The OPS-SAT mission aims at providing powerful in-orbit tools to an emerging experimenters community which is keen to demonstrate advanced concepts for future space applications, such as an in-orbit test-bed for on-board software applications, advanced communication protocols, compression techniques, demonstration of advanced software defined radio concepts for communication purposes, optical communications from ground to space for several purposes, experiments using cameras, attitude control, scheduling and autonomy experiments as well as ground-based applications. Such an in-orbit laboratory achieves a multiplication effect of the offered capabilities by having different resources, such as processors, FPGAs, cameras, etc. available and exploiting their synergy for demonstrating new mission concepts. To satisfy these and many other emerging very demanding objectives, a platform containing state-of-the-art semiconductor technologies, in particular very powerful computing platforms and FPGAs are required in-orbit. Successful demonstrations of this kind will change the future space applications paradigm.