A Dream for a Deep Space Aimed at by Engineer Who is “Bored with the Earth”
The 6th (sixth) member interview this time, introducing Mr. Suzuki, who joined as a high-career engineer this spring. Why did engineer who have been working on space development of Japan, now choose to turn into a venture company? Also he will talk about what he is looking at in the future.
1. Please introduce yourself!
I was born in Shimizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture (currently Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City) and I moved to Tokyo when I entered university. I majored in physics at university, studying condensed matter theory related to superconductivity. After that, when I got a master’s degree and attended the company information session at my previous job which is Space-related software company. There was a story that they told me “Our Company does system engineering with a wider range of software even though it is a software company.” Also “The software you made goes into space on a rocket.”
When I heard that, I thought, “Oh … it’s amazing.” And it was the opportunity to get involved in space. I was a complete amateur at that time.
In the company, I experienced about 13 jobs such as thinking about how to operate artificial satellites and making software so that they would work well, and after that, I was temporarily working for JAXA. The first time just before “Kibo” launches, I was working as a JAXA staff member such as testing the engineering model of JEM, and the second time, preparing the ground equipment for the HTV (kounotori).
-I can see that you work on the very front line of space development of Japan. Maybe you met Mr. Hamasaki at NASDA?
-Mr. Suzuki, What is the most impressive work in your career?
What I remember is the first launch that I experienced. About a year after I joined the company, there was a satellite called “ETS-IV”, and I was in the operation room at the time of launch. The system of the launch at that time was completely different from the recent one, and the graph appeared on a large round CRT. From that display, we can see that “the first stage was separated”, when I saw it at that moment, I was so impressed with “Oh …!”
Other than that, in order to make artificial satellite software, you must first study the artificial satellite and its operation itself. I studied various fields such as orbital mechanics, information engineering, and project management, which I didn’t specialize in. And for me it was a lot of fun because everything that was written was new. If there was something I didn’t understand, I had many people around me to help.
2. How did you decide to join WARPSPACE?
After leaving the company in March 2021, I wanted to do my own business, so I applied for the space business idea contest, but the results were not good. When I was wondering if there was any chance of re-employment at a major company in terms of age, I thought it would be a venture company. It was around the time that Covid-19 started to appear, and I was looking for an environment where I could make use of my experience by not commuting to the metropolitan area considering my age.
Then, this is also a coincidence, when I learned about the existence of the WARPSPACE in the local news, it seems that it is near my home. What is more, it seemed that they ask people who are interested in the company to contact, and I felt very positive for me that they were opening the door without setting detailed requirements. So I contacted as such an engineer. Then I received a reply from Mr. Tsunemachi, and I finally got a chance to talk.
When I think about it now, I feel that I had a very good encounter, though it happened to happen.
-I think that turning into a venture company was a big challenge.
To be honest, even though I was in the space industry, I hadn’t heard of the company until I heard about it in the news. However, I also wanted to go to a new environment that my previous co-workers didn’t know at all, so I dared to take the plunge. From the beginning again, it felt like a change of heart.
-What is your feelings about working toward one vision as a venture company across generations?
Even in my previous job, I had a younger boss, and I don’t have much resistance to working with young people. However, there are occasional questions such as “Why do you do this?” Although I haven’t joined the company yet, I don’t know much about each experience and background, so there are moments when I can’t understand how confident I am in the discussion. However, at such times, I try to convey my own experiences and cases, rather than imposing a solution or a specific answer.
I dare to talk about it once, when I started working, I worked with people from other companies, including NASDA, and learned a lot. So now I also want to transfer my knowledge and experience and give back. I want to pass on my knowledge to the engineers who will grow up in the future. Instead of just pulling it, I hope that I can improve their skills in space by telling, “Actually, there is something like this.”
-Recently, various in-house study group have been held.
Well, there are a lot of things that I don’t know, and I think everyone has a variety of skills just because they are in different fields, so I wonder if we can improve our level at once by accumulating explanations little by little.
3. What is the goal of an engineer who is bored with the earth?
-What do you want to achieve through WARPSPACE in the future?
Originally, I have always had a feeling for the moon, and I would like to be involved in development of the moon and the deep space beyond the moon.
When I joined the first company, it was really the beginning of space exploration, and everything that I did was new and exciting. We exchanged discussions every day and challenged about spin satellites, geostationary satellites, and triaxle satellites, but even if I make an artificial satellite that orbits the earth now, there is almost no new place. Most satellites have a fixed method of construction, a satellite launch procedure, and their operation. When it comes to that, I am getting bored with the earth. Then, when it comes to what to do, I think that I have to go to a new place, such as the moon or Mars.
It is difficult for us to carry people to the moon, but if it is radio waves or light, I think that we can go to the moon by combining other technologies based on the inter-satellite communication that WARPSPACE is currently working on. I felt that it would be a pioneer of infrastructure that is commonplace in our daily lives, such as submarine cables in modern society, and that we could develop various things from there.
4. What is the most important “Compass of Behavior” that Mr. Suzuki thinks?
Our Compass of Behavior
02. Goal oriented
03. Decide with fact
04. Chase one chance
05. Resilient spirit
06. Respect your crew
07. Love family
09. Be attractive
“01. Leap”, indeed. Let’s do something new!
With a new idea, I would like to abandon the conventional wisdom and Leap to the next world, instead of “I’ve been doing this until now” so that I can move to a different dimension.
This is because the “universe” handled by the previous company and the “universe” handled by WARPSPACE are small in volume and have large restrictions. For example, the time and amount of money required for development, and the size of the satellite operation room in a more understandable place. In order to achieve even greater results compactly with limited resources, we would like to continue to be thrilled by focusing on our wisdom and taking on difficult challenges in ways that have never been seen before.