Thursday, 3 December 2020
3:00 pm UK time / 10:00 am US Eastern time
Over decades of growth space has become a critical part of the world’s economy with satellite connectivity providing the communications foundation for many vertical markets. In the last few years, however, a new phase of the industry’s evolution has emerged: NewSpace.
What does “NewSpace” mean?
Essentially, a radical and rapid change away from the now decades-old historical model of the business of how we build, launch, and operate satellites to pursue communications and Earth observation) applications and missions. This historical model is not being replaced or supplanted by NewSpace. Rather, NewSpace is a radical departure from this historical model characterised by a virtuous circle fuelling a private sector-led growth cycle – the “industrialisation of space” – which encompasses a space business incubation culture that comprises hundreds of new business units and entrepreneurial ventures.
Traditional public debt and equity markets traditionally funded space ventures but are less readily available to, or relevant for, NewSpace market entrants which look to angel investors and venture capitalists to fund their operations. Perhaps surprisingly to some, large defense space corporations and government agencies have also been a source of funding for NewSpace companies.
NewSpace is not only about satellites, however. NewSpace is also evident in multi-faceted trends in ground segment infrastructure, with innovation bringing a paradigm shift in antenna technology from parabolic to flat panel designs with many competing “state-of-the-art” solutions in development and coming to market. Changes in teleport design, deployment, and operation are also integral to NewSpace as the traditional notion of the teleport is being transformed as software comes to dominate transition to a data centre-centric model of many hundreds of next generation facilities worldwide.
Amongst other thematic strands in NewSpace is the increasing importance of solutions for the mobility markets in the aeronautical, maritime and land vehicle vertical segments; the changing, and increasingly integrated, inter-relationship of the satcoms and Earth observation environments; and, an elevated focus on the responsibilities of the operators of satellite constellations – particularly the emerging LEO mega-constellations – to maintain the sustainability of the operational environment of Earth orbit.
These themes and others will be explored by our panel of commentators to address two fundamental questions: Where are we going in space and where is NewSpace taking us?