structural batteries for high-performance spacecraft

From SpaceX to Vista Space: Pioneering Structural Battery Technology

What is Vista Space?

Vista Space is an innovative start-up dedicated to transforming the landscape of space exploration by developing Tesla-inspired modular structural battery packs for spacecraft. Founded in 2023 by a team of experts with backgrounds from SpaceX, NASA, Rocket Lab, and Firefly, Vista Space aims to revolutionize the energy capacity of satellites without increasing their size or to offer a 15-30% increase in useful volume without losing power. Based in San Francisco and backed by Group Partner Brad Flora, this promising start-up is driven by a passion for space sustainability and advanced engineering.

Who Are the Founders?

Maxim Kraft

Maxim Kraft is one of the co-founders of Vista Space and brings a wealth of experience in space and sustainability. He has a background in profit improvement at Starlink and built supply chain analytics tooling at Rocket Lab. His entrepreneurial journey began in high school when he co-founded and later sold a software startup called Tour. Maxim is deeply committed to building a future worth living for all humankind through innovative space technologies.

Chaitanya Kore

Chaitanya Kore is another co-founder of Vista Space, known for his leadership in the space sector. He founded the Great Lakes Chapter of the Space Force Association and has experience in government business development at Magnivia Ventures. Chaitanya has also contributed to significant manufacturing projects at Intersect Illinois, bringing a strong background in large-scale project management to the team.

Petar Matejic

Petar Matejic, the CTO of Vista Space, is a driving force behind the company’s technological innovations. With experience from NASA, Firefly Aerospace, The Boring Company, and SpaceX, Petar has a rich history of advancing CubeSat structural technology. His leadership roles at SEDS UNLV and RebelSat UNLV showcase his dedication to space exploration. At Vista Space, Petar leads the development of cutting-edge structural battery technologies.

What Problem is Vista Space Solving?

Power is a critical constraint in space mission design, impacting everything from satellite functionality to mission success. Traditional spacecraft power systems often force manufacturers into tough trade-offs, either limiting additional hardware or increasing system size to accommodate more power. These compromises lead to higher manufacturing costs, greater risk of schedule delays, and slower go-to-market timelines due to fewer spacecraft launches. Moreover, current space-rated solar panels, while efficient and foldable, are paired with batteries that occupy significant useful volume and are less capable than their terrestrial counterparts.

How Does Vista Space Address This Problem?

Vista Space's solution lies in the innovative design of their Voltaris 1 module. This module replaces traditional spacecraft walls, which are typically only structural, with walls that provide both structural support and energy storage. This dual-purpose design allows satellite manufacturers to either double their energy capacity without increasing the size of the spacecraft or to gain 15-30% more useful volume while maintaining the same power budget.

What are the Key Features of the Voltaris 1 Module?

The Voltaris 1 module boasts several key features inspired by structural batteries used in electric vehicles like the Tesla Model Y and Cybertruck. These features include:

  • Modular Design: The module is plug-and-play with any chassis size, bolting onto the chassis in place of traditional aluminum walls.
  • Compatibility: It is compatible with third-party electrical and power system (EPS) modules inside.
  • Integrated Solar Cell: CubeSat modules include a solar cell, and all form factors have the necessary electrical components and thermal protection systems to function out of the box.
  • Radiation Protection: The module provides additional radiation protection for the contents inside the chassis.
  • Launch Timeline: Vista Space is targeting a launch date in February 2025.
  • Market Pricing: The pricing is aimed to be in the middle range for space batteries, making it an attractive option for various satellite manufacturers.

What is Vista Space's Mission?

Vista Space's mission is to power the next generation of space exploration by overcoming the limitations of current spacecraft power systems. The company aims to provide satellite manufacturers with innovative solutions that enhance energy capacity and optimize spacecraft design. By leveraging their expertise and pioneering technologies, Vista Space is committed to advancing the field of space exploration and contributing to a sustainable future.

How Did the Founders Come Together?

The founding team of Vista Space came together through their shared passion for space exploration and their complementary expertise. Maxim Kraft and Petar Matejic met at SpaceX, where they worked on projects such as Starlink and Starship. Their mutual interest in satellite design improvements led to the formation of Vista Space. Maxim later met Chaitanya Kore at a conference for rising NewSpace leaders, and they stayed in touch, eventually leading to Chaitanya joining the team.

What is the Impact of Vista Space's Technology?

The impact of Vista Space's technology is significant, as it addresses a fundamental challenge in space mission design. By offering a solution that enhances energy capacity without increasing spacecraft size, Vista Space enables more ambitious and complex space missions. This technology can reduce manufacturing costs, lower the risk of schedule delays, and accelerate go-to-market timelines for satellite manufacturers. Ultimately, Vista Space's structural batteries can help drive the next wave of innovation in the space industry.

What are Vista Space's Future Plans?

Vista Space has ambitious plans for the future, with a targeted launch date for their Voltaris 1 module set for February 2025. The company aims to continue refining their technology and expanding their product offerings to meet the evolving needs of the space industry. By building strong partnerships and leveraging their expertise, Vista Space is poised to become a leader in the field of structural batteries for high-performance spacecraft.

What is the Vision for Vista Space?

Vista Space envisions a future where spacecraft are more efficient, capable, and sustainable. By pioneering advancements in structural battery technology, the company aims to support the next generation of space missions and contribute to the broader goal of space exploration. The founders' diverse backgrounds and shared commitment to innovation position Vista Space as a key player in shaping the future of space travel and technology.

In conclusion, Vista Space stands at the forefront of space innovation, with a unique solution to a critical challenge in spacecraft design. With their talented team, cutting-edge technology, and clear vision, Vista Space is set to make a lasting impact on the space industry and drive forward the future of space exploration.