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Team Members

Xavier Claramunt

Team Leader. Xavier Claramunt founder and president of Galactic Suite, and is an ever-surprising entrepreneur in the fields of architecture and industrial design. He took off as aeronautical engineer but ended landing as unpredictable architect. He works in Barcelona, with satellite offices in China, Dubai and México. He entered the space tourism sector, focusing in maximizing the customer experience in the development of an orbital hotel. He is best known for his way of working without prejudices, his unconventional way of dealing with commissions with no fear of entering unknown fields. He defines his attitude as the one of being prepared to do things with enthusiasm while completely rejecting the ridiculous.

 

Marc Zaballa

Associate Team Leader. Marc is a professional architect from the Technical University of Catalonia and alumnae of ISU. In 2006 Marc entered the space tourism company Galactic Suite as Head of Architecture for the space hotel project, coordinating the team that designed the architecture of both the Earth and Space segments. Marc is currently Head of Projects of Galactic Suite Design (GSD) in Barcelona where he also participates in the Executive Board.

 

Carlos García

Carlos is an industrial engineer by the Technical University of Catalonia, specialized in mechanical engineering. Carlos has long experience in systems integration, industrial automation and management. He worked in the automobile sector with automated guided vehicles, automobile security systems, manufacturing planning and control, etc. He is Surface Operations Manager and coordinates the team responsible of the rover with the UPC.

 

Juan de Dalmau

Technical Advisor. Juan is a faculty member of the International Space University (ISU) and a staff member of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 1985. He also serves as general delegate of the Community of Ariane Cities (CVA), a non-profit association of cities and industries involved in the Ariane launcher programme. Juan entered the space sector in 1985 and has worked for ESA, the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and ISU in personnel management, project and programme management, finance, strategy, international relations and communication. Juan has cumulated ten years of experience at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where he was the first non-French Range Operations Director (DDO), in charge of Ariane-4 launch campaigns. While in Kourou, he also worked as ground facilities engineer for the construction and qualification of the Ariane-5 manufacturing, integration and launch facilities.

Ed Chester

Technical Advisor. Ed’s professional background includes ground segment systems architect and integration and test engineer at ESA-ESOC (Germany), flight operations team member at ESA-ESOC (Germany), flight operations and system management for the Beagle-2 Mars lander (UK), I.T. management (UK) and instrumentation/embedded system design (UK). He is interested in data systems, payload operations, system design, design methods, and operational research.

 

Alfonso Martínez

Technical Advisor. Alfonso is General Director of Altran Spain and Executive Director of the Practice of Mechanical Engineering at international level. Aeronautical engineer of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, he was a founding partner of Media Engineering Consultants. Leading Engineering in the Spanish space sector, the company was integrated to Altran Technologies in 2007. As a consultant and manager, has spent most of his career in the space sector, mainly in the engineering and R&D of space vehicles and equipment.

 

Josep Amat

Josep Amat i Girbau holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where he is Professor of Computer Architecture and Technology since 1983. He is a member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans since 1990, Invited Professor of the Artificial Intelligence Lab. of MIT (EUA) since 1991, and member of the Real Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts of Barcelona since 2000. He has received many prizes and honors among them the medal Narcís Monturiol to Scientific and Technical Merit from the Generalitat de Catalunya (1990), the International Prize of Science and Technology of Barcelona (1992).

His research activities have focused in the digital treatment of signals and computer vision, especially in its applications in the field of robotics. Currently, he is developing several research projects in the field of submarine robotics, application of robots in surgery and guidance of mobile robots as head of the Research Group for Intelligent Robots (Grins) in the UPC.

Ignasi Casanova

Head of Science Team. Ignasi is professor of Materials Chemistry at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC, Barcelona Tech). B.S. Geology (University of Barcelona, Spain), M.Sc. Nuclear Engineering and Ph.D. in Geochemistry (University of New Mexico, USA). He has worked as a researcher in Los Alamos National Labs, NASA’s Johnson Space Centre and the University of Chicago.

His research interests have evolved from Planetary Chemistry, to engineering design of space science instruments. He’s been co-investigator in some missions of the European Space Agency (SMART-1, Mars Express), has served as a member of the Exploration Science and Technology Advisory Group of the European Space Agency.

Ignasi’s current research activities include nanotechnology for space exploration and in situ resource utilization, and together with the SELENA team will develop a scientific payload to demonstrate in situ the feasibility of extraction fo oxygen from regolith, based on current technology and recent developments on the measuring techniques of the oxygen release from minerals.

Pablo Colmenarejo

Pablo Colmenarejo obtained his Mc.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Polytechnical University of Madrid, Spain. He is a Head of GNC division at GMV. With 15 years of experience he has led and has been personally involved at technical level in most of the ESA recent activities related to the exploration (e.g. Mars Sample Return mission) within the GNC domain.

 

Alfonso Martínez

Alfonso is the Director of Systems EADS CASA Espacio. He studied Telecommunications Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and he has worked in different companies, having spent most of his career at CASA, where he participated in and directed many space systems programs.

 

 

Manuel Angulo

Manuel is responsible of the Nano & Microsatellites programmes at INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial). He studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de MADRID (UPM). At the Institute he has been Project Manager of many Spanish satellites and ESA programs developed there, including Minisat-01, EU-DGXII, Nanosat 1, Nanosat 1B, and currently INTAmSat-1, the first Earth R&D observation satellite fully developed in Spain.

 

Ángel Álvaro

Angel Alvaro Sanchez is R&D Manager at Thales Alenia Space España. With over 15 years experience in the space sector, has participated as a designer and head of digital equipment department in a variety of satellites and missions, among which stand the probes Rosetta, Mars Express and Venus Express. Responsible of operations and production for 3 years, now applies the knowledge gained to develop new equipment and systems for future scientific and communication satellites.  Telecomunication Engineer, married, two children, is fond of teaching about the use of space to serve the people.

 

 

Rafael Harillo

Legal Advisor. Rafael is a professional lawyer, specialized in business law and space law. Rafael is member of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and the European Centre For Space Law (ECSL) from ESA. Rafael is alumnus of the International Space University, Strasbourg and currently studies Planetary Science and Search for Life in the Open University, London.

His activity is focused in developing the regulatory framework for the Spanish space sector, which is underdeveloped compared to other countries.