Commercial Space Leaders Discuss “State of Space” and Future Opportunities

Last month, The Space Foundation curated their first “State of Space” event. It took place at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor led with opening remarks addressing how governments, entrepreneurs, investors, students, teachers, and taxpayers each play a critical role in the human adventure of space.

“Today’s “space race” is being waged by entrepreneurs and commercial enterprises instead of rival nation states and Cold Warriors. This new and inspiring competition is bringing technological revolution faster to missions and the marketplace than anything imagined in the Apollo era.”

Tom Zelibor, CEO, Space Foundation

The “Industry Leaders” panel, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program, shed some light on what the next 50 years could look like. Made In Space, Inc. President & CEO Andrew Rush took part in a panel alongside Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, Senior Vice President for Government Strategy and Policy at Inmarsat Government Inc; Allen Herbert, Vice President, Business Development and Strategy for NanoRacks LLC; and Courtney Stadd, Director of Government Affairs at Vector Launch. The group discussed the roles, challenges and opportunities space has for our national, economic and educational security and explored the influences that public and private sectors have on each other.

Low-cost, highly effective technology has come together with policy to support new industries and business models, including new ways to utilize space and open previously untapped markets. Multiple members of the panel noted that space is a “team sport”, with the success of each stakeholder dependent on the ability and credibility of others in the space ecosystem..

“The real growth in space going forward, nationally and commercially, will be in innovative business models and technology deployments”

Andrew Rush, President & CEO of Made In Space, Inc.

We now live in the age where the paradigm has begun to shift from being confident that rockets and satellites were expendable to knowing now that rockets are reusable and satellites will soon be reusable, reparable, and reconfigurable via satellite servicing, manufacturing and assembly. Made In Space has begun changing ways that portions of satellites are built by manufacturing in space rather than building them terrestrially and packaging them origami style. This cross-cutting technology can help commercial, civil, and national security satellites be designed and implemented more efficiently and effectively.

The key to the collective success of the space economy will, in many cases, be partnerships between industry and government working toward mutually beneficial goals.

Related links:

Space Foundation CEO Addresses “The State of Space”:

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