2 minute read

I was super excited to get some picture updates from Vladimir Zelenevskiy after he went on stage with fellow OPS-SAT Mission Control Team members to receive the 2023 International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement! I couldn’t make it in person but the team was so kind to mail me a little something:

Certified outstanding!

I’ve had the privilege to work with many of OPS-SAT Space Lab Team’s past and present members—which includes the European Space Agency’s staff as well as industry—and it’s great to see everyone’s tireless efforts recognized. Here’s David Evans’ acceptance speech:

I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of the OPS-SAT Mission Control Team. Those on stage, those that could not make it and all those that made significant contributions over the last decade. And there are many. Many thanks to the Awards Committee for choosing us and ESA management for proposing us because we are not a classic mission or obvious choice. So what are we? Allow me to describe the OPS-SAT concept in just two sentences. Firstly: It is about a creating a safe space in orbit for doing everything you would love to do on own your satellite but you would never get permission. Secondly: It is about opening it up to everybody without requiring paperwork and free of charge. When we initially suggested this people called us crazy but time has been kind to us and now we have a network of dedicated users. These include: Primes, new space, universities and international space agencies. And it is global: JAXA, NASA, CNES, DLR, EU Commission, MIT. Our experience clearly shows that when operations people are let loose, we can be as fast and innovative as any trendy start-up. And so I would like to dedicate this award to those OPS-SAT experimenters. You are the heart of the mission, your work is the real reason we are up here today and we hope to serve you for many years to come. Conference, thank you!

Dream Team!

A huge thank you to all our experimenters; none of this would have been possible without you! Keep applying to fly your ideas on-board the super awesome OPS-SAT spacecraft: “Our experience clearly shows that when operations people are let loose, we can be as fast and innovative as any trendy start-up.”

And now, let’s get OPS-SAT VOLT and OPS-SAT-2 into orbit!

A big shout-out to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ingenuity mission who shared the stage with OPS-SAT. They received their award for successfully flying a helicopter on Mars! Previous winners include:

  • 2020: DAWN and MAVEN (NASA)
  • 2018: Cassini (NASA) and Grace (German Aerospace Center (DLR))
  • 2016: New Horizons (NASA)
  • 2014: TerraSAT and TanDEM (DLR)
  • 2012: Hayabusa (JAXA: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
  • 2010: NASA’s Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity (NASA)
  • 2008: Ulysses (NASA / ESA)
  • 2006: LANDSAT 6 (US Geological Survey / NASA)

A version of this post was first published on LinkedIn.