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Dauria Aerospace - The Space Race Saga Continues


If there weren’t any satellites up in space - you wouldn’t have any kinds of phone communications in the 21st century. Furthermore, satellite TV wouldn’t even exist and no one could’ve watched their favorite series or movies.

But to put a satellite into space is absolutely not an easy task and it takes a lot of time, money, and expertise to build the satellite, part by part. Luckily, Mikhail Kokorich saw the not-so-easy opportunity and took it upon himself to soar into the cosmos mostly to help with radio wave signals.

Dauria Aerospace is a company that manufactures small and nano-sized satellites that are of a lower cost. This company works on remote sensing, controlling the traffic via satellite inquisitions, and polar services for faster network signals in inaccessible places.

Naturally, many challenges awaited Dauria Aerospace and the path to success wasn’t even remotely easy to follow.

Read on to find out how exactly this company managed to succeed with the implementation of its stellar satellites.

From a Child with Cosmic Visions Towards Professionalism

Mikhail Kokorich was born in 1976 in Siberia, Russia. It’s highly unlikely to build up a career with something land-based in Siberia since the cold climate is rough. So, from his early childhood, Mikhail was dream big ─ up-into-the-cosmos big!

Nonetheless, it isn’t at all effortless to begin even thinking of such drastic but astonishing ideas. Mikhail didn’t even have the requirements needed to follow his dream of putting his name up in outer space. Mikhail wanted to study aerospace engineering in Moscow, but sadly that dream did not come true due to the fall of the Soviet Union.

So, he started his educational venture in 1993, in the Novosibirsk State University in the Department of Physics and Hydrodynamics. At the exact same university of Novosibirsk, he got into the Economics and Management program from 2001 up until 2004. In between his study at this university, in 2003, he enrolled in the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Being highly motivated, Mikhail didn't stop there and enrolled himself at the Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo, to grab his Master of Business Administration degree. Interestingly enough, Mikhail is the founder of a lot of companies, starting way back in 1996 when he established his first industrialized water therapy firm, called Dauria.

He ran the company for a good 8 years until Mikhail yet again founded a new company for retail stores all over Siberia and the Far East - Chudodom. No, Mikhail didn’t forget about his deep-space intrigue from his kid days - not at all!

So, Mikhail began his expedition at founding firms that work with technologies for outer space, like Dauria Aerospace in 2011, Astro Digital in 2014, and Momentus Space as the latest in 2017. Working with one cosmic company takes an extraordinary amount of effort, let alone being CEO of three of them!

Interstellar Beginnings

Almost all of the companies start from scratch and naturally, to build a company for the production of satellites and space tech, one would need some serious amount of funds. At first, the fundings came from Mikhail himself and the co-founders of Dauria Aerospace. This company got its first big amount of fundings from outside, $20,000,000 to be exact, from the I2BF Global Ventures organization.

Dauria Aerospace received additional fundings of $20 M in 2013. The company got its fundings from five key investors, including Rusnano, the Skolkovo Foundation, I2BF Global Ventures, VEB Innovations, and VEB.RF.

From there on out, Dauria has set its offices in Munich and Skolkovo, the high-tech commercial district on Moscow’s outskirts, as well as NASA Ames Research Park at Mountain View Cliff. Thanks to these start-up funds, Dauria Aerospace has unleashed its inner stellar beast and began to make its space satellites.

Making a name for itself in Russia, Dauria Aerospace was provided with the opportunity to acquire the available technologies in the country. On top of that, Dauria Aerospace could employ technicians and professional engineers whose wages were a third of those in the United States. Furthermore, as Mikhail stated, Dauria Aerospace obtained finance sources from Russia, as well as favorable arrangements for prices for their satellites.

Don’t let the “small” and “nano” sized satellites deceive you. They may be tiny in size when compared to normal satellites but they pack a wallop. Meaning, they weigh approximately 100 kg, down to the smallest of 10 kg. Ranging satellites in different sizes is what pushed Dauira to land cooperation with the giant - Samsung Electronics.

Dauria Aerospace’s Tough Challenges

This company has managed to bring itself to such great heights and its workflow was absolutely top-notch. Then again, Mikhail didn’t think that there would be a dispute with Roscosmos - a company established directly by the Russian Government.

The disagreement between the Dauria Aerospace company and the Roscosmos organization began in 2017. In the long run, in the year of 2017, two of Dauria Aerospace’s spacecraft were never to be seen again as a result of manufacturing delays. The firms were unable to settle on an agreement.

After some time, on October 22, 2018, Roscosmos filed an application to the court seeking to collect 274 M rubles that needed to be distributed under the contract. The funds were categorized and the court approved the application in August 2019. Unfortunately, the attempted claim in December by Dauria Aerospace, towards the court's ruling wasn’t confirmed.

Roscosmos yet again filed another lawsuit with the exact contract in mind of about 6 M rubles. Dauria Aerospace was unable to pay the penalties under the private company norms which led the Russian company into a downfall of self-bankruptcy.

Dauria Aerospace was going through quite the turmoil, but the team hasn’t kicked the bucket yet.

Cruisin’ down Space With Dauria’s Satellites

As of this moment, Dauria’s website has three sections of what the satellites are assigned to do. In those sections, there are all in all 9 amazing satellites that are up and drifting or are planned to be built for the specific purpose written down in the section.

The first section is about satellites used for communications and telecommunications. It comprises NEXSTAR 1, NEXSTAR 2, ATOM, and PYXIS.

NEXSTAR 1 and 2 are planned to take up above the earth’s atmosphere in around 2025. The two of them are inspired by the ATOM Geostationary platform and are commissioned by the Indian company Aniara Communications. An agreement was signed by these two companies on the 15th of July, 2014.

The ATOM is a satellite that is already up above and is a Geostationary Platform for satellite television and internet relaying. It's just as the name suggests, minuscule in size.

PYXIS is a project satellite that Dauria wants to implement on the Molniya orbit and is directed at workers who are in the Northern route of the sea and are unable to receive landline communications.

The second category is the Earth Remote Sensing one which features MKA-H, PERSEUS-O, and AURIGA satellites. And for the third section, microsatellites platforms are in the works, namely the DX and Perseus (CubeSat 6U) platforms. These are implemented for science and educational purposes.

The PERSEUS-O series of satellites were the most prominent from the Earth Sensing category, but sadly all 8 of them were canceled. Lastly, for the microsatellite platforms for science and educational purposes - the CubeSat 6U was appropriately flight-tested and sold in 2015 to Aquila Space.

Starting from 2012 to this very day, Dauria Aerospace owns two platforms that performed well under a flight test, 3 satellites that are in outer space, $300 M worth of orders, and four platforms that are still under development.

Down to Earth Dauria, Today

Besides all the tech talks, blueprints, Russian connections, and all, Dauria Aerospace is one of Russia’s greatest space-tackling platforms.

Today, the company’s headquarters are still in Skolkovo Technopark, with Mikhail being its founder and president. Over 100 people are employed in the company, still relentlessly working towards stellar tasks.

Much like Roscosmos, Dauria’s archnemesis, sort of speak, the company faced substantial competition from companies like Sogeclair Aerospace, and Ohb System.

Having to prove itself as a serious player in the vastness of the cosmos, Dauria Aerospace did manage to overcome some serious hurdles. Nowadays, the company is known as Russia’s second-largest space company, a force to be reckoned with.