TechTheMoon: 5 new startups join Toulouse’s lunar incubator

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The world’s first lunar incubator, TechTheMoon, has just selected five new projects. All aim to develop solutions that allow a sustainable human presence on the moon.

Created in 2021 by regional incubator Nubbo and CNES, TechTheMoon is the world’s first lunar incubator. It offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and develop innovative solutions, technologies, products and services to meet the challenges of a sustainable human presence on the moon. Because living on the moon by 2030 raises many questions, whether to settle down, move around, make repairs, eat or even treat yourself. Therefore, appropriate and safe solutions are needed. And this encounter with the moon, Thomas Fouquet, Deputy Director NewSpace and Ecosystem of the CNES, does not want to miss. “With the Artemis program, the return of Man to the Moon is being prepared for a long and lasting period (…) and it is strategic that French solutions are found in the mix of technologies that will be in orbit and on the surface of the moon. 🇧🇷

Ten Occitania projects already supported

After selecting five projects last year, TechTheMoon has just selected five new ones for its second promotion. Among the selection criteria, the chosen companies must have a presence in Occitania. It’s also necessary that its moon designs meet a need in the terrestrial market, and that’s for economic reasons. Among the 15 applications, five start-ups were selected for the year 2022-2023. They all evolve in very different fields: training, virtual reality preparation, human factors monitoring, energy and food. Highlight for the lucky ones.

Let’s start with neopouss🇧🇷 The company located in the basement of Place Arnaud Bernard is a vertical farm that grows microgreens. Since 2021, it has been supplying downtown restaurants with more than twenty varieties of microplants such as nasturtium, wasabi mustard and calendula. In addition to the recognized aromatic qualities, microgreens are considered “superfoods” with high nutritional value. Neopouss’ goal is therefore to develop dehydrated versions of these microgreens for astronauts’ diets during long missions.

In the basement of Place Arnaud Bernard, Neopouss grows microgreens for astronauts
neopouss

Microgreens from the company Toulouse Neopouss

Microgreens from the company Toulouse Neopouss
neopouss

Tea Space Flight Institute was selected for her commercial astronaut training. Against the background of the resumption of manned flights for exploration and exploration of future moon bases, their number will increase considerably in the coming years, and space agencies will not be able to train everyone. The company’s idea is, therefore, to support future space workers, transmitting them the necessary theoretical knowledge, know-how with practical training, preparing them physically and psychologically.

Created in 2016, VR2Planets aims to develop software to increase the operational capabilities of astronauts on the moon through a collaborative augmented reality interface combining: artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. Thanks to the image data acquired by the astronauts and transmitted to Earth, the company will be able to generate a digital twin of its investigation area. From Earth, virtual reality users will be able to help astronauts with their maintenance operations or sample selection and collection. This valuable data will be essential to prepare the construction of future lunar habitats.

Fourth boot selected, InMind-VR wants to simplify the methodological tools related to research, clinical practice and evaluation of the human factor in extreme and spatial environments. For this, it developed an integrated software platform, making it possible to standardize and share research, evaluation and human monitoring protocols. The goal is to be able to use these tools both for research on Earth or on a space station, and for the assessment of cognitive and behavioral functions on a lunar base. This solution will therefore allow optimizing the selection, preparation and performance monitoring of future astronauts and lunar workers for their safety and success of their missions.

ThermoSolar Finally, she is interested in the storage and restitution of electricity from solar energy, a critical issue to be addressed for the viability and autonomy of future lunar bases. On the moon, temperature differences are really huge, from +150° during the day to -200° at night. The company thus intends to propose a process for transforming the thermal energy stored during the day in the regolith, this rock that covers the moon’s soil, into electromechanical energy to produce electricity and be able to use it at night. The process is called thermoacoustics.

A little closer to the moon

As Anne-Laure Charbonnier, Executive Director of Nubbo, points out, “In their desire to prepare for and facilitate the prolonged presence of men and women on the moon, these projects also have the advantage of being complementary. This new promotion from TechTheMoon helps us get a little closer to our goals. 🇧🇷

Upon entering the lunar incubator, the five start-ups will benefit from intensive support for a year to develop their project, from the idea to the prototype for the moon, to fundraising or the commercial launch of their solution on the terrestrial market. . They will be joined by scientific experts from CNES, as well as space business experts from start-ups, big accounts and even research labs. To accelerate their development, they can, if they so wish, benefit from a refundable advance of €50,000. An additional way to not fall off the moon.

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