Atlassian has a single mission: to unleash the potential in every team. This past year, we were tasked with addressing the particular needs of distributed teams on a whole new level. Our teams were energized by the challenge and responded by experimenting with and iterating on our collaboration practices in order to stay effective in a remote-first world.
Today we are incredibly excited to announce that we are, quite literally, launching into our next phase of experimentation by sending Charlie Ecaps, a Cloud Support Manager, into space. Charlie will spend the week in orbit testing the limits of distributed teamwork and proving that Atlassian tools can support even the most remote teams. He will be supported by a ground crew of IT support staff from Atlassian, medical and mental health professionals, and mission technical support from our space flight provider partners in this program.
In the months leading up to today’s launch, Charlie prepared for the mission both mentally and physically with the help of a cross-functional team of experts. He worked with a nutritionist and a personal trainer to ensure his body was ready to withstand the stresses of launch and could compensate for the inevitable muscle atrophy that occurs during even short visits to zero-gravity environments. We also brought in an internal medicine specialist to monitor all manner of vital signs, from oxygen levels in Charlie’s blood, to lung capacity, and digestive function. A psychologist specializing in the effects of isolation rounded out Charlie’s training with a blend of cognitive-behavioral therapy and meditation. This team will stay connected to the mission, providing daily check-ins and support.
On the technical side, we were fortunate to partner with a commercial space flight provider and leverage their experience and capabilities for this historic effort. This mission also prompted us to take on some next-level performance tuning of Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket to reduce latency in orbit and ensure Charlie can be as productive in space as he is here on Earth.
The idea for this unprecedented experiment grew out of our existing TEAM Anywhere program, which we kicked off roughly a year ago at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdowns. Atlassian was one of the first companies to take the bold step of closing offices indefinitely and transitioning all staff to work remotely. We soon recognized that remote work is here to stay and set about creating the internal infrastructure – from new policies guiding where we work to reimagined team rituals – to support a flexible location policy that allows employees to live and work nearly anywhere they choose going forward.
Building on TEAM Anywhere, this initiative confirms our position as leaders in the distributed teamwork space and sets us up to better understand and serve our customers’ needs in the decades to come.
Words cannot express how proud we are of the team behind this mission, and of Charlie in particular. His bravery and pioneering spirit are second to none. We also want to recognize the sacrifices his family has made over the past months as mission training consumed much of Charlie’s time. Thank you, Ecaps family! The thoughts of every Atlassian will be with Charlie during these next seven days as he slips the surly bonds of Earth and dances the skies on silvered wings.
Follow along with Charlie’s space journey, and apply to be a member of the space team here!