Let's Space It. Ville Meskus

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read
Let's Space It. Ville Meskus

Space is arguably both finite and infinite while the universe is expanding, and this evokes ambition, excitement, and puzzlement in humans. Out of this space technology, designed for space exploration, is born. Thus, it is even more interesting to learn the life stories of people behind innovation and technological development.

In this series of articles, we are introducing our colleagues behind ReOrbit technology. What brought them to the industry, their journeys towards humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier, lessons learned, and things they’d create if there were no technological limitations.

Headshot of Ville Meskus

Meet Ville Meskus, Head of Business Development – Defence at ReOrbit, board member of the Association of Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industries, Finnish Digital Defence Ecosystem, man with many hats. From obtaining an industrial engineering degree in Finland to attending the oldest aerospace school in France, Ville's career transitioned from consulting and product management to head of business development.  

Why did you choose space?

Space has always been a passion, sort of a hobby of mine, but I hadn’t worked in the industry until a few years ago actually. Originally, I wanted to do it in the U.S. because that was, at least back in the day, where I saw most of the business operating. I planned to relocate to the U.S. along with my company, obtain a green card, and subsequently enter the space industry. Various things happened, and that didn't work out. Therefore, I decided to pursue a second degree in the field of space at the oldest aerospace school in the world Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace. After completing the program, I have been working in the space industry ever since.

If we dig deeper into the question, the idea that we could extend our reach beyond Earth, explore the solar system and further has always been like a final frontier for me. I have a sense of adventure in me and a big drive for progression, not just for myself but also for humanity. Seeing new technologies emerge and change the world is what excites me the most. Space is the logical next step, and I can't wait to see all the advancements that will happen in the future. I want to be a part of making that a reality. That's how I would describe my passion for space.

You started your career as…

Before venturing into the space industry, I feel like I've already navigated diverse industries. My first paid job was cleaning the city and forest parks of Oulu, where I was born and grew up. However, my first permanent job contract was with the Finnish post office called Itella back in the day, where I delivered weekly newspapers and drove the post car on Saturdays and Sundays. It was a great way to earn some extra money and reduce my costs because I couldn't go out partying on Friday and Saturday evenings. My career as an expert, on the other hand, began at a certain Finnish consultancy company where I worked as a project manager and product lifecycle management specialist. There, I worked on projects in various industries like manufacturing, mining, and FMCG.

My first degree was in industrial engineering and management, where business and technology were heavily intertwined, and together with my product management experience they acted as a compass for my current position in business development. I see myself as a generalist, which comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, I relish the idea of exploring and learning new things, and I can adapt to different roles quite swiftly. On the other hand, I sometimes feel like I don’t excel in very specific areas because I prefer broadening my knowledge, but not too often delving deep enough to become an expert in some niche sector.

Your most memorable memory so far?

Before ReOrbit, I was working for the European Space Agency, which was a very interesting part of my life, and I got to see a lot of different companies within the space industry and how they operated. But ReOrbit was the first company where I got to put my hands to the dirt and start creating something new. Making that transition was very memorable for me because I had decided several years back that this would be the path to pursue. Now I kind of closed that transition by joining ReOrbit; so, that is one of my most memorable memories.

Moreover, every day brings something new. We have such a great trajectory in the company, and I get to learn new things every day and have impactful and interesting conversations with different companies and authorities in Finland and abroad. And I feel like time is moving slowly in the sense that there's always something new every day, making it memorable.  

Your most valuable lesson so far?

At ReOrbit, our success is built upon strong collaboration within our teams. While we are dedicated to addressing specific challenges in the space industry, the true strides in our projects stem from optimising how we work together. This involves focusing on aspects such as teamwork, communication, organisation, and the seamless integration of these elements into a well-functioning machine. This understanding transcends into multiple industries, and recognising this fact has proven to be one of the most valuable lessons for me. Despite operating in a highly specialised field like rocket science, we acknowledge that soft skills hold equal importance alongside technical expertise in creating a meaningful impact. This insight stands as one of the most valuable lessons I have gained so far.

What does nobody prepare you for?

A natural part of our journey is the rapid growth of our company. In this dynamic environment, we often find ourselves adapting on the fly, acquiring new knowledge, and taking on significant challenges at a brisk pace. This journey has led me to engage in diverse responsibilities that I hadn't envisioned encountering.

The key to navigating this evolution is maintaining an open mindset and a sense of composure—embracing the reality that substantial opportunities and challenges will continually present themselves. The ability to stay composed, accept the unexpected, and approach new endeavours with a cool demeanour is crucial. Flexibility and adaptability become essential because each day may unfold differently than anticipated.

The one thing that you will never forget?

We are constantly achieving important milestones that mark key moments in our company's history. Continuously securing new contracts and reaching significant milestones within individual projects allow us to witness the ongoing progress of our products. I am quite eagerly waiting for our upcoming launch next year, promising to be a truly memorable event. Additionally, our acceptance into the Finnish ecosystem has been one of the most memorable ones.

This has allowed us to engage with people in high-level positions who share our excitement for what we do. Experiencing the alignment of external belief in our endeavours with our internal confidence is incredibly rewarding.  

The one thing that makes you smile?

The company culture is infused with a delightful sense of humour that adds a unique and positive dimension to our work environment. I feel it is particularly valuable in a fast-paced industry like ours. The combination of teamwork, positive attitudes, and a laid-back approach, despite our intense efforts and achievements, contribute to a workplace that I look forward to every day.

Additionally, I am extremely excited about the developments in our industry and can't wait to see them materialise. Even small steps in that direction make me impatient with anticipation. I closely follow the industry from this perspective as it also means that space is being utilised more and more for the benefit of life on Earth. At ReOrbit, we are building things that contribute to this future, which is very exciting. Every day brings new developments around the world, and it's gratifying to witness these positive changes. 

Imagine there are no technological limitations, what do you wish you could design/create in the space sector? 

I envision a technological solution capable of overcoming the constraints imposed by the mass of spacecraft. Safely accelerating vehicles to high speeds, especially near the speed of light, is a significant challenge, considering the safety of both humans and equipment. Building a technology that can somehow disable or mitigate the impact of mass would be revolutionary, enabling faster and more expansive exploration of space. Achieving this vision poses numerous technological challenges, with the issue of mass being a primary obstacle. Solving these challenges would be my top pick because I believe that our ultimate destiny as humanity lies in space, constructing habitats, and inhabiting new planets.



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