Taking Off to an Outer Space: Interview with Founder of Mission Helios, Alfonso Ballon

Alfonso Ballon

At the age of technological and scientific revolution, it seems that almost no unexplored corner is left on earth and beyond. The 21st century has marked a real breakthrough in the field of extraterrestrial exploration: multiple governments financed their satellite expeditions in space, with NASA being the bespoke trailblazer on this mission. In the last decade, however, the tendency switched towards commercialisation of space exploration: several major players quickly conquered the landscape and started an active process of creation of opportunities for the mass segment – the reason why we find space travel and space colonization on everyone’s lip these days. Though it sounds reassuring in theory, one substantial concern can hardly be escaped from the sight: the power of decision-making is concentrated in hands of these enterprises alone and as such, cannot be said to benefit anyone beyond a narrow circle of money-thirsty entrepreneurs and their co-workers. The seismic change has to occur in order to give the human race back what has always been found in their rightful possession – such being the power of exploration and information sharing beyond the corporate shell. That’s what laid down premises for the launch of Mission Helios.  

By operating in a democratised space of blockchain, this project focuses on creating and propagating its own vision of space mission amidst the community of supporters all over the world. Built on the Ethereum network, Mission Helios is a proponent of a disruptive idea: by launching its own satellite dubbed LizzieSat, it intends to visualize the images of earth, later selling them to the open-source and decentralized network of blockchain in the form of NFT tokens. This way, through the images of outer space – such as often unconceived by the human mind – the project enables the new model of decentralized ownership incentivised by passive income open to all holders on a quarterly basis. By bringing this solution forth, Mission Helios becomes a solid visionary in the field of space discoveries which, moreover, serves to share the benefit of space exploration with as large a number of people as it could, in opposition to the elite few.

In an urge to discover more, we reached out to the founder of the Mission Helios project in the hope to uncover a deeper rationale of the project, as well as finding out specific ways how it stirs the waves of change within the industry.

First and foremost, what was your personal motivation behind the creation of this project? Have you ever come across something similar before?

Never in a thousand years did I imagine my future had some sort of affiliation with space, nonetheless leading a global brand like Helios. The inspiration came from a realization of the power of blockchain technology, and how limitless the possibilities are. I said to myself, ”This is crazy. You could gather a group of investors and launch a satellite if you wanted to”, and well, that was quite literally how Helios began. After 5 days of research and no sleep, I concluded what I was about to do was crazy, but not impossible.

Thinking about the social aspect, how can Mission Helios project benefit the larger scope of humanity? 

The vision of Helios is many things. It’s not based on any singular mission or idea. It’s a vision with no expiration date. Ultimately, we believe Helios will act as a catalyst in the democratization of space exploration. We want to bridge the gap between your average Joe, and a sector that’s always been reserved for Government and the elite.

As our first mission, we’re launching a satellite and high resolution camera system into orbit to capture and mint the world’s first raw, utility-driven Satellite Imagery NFTs (of Earth). We believe that through this initial venture, we’ll set the stage for a future of decentralized, unfiltered imagery and data of our beautiful planet.

We believe it’s in the best interest of humanity to ensure no single individual or entity controls what we consider basic freedoms. We see Helios as a community-driven effort to ensure space exploration, information and education remain wholly transparent for generations to come.

Who are the crucial partners assisting in your mission?

There’s a lot of partners that make Helios a reality. But no doubt our launch partner, Sidus Space (formally Craig-Technologies) plays a critical role in our first mission. They’ve got a long and successful history, and have offered us the necessary expertise and guidance to give us confidence in the realization of our vision. Their LizzieSat will be fitted with our high resolution camera system, with a scheduled launch date of Q4, 2022 – Q1, 2023.

I’m aware that Mission Helios’ NFT collections play a pivotal role in the mechanism of space image distribution. Please tell me more about how anyone can participate in it.

Our collection of NFTs present an opportunity for whole and/or fractionalized ownership of our Terra Collection (satellite imagery NFTs) through multi-tiered products like our Pixel Rockets and Capsules.

What we’re excited about is the fact our NFT collections offer both decentralized ownership of said assets (for all to enjoy), while at the same time generating passive income for owners through our royalty-driven licensing model. This ensures that our product retains integrity for both investors and humanity as a whole.

It’s important to note that while we see our NFTs as unique, passive income offerings, we’re equally excited about the projected growth of our integral and native, deflationary token, $HELIOS.

What is the purpose of the $HELIOS token? 

We see holders of $HELIOS akin to that of a shareholder of a public company (given our future DAO ambitions). The token itself is structured in a way that’s deflationary, through our buy-back and burn program, which is fuelled by NFT sales, royalties, merchandise, Helios Hub revenue and select other streams. Our ambition for the token is to act as somewhat of a safe haven deflationary asset. 

There are also many plans in development surrounding further utility for $HELIOS.

In general, can Mission Helios rival existing enterprises like SpaceX, and why?

Well, we see both projects as equally unique, with obvious significant differences. We’re big admirers of Elon Musk and how he’s paved the way for the next generation. In respect to SpaceX, we believe we can compliment each other harmoniously. Helios is ripe for growth with a different mandate to that of SpaceX. And while at this current stage we have no interest in engineering rockets, we see no reason why we wouldn’t potentially launch using one of SpaceX’s.

In conclusion, what are the important phases of your roadmap – especially in 2022?

We’ve just completed a major restructuring, including the appointment of our new Partner and Project Director, CurioKane who has undertaken the re-development of our white paper and roadmap with myself. It’s been really well received, and we think the bar is set pretty high for our first 12 months. We’re excited to soon reveal what’s in store for 2022 and beyond.

In the short term, our Orbit Discord server is due to launch, which is an interactive experience for all of our NFT holders. We also have the metaverse-based Helios Hub in development, along with our arcade-style, play to earn game Oxygen which will offer numerous rewards to NFT and $HELIOS holders.

In addition, we’re excited for the unveiling of our underlying NFT collection, Terra. We’re planning to release more information surrounding this in the coming months.

These milestones along with our satellite launch would be the key takeaways we’re working towards this year, with another global-first planned for 2023.

Our roadmap can be found here:

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