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Navigating the Fast-Paced Cyber Security Sector

On Episode 25 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we were joined by Jaye Tillson and John Spiegel, who are passionate cyber security evangelists and the co-hosts of “The Edge” by SSE Forum podcast. Jaye has over 20 years of experience in the cyber security industry, across IT infrastructure and zero trust architecture, while John’s background in the industry includes overseeing major projects for global retailer Columbia Sportswear. Read on to find out their perspectives on why the cyber security industry is moving so quickly. 

John: “I talked about paying off your security, which is also referred to in the industry as ‘defence in depth’. So why are people looking to move into this model? Security’s got to be simplified and streamlined. Visibility is hard when you have eight or nine point products that are chained together for remote access, or when your products don’t have API’s that integrate. Security is really hard when you just think about technology and you don’t think about the business outcomes. 

Primarily, what’s driving this change is simplified platforms which bring together technologies that were siloed. Companies are also looking to reduce their costs, not only from a vendor perspective, but from an operational perspective. On top of that, both Jay and I fell into security because of the way applications and workforce are distributed. Now you’ve got to have a different approach to security. Similarly, the way networking and security is transformed and delivered is changing. 

For you to be a player in it from a vendor perspective, you have to have the full stack. You can’t just be a networking vendor and rely on another vendor for the security aspect anymore, you have to bring both together because that’s what provides visibility, simplicity and the platform effect, which is what customers are looking for. 

Another interesting piece is David Holmes (who is an analyst for Forrester) did some research, and they asked customers who had moved over to this SASE and SSE model if they are still using the same vendors as they were using previously. Is there any buyer’s remorse? Are they looking to go back or maintain that relationship? The answer in almost 85% of the cases was ‘No, there’s no buyer’s remorse, we’re happy and we’re not looking to go backwards. This is a better approach.’ What does that mean for the industry? It means that the incumbent vendors out there are under threat. That’s why you will continue to see consolidation within the industry.”

Jaye: “I realised that having people on my network who were able to go everywhere and see everything or potentially hack everything was concerning. That’s how zero trust came about, which is built on the concept of only giving access to devices and applications that people need access to for their roles. You constantly check in, monitor and give visibility, and both SASE and SSE are based on that structure. 

Then you’ve got the consolidation element within the market. Recent statistics show that CISOs have over 100 security tools within their environment, which is impossible to manage. That’s because if you have a problem within the environment you won’t know which vendor to go to, where the gap is, what tool it is, or what you’re looking at. Consolidation is bringing more products under one banner and within one user interface, which simplifies your security. Cyber Security is a difficult place to work because you’re constantly under threat or being attacked, the legislation is constantly changing and it’s a very high pressure environment. If you can consolidate and become more simple, not only is it easier from a support perspective, it gives a better user experience.

There’s talk that ransomware is kind of dropping off, but that’s clearly not the case. We need to make everybody’s life simpler by removing and reducing the attack surface and simplifying administration, product and efficiency for the users. Zero trust is a huge thing in the USA, and the government is doing things about it which are flowing down into legislation across EMEA. Once people start to realise that their tools sit on top of that, there’s going to be a snowball effect.”

To hear more from Jaye and John about their work in the industry, tune into Episode 25 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Addressing Human Behaviour in Cyber Security

In the Cyber Security industry, one of the biggest risk factors is human behaviour. On Episode 23 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we were joined by Ira Winkler, the Field CISO and VP at CYE. He shared his insights on the risks of human behaviour, as well as some great anecdotes from writing multiple books on cyber security. Read on to learn from his experience. 

How have you seen cyber risk progress over your career?

When I do speaking events, I always ask people ‘how many of you are security professionals?’ Most of the audience raises their hands and I go, ‘Okay, you’re all failures, because there is no such thing as security. The definition of security is being free from risk, and you’re never going to be free from risk. So technically, we’re all cyber risk managers.’ If we’re all risk managers, how are we mitigating those risks? I do what I call cyber risk optimization, where we’re quantifying and mapping out the risks according to actual attack paths and vulnerabilities. That allows us to determine how we optimise risk by taking your potential assets, mapping them to vulnerabilities to get an actual cost, and then figuring out which are the best vulnerabilities to theoretically mitigate. 

Now, we’re at a point where machine learning is actually able to start doing things we were not able to do before. Everybody thinks machine learning is this really fancy thing, but it’s taking big data and putting it through mathematical calculations that were not available to us 10 years ago. Now we’re actually able to crunch data, look at trends, and come up with actual calculations of how to optimise risk. I’m finally able to take the concepts I wrote about in 1996-97 and implement them today. 

How do you balance user responsibility and the responsibility of the operating system? 

The solution I’m putting together is human security engineering consortia, because here’s the problem: awareness is important. I wrote ‘Security Awareness for Dummies’ because awareness is a tactic. Data leak prevention can be important to stop major attacks, and anti malware can be important to stop major attacks, so those are tactics too. The problem is that currently, when we look at the user problem, it’s being solved with individual tactics that are not coordinated through a strategy. We need a strategy to look at it from start to finish that includes both the operating system and the user responsibilities. 

You’ve got to stop and think, ‘what are my potential attack vectors? What capabilities does a user have?’ A user can only do things that you enable them to do, they only have access to data you allow them to have, they only have a computer that has the capabilities you provide them. You need to stop and think, ‘given that finite set of capabilities and data provided to a user, what is the strategy that looks at it from start to finish and best mitigates the overall risk?’ I’m not saying you can get rid of risk completely, but you need to create a strategy to mitigate as much risk as possible from start to finish, knowing the capabilities you provide to the user. 

One of my books is ‘Zen and the Art of Information Security’, which includes a concept of what makes an artist, and it’s the person’s ability to look at a block of marble and see a figure in it. They can produce different pieces of art, but they’re all made the same way. There’s a repeatable process and what they use to get what they got. Now in the same way, there’s a repeatable process for looking at human-related errors. You look at the potential attacks against users and ask ‘What mighty users do, using good will, thinking they’re doing the right thing but accidentally causing harm?’ Most damage to computer systems is done by well-meaning users who inevitably create harm. 

You don’t go around and see people saying, ‘I’m getting in my car and crashing into another car’ – that’s why they’re called accidents. We have a science in how we design roads, literally the curvature of roads is a science and when they assign speed limits to it there is a science to understanding what a user does, what their capabilities are, and how you can mitigate that to reduce the risks. In cyber risk, you should be asking similar questions, like ‘How can I proactively analyse how the user gets in the position to potentially initiate a loss and mitigate that proactively?’ Then you design the operating system to reduce the user’s inadvertent risks. 

To learn more about human behaviour and risk in Cyber Security, tune into Episode 23 of The Cyber Security Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Improving Accessibility in NewSpace

Accessibility is a key issue in the NewSpace industry. With a number of different applications for satellite technology, there is an increasing focus on enabling smaller players to enter the sector and access the NewSpace sector. On Episode 20 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Nathan Monster, the CEO and Founder of A-SpaX (which means Affordable Space Access), about the company’s aims to make the opportunities that space offers accessible to as many people as possible. They offer an end to end service that spans from pre launch to delivery. Nathan also shared how we can improve accessibility as an industry. 

What’s been the biggest change in the industry that has made space more accessible to date? 

Access to space has improved with the transportation from Earth to low Earth orbit. There are more frequent launches going into orbit from more commercial companies who have developed their own launchers that go through to space. There are hundreds of rocket companies now. There has been a lot of investment in the space industry too, particularly going into launchers. I’m hoping that now that we’ve gotten into space people will start to think about the return. Questions like ‘While you’re in orbit, what are you going to do there?’ are really important. For me the answer is production and bringing the results back to people on earth. 

What has enabled accessibility more, small satellite launches or rideshare opportunities? 

It’s a complex situation because of the amount of investment that has occurred. So many commercial companies now have the chance to create a difficult transportation system, launch things and reach orbit. That should be a good thing, but it often goes wrong. Having all this competition does bring down the cost and enable a lot of commercial activity, which makes the industry more accessible, but there are downsides too. It’s the investment itself that has created more accessibility rather than rideshares or launches, but I’m interested to see which method will continue to grow accessibility in the space. 

What are the barriers to accessibility and what needs to be done to remove them?

The biggest barrier is making sure a rocket is safe and in a good state. All these commercial companies need to have systems and checks in place to make sure they’re successful. As an industry we need to support these companies so that they have the chance to reach a certain point where these protocols are in order and their systems can mature. That requires quite a lot of capital, and there will be failures along the way, but we need to expect and allow that. We need to keep backing them until they’ve built a protocol to make sure that everything is ready before the launch and is done in a proper order.

To learn more about accessibility in space, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Investing in the European Space Market

The European space market has been growing over the past few years, leading to an increase in investments from a number of firms. On Episode 17 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Árisz Kecskés, who is the Business Development Manager at Remred and Investment Manager at Herius Capital, the latter of which is one of the very few space-focused venture capital firms investing in startups in the European Space ecosystem. Árisz shared his insights into the European space market, including the opportunities he sees for other investors in the sector. Read on to learn more!

Where would you recommend investing in the European space market? 

The valuation landscape in Western Europe is very different from how companies are valued in the Central Eastern European region. The trick is to find these ‘rough diamond’ companies and support them throughout their development stages. If you’re looking for early stage startups, there are a lot of good companies in the Central Eastern European region, whereas Western European countries are typically in further stages. 

What you see on the market is a different approach to the industry itself. Something that we’ve noticed is that  the Central Eastern European region was more research oriented, which is tied into the heritage of how the space industry has evolved in those countries. Their transition into the industrialised space was a bit more difficult, which is understandable. So it depends what you want to invest in, but there’s lots of great companies out there. 

What future opportunities do you see for the space sector across Europe?

It depends on how risk averse someone is. I would say that a key opportunity lies in the Earth Observation market, which is seeing a lot of growth. There is still a lot of growth that can be seen in some upstream markets such as debris, and the inordinate servicing market is something that we’re very closely monitoring too. They do pose a lot of risks, but we see a lot of initiatives and enabling technologies that make that segment very interesting to look at. I’m not sure if investing in these technologies is something that we would do as an early stage investor, but it’s definitely something that I see a lot of growth opportunities in.

To learn more about Árisz’s work and other aspects of the European Space Market, tune into the full episode of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Commercialising the European Launcher Market

The European launch market has seen a recent boom, thanks to increasingly accessible resources. To unpack this phenomenon, we spoke to Jörn Spurmann on Episode 11 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast. Jörn is the CCO and co-founder of Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA), a NewSpace launcher business that provides flexible and low-cost access to space through their launch system RFA ONE. He shared his perspectives as one of the leading experts in the European launch market. 

What are your thoughts on the commercialization of the European launcher market?

I think we could do far more things in space if we spent budgets more efficiently. If we look at the US Navy a couple of years ago, when they couldn’t fly anything into space anymore, they realised they couldn’t continue developing these things themselves, so they started commercial competitions to buy services. That’s something we should do in Europe. If the European Space Agency defined what they needed in terms of service, they could invite tenders and see what happens. If no one replies, they can do it themselves, but what if we could make collaboration happen? 

We’re at a great point in the space transportation industry in Europe. There are a number of companies that are well financed and could produce commercial alternatives to the current industry monopolies. These companies have the competence to launch systems and infrastructures, even if it’s only on a small scale. That is what the government institutions will leverage to destroy the monopolies that we currently have on the launch market in Europe. This will create commercial competition around launch system developments. 

There’s a lot of speculation about how investments in Europe are going to change. Government bodies might be able to get away with spending less money and getting the rest privately funded.. That gives them a larger budget to spend on useful things, right? They should invest in whichever service will deliver connectivity or observation to the public, and use those models to understand climate change and how to influence it for the better. These are the things they should be working on, along with scientific exploration of the solar system or human spaceflight. Having commercial competition in the launch market will significantly advance those efforts. 

Why do you think it has taken the commercial world so long to think that the launcher market is one that they should be active in?

It comes from those monopolies. Every continent has their own institutional agencies or monopolies that are fed money by the system, so there’s typically very little incentive to compete at a cheaper rate. When there’s no competition, companies can make it as expensive as possible to maximise their own revenues. That’s the wrong motivation. Satellites becoming smaller inspired small launch systems, which are easier to develop. That’s why the private finance industry actually put money into our sector, because it’s a shrinking product and a growing market that’s easy to disrupt. 

Why do you think we’ve got a huge number of companies looking to break into the launcher market at the same time?

Launches have become simpler. The biggest difference lies in going from a plan on PowerPoint to building hardware and having successful traction on test milestones. Players in the industry are being differentiated by their ability to design a launch system, get it to the testing stage, and get stuff up in the air. A lot of university students are exploring rocketry, specifically with paraffin, which is inherently safe. That’s great because students can do practical lessons, and we benefit a lot from the ideas they have. 3D printing also makes manufacturing much simpler. This combination of technologies and education systems makes it possible to do small launch systems with only a few people, which is changing how the industry is perceived. 

What do you think is the most important development to make sure that we have a successful launcher market here in Europe? 

It’s not so much a technical development but more of a change in governance that we need. We also need to keep up with our own competition. In Germany, there is a competitor 100 kilometres away from us. I’m totally convinced that it motivates us to outperform them everyday, because we can feel how close we are. Competition is the secret ingredient to having great products and a great business. We need to create all classes of launch systems in Europe if we want to catch up with the US, because they are more advanced in the vehicle agenda. If we want to get in on this boom in the space industry, we have to focus on competing with each other in Europe as well.

To hear more about the state of the launch market in Europe, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Communicating The Satellite & NewSpace Industry to Outsiders

On Episode 7 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to marketing and communications expert Dave Hebert. With an impressive career across the communications industry, Dave moved into the space sector in 2016 and is now the Vice President for Global Marketing and Communications at Astroscale. Having worked with companies such as MITRE and The Aerospace Corporation, Dave’s insights on communicating the space industry to the world are at the forefront of the conversation. 

How do people currently see the Space industry?

There is a contradiction in the public perception of space. On one hand it’s an unending source of inspiration, creativity and wonder, and it’s a permanent fixture in the pop culture zeitgeist. Franchises like Star Wars and Marvel that are in many ways space-based generate interest around the world and billions of dollars in revenue. That actually speaks to the problem that the industry faces, which is that space remains in that fantasy realm for so many people. 

On the other hand, space is seen as an ivory tower that is meant for a select few, not for everyone. It’s become inaccessible and expensive – a playground for billionaires. The public opinion surveys about civil space programmes often reveal that people are very excited about civil space and exploration, but when they see the price tag, they baulk at it. When you look at wider civil spending, that number is actually relatively small, but that’s the tension of the economy. High profile celebrities and heads of state are vilified for spending money, effort and attention up in space when we have so many issues down on Earth. The world just doesn’t get it. We need to continue having that conversation and help the world understand how space can serve as a vehicle for improving quality of life on Earth.

What do you think is one of the most important challenges that the industry needs to overcome to guarantee its future relevance in the minds of the people outside of it?

The industry is facing consolidation. There’s been so much growth in the space sector, but it’s not realistic to expect that growth to be evenly distributed across the industry. Value creation, data products and services that connect with other sectors will help us build relationships. That’s an important direction for the space industry to take. What are other sectors’ aspirations? What are their pain points? What can space do to help with those things? Terrestrial industries are fundamental to quality of life, so let’s ask ourselves ‘What is it they’re trying to do? Is there any way that we can make it easier for them to do that or overcome the obstacles they face in doing it?’ We’ve defined the end user in the space sector as the companies who buy our data, but there are people two or three steps down that ladder who have no idea what space could do for them, even though they rely on it. We need to start focusing on those people instead.

How do you think we can address the disparity between people’s perception of our industry and the reality of what we do?

It’s all about bringing people into the sector. The first question that space businesses and organisations need to ask themselves when they’re recruiting is, ‘Does this position have to be filled by somebody who’s already in the space sector?’ There are some roles where the answer is a very quick, immediate, yes, but the question should always be asked in a very earnest way. If you can’t answer yes, you have to say, ‘Okay, well where do we never show up?’ Identify those communities and say, ‘Hey, we need people like you, are you aware that a job in the space sector might be an opportunity for you?’ We should be inviting people in. 

We also need to be equipping our recruiters to diversify their networks. Consider questions like ‘How are you reaching out? Are you engaging with universities that represent an excellence in skill sets that are not related to the usual circles you run in? Are you approaching diverse candidates that you don’t normally pursue? Are you engaging professional societies that are not in the space sector?’ The burden is on us to go outside of our comfort zone and find underrepresented communities and say, ‘We need people like you’.

To find out more about creating diversity in the  sector, tune into The Satellite and NewSpace Matters Podcast here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Future of GEO in the Space Industry

As investment patterns have shifted through the Satellite & NewSpace industry, some people have called GEO satellite’s relevance into question. On Episode 10 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Gregg Daffner, the CEO of GapSat, about the role of GEO satellites and how that can continue. Gregg is a well-known face in the industry who previously co-founded Asia Broadcast Satellite, before creating an innovative startup in a satellite industry that leases in-orbit satellites to satellite operators. Usually, this is until they can build their own custom satellite, but also provide additional capacity when internal crises occur. Here’s what Gregg told us about the future of GEO:

Non-geostationary satellites are the hot item of the moment. There’s no question that it’s on everyone’s minds. It’s sexy. It’s responsible for generating an enormous amount of interest in our industry. Elon Musk has almost single handedly rekindled excitement for people who are considering a career in space, communications, satellites and so forth. It’s one of the best things that’s happened in well over a decade. Bringing new blood and new interest into the industry is becoming a household discussion topic, and it’s really refreshing; it portends a bright future. I think that a lot of that is hype, though. Hype has a positive effect, but it’s also misled a lot of people as to what the future is going to look like. If you’re realistic, the truth is that for a substantial number of services, geostationary provision and infrastructure is still a much more cost effective way of delivering bits. 

LEO is specifically good for low latency uses and for covering areas that are out of  geostationary satellites’ reach. The furthest northern and southern latitudes, especially the poles, only have patchy service from GEO, but that’s not an issue for LEO and MEO satellites. If you’re a high speed trader on the stock market, there’s no question that you want to be doing something that’s the shortest fibre length and or the shortest stop to a satellite. LEO and MEO can provide that, but for a significant percentage of all the communication that is carried by satellite, that is not the principal driver. LEO is important geographically, and for certain kinds of services, and maybe for supercomputers that can’t have those delays, but for most things it’s a non-issue. 

When it comes to cost efficiency, most users don’t need low latency, but they do need low costs. There are two factors in costing, which is antennas and infrastructure. Antennas are much more expensive, because they have to track speed and movement if you’re doing physical tracking, mechanical steering, etc, and that’s expensive. That’s where having GEO satellites is better. You only need three satellites and three orbital locations to cover the entire world (with the exception of the poles), with overlapping coverage. If you have three of them placed equidistantly around the globe, you can cover the entire Earth, with most locations capable of seeing two satellites. That gives you diversity routing, and removes issues of looking angles, and a blockage of buildings, mountains, trees, etc. To do the same thing with LEO, you need hundreds, maybe even thousands, of satellites, because they’re so close to the Earth. 

The bottom line is that the infrastructure costs of building, launching, controlling and replacing all of those satellites is really high. That’s before you’ve even factored in the costs of potential pollution in space and the potential for unintended consequences like collisions.  From what I can tell, between the additional costs for building, launching and operating a non-GEO system versus a GEO one, the costs are a magnitude greater for less capacity. If you’re looking at broadband, you’re going to be able to get a whole lot more stuff through a geostationary satellite than you can on smaller, lower-orbit satellites. The production of ground equipment like mobile phones and tracking antennas will probably never be as inexpensive as a GEO, because the LEO or MEO antenna would be able to communicate with a GEO satellite as well. 

Satellite has the potential to provide communications where there is no terrestrial alternative. The three areas where that takes place are aeronautical, maritime and remote or rural areas. Anywhere there’s no cables is an area for satellites to step in. In the old days, communication satellites were used primarily for voice communication, and they were placed in the middle of oceans to connect the continents. As cables have been run, people have stopped focussing there for satellites. What was once the ideal location for them has shifted over to land masses, and less over water masses, because that’s where people are communicating and where broadcasters are distributing their signals. 

When you’re talking about aeronautical and maritime, you’re not talking about where people are living and acting, but where they’re travelling. Suddenly, something which was a quaint idea has become a hot idea for the current day. In every part of our lives, the amount of broadband capacity we need access to is increasing, and the same is true for airlines and ships. When you position satellites mid-ocean, roughly 120 degrees apart, those three satellites have ideal coverage for both of those services, while also being able to reach the landmasses on the edges of those waters. Looking to the future, GEO isn’t going anywhere. 

To hear more about Gregg’s work at GapSat and his take on the wider Satellite & NewSpace industry, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Importance of Sustainability in Space

Sustainability is important in industries across the world, and above it. On Episode 9 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to Luc Piguet, CEO and co-founder of ClearSpace. The company was created to respond to concerns about an increasingly congested space environment. ClearSpace revolutionise how space missions are conducted, and provide institutions and commercial operators with support-free services in orbit, and capture and deorbit obsolete objects threatening space operations. He spoke to us about the importance of their missions and how the industry can move forwards in tackling sustainability. 

Why do you think it’s so important for companies to promote a sustainable space economy?

We have four kids, and my wife realised some time ago that they were seeing problems everywhere. Some of them are teenagers, and they’re asking ‘Why should I study every day when the Earth’s a mess?’ There’s pollution, global warming, plastics in the oceans, wars, pandemics… and it’s only getting worse. We realised that if one generation can make a difference and solve those problems, it’s ours. We were just getting the wrong messages to our kids. We decided that from now on the message is going to be ‘the future’s bright’. We have all the tools to solve those problems, or if we don’t have all of them, we’ll get them. That’s the mindset that we put behind what we do here, and that’s what motivates us.

We’re tackling that depressing narrative by improving sustainability in space. You can model the amount of debris up there in terms of sources of debris and sinks of debris. Sources are all the platforms we send up, so all the rocket bodies and satellites that are sources of fragments, from which smaller debris will naturally multiply in the sinks. You have to consider atmospheric drag when you’re designing and testing the things you’re launching, and depending on the altitude you’ve got to add more or less depending on the level of orbit. It’s obvious that we need to create artificial sinks and stabilise the environment, because when we add more stuff into an environment it’s getting rapidly congested, that is the definition of instability. 

That’s what drove us to get the company started. It’s been years of work looking at what should be done, and figuring out how it can be done. What is the most pragmatic way forward? We don’t care what the solution is, we don’t care if it’s deorbiting. The goal is finding the right solution for it, and working on that. Once we’d built the company and seen traction building, the question for us was how to keep it going. What does it mean to make this environment sustainable? It’s not just removing debris, it’s more than that. It’s any type of service where you reduce, recycle, reuse. A lot of services create a more sustainable environment, but also produce tangible, immediate value for the operators. That’s the sweet spot we want to get started from. 

In a lot of sectors you can do things more cheaply by polluting more. It’s obvious that nobody wants to live in a dump, so one of the reasons that sustainability has become such a big topic is because the next generation doesn’t want to live with what we leave behind. They want to live in a world that is sustainable. That is something that’s understood by investors, banks and all the other actors around the industry. The downside of not promoting sustainability is much bigger than the cost of actually solving it. You can make a calculation between the cost of prevention and cost of recovery. If you prevent it, you pay $1, and if you recover it, the cost is $17. That’s a real incentive for doing it. The problem is, you have to do the prevention before the catastrophe happens, so it looks like you’re going to spend $1 now for something that isn’t happening. In the space industry though, catastrophe is predictable. You can statistically calculate what’s going to happen. It’s really important to give this level of clarity to where we’re going to be in a few years from now if we don’t take sustainability seriously. It’s just logical. 

How are you improving sustainability in your current projects?

We’re working on a life extension mission. In ClearSpace One, the objective was to do in-orbit servicing and space debris removal. It’s in the interest of any operator in the geostationary ring, to have servicing in orbit. There’s obviously short term needs that have a limited timeframe, but once the capability is built, there’s so many other things that can be done. The capacity of intervention is a normal thing to have in any industry. We’re building the future with the next phase of the space industry. We were convinced from the start that the only way to create a good product is to do it with your customers. We knew that something needed to be done about space debris, but we didn’t want it to be anything that the operators wouldn’t want to buy. Very early on, we started talking with all the operators we could as soon as possible, and maintained a great relationship with them. That gave us a perspective on what their challenges and concerns are. Where are the opportunities for our service to improve their lives? You have to do something that makes sense and naturally fits into the industry.

To find out more about sustainability in the space industry, tune into Episode 9 of The Satellite & NewSpace Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Achieving the Future of Satellite Communications

On Episode 8 of the Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Ronald van der Breggen, the CCO at Rivada Space Networks. Ronald is a well known face in the satellite industry, and has been involved in a number of exciting projects and businesses over his career. He is also a key commentator on the state of the industry, and regularly shares his fascinating insights with his audiences. 

Ronald told us about the challenges facing the future of satellite communications and how we can work together as an industry to overcome them. 

What do you see as the most important challenge for the future of the industry?

We need to keep talent coming in, and we need to focus on getting investment. Starlink is another thing that scares me. The service was perfect for the first users, but now that things are starting to fill up people are seeing things being dropped, performance is going down and they’re nowhere near the number of subscribers they need to reach the targets that they were projecting a couple of years ago. That stuff scares me, because we need them to be successful. We need them to thrive so that people don’t start to shy away from it or think ‘this whole space thing was a bust’. If they do that, everybody in this industry is going to have a really hard time. 

Space is a fantastic industry with an enormous potential. Many of the problems that we see in the world today rely on large networks that reach every location on Earth, and can be solved using satellite infrastructure. We need to figure out how to translate that into our business cases, and establish what is already achievable. Our leaders have to keep the company floating, attract the right talent and get them enough money to keep satellite production going. We need to succeed together, because if we don’t, we risk everyone failing. 

Where do we need to make improvements in order to achieve that future?

Collectively as an industry, we need to find a better way to position ourselves in the larger data communication market. When we talk about satellite pricing, there still is this notion that we’ve got a lot of capacity and the demand is smaller. That means that there’s pressure for the price to go down. That’s a problem, because we need to keep investments up if we’re going to advance. 

Companies need to find a balance between using expensive, high-speed and secure connections to do the best for their business while keeping their costs down. It’s up to us to offer those solutions. How about sending part of your data over a constellation in space, that allows you to go from your research centre to headquarters without having to worry about anybody tampering with the data, simply because they don’t have access to it? People will want it because it saves a lot of money. 

You don’t need to use satellite tech for everything. Physical infrastructures are perfectly capable of hosting mundane tasks like downloading something from the internet, but if somebody wants to send the latest research findings to headquarters, then you should send it through a secure satellite infrastructure. People are more than happy to pay a premium for that security. 

It’s all about finding a niche where you can make a difference. People have said that I’m limiting myself to the business segment, but there’s more money there when you address people’s needs and problems, because that’s what they’re willing to pay for. It might be a niche in terms of the applications, but it’s a huge market in terms of the number of companies that are interested in it. 

What we need to do as an industry is pay more attention to the larger ecosystem. There are serious problems out there that people need real solutions for, and for some of them satellite systems are much better equipped to handle them than terrestrial systems. It’s rampant. The applications are there for gaming, high frequency trading, etc, we just need to find a way to meet those needs and communicate why we’re the best ones to do it. That would help our industry keep growing collectively.

To hear more about how the satellite industry is developing, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

How New Companies Can Compete With Legacy Businesses

On Episode 6 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Emile de Rijk, the CEO and co-founder of SWISSto12. Emile has successfully made the transition from academia to startup co-founder by taking his PhD in physics and applying it to the real world. They use patented 3D printing technology to create a range of RF products and systems, including a new HummingSat range. In this bite-sized blog we dive into Emile’s experiences of disrupting the Satellite & NewSpace industry as a small business, and tap into his expertise as a leader in our sector. Read on to hear his insights.

Your growing business is in an exciting phase of development. How do you keep growing?

We started small with an initial product in technology focus, but we’ve always been able to adapt to the market and the voice of the customer. There are always ideas and challenges to inspire us. In that respect we’ve moved from building single waveguides to full satellites. That gives away the DNA of the company, which is to always be ambitious, look at the next big problem that we can solve and then go do it pragmatically without debating it for ages. That creates an exciting working environment that enables us to take initiative and go one step further in solving complex problems and developing exciting products.

There are a number of small businesses trying to compete within the satellite industry, which is saturated with legacy businesses who have been around for a long time and have been successful. There is an ecosystem of smaller businesses like yourself trying to break into that space. Why do you think the satellite industry is like that?

The satellite industry has a huge entry barrier. If you sell a satellite, it’s not like you can send someone up there to repair it. The consequences of failure are huge and extremely expensive. You have to develop products that are proven and reliable, and that someone can trust with an investment. That’s the major entry barrier. To overcome that you just need to accumulate a lot of knowledge, partner up with the right companies and suppliers and build a product that will fulfil the mission. The nature of that technical difficulty is such that it makes it very difficult for newcomers to actually come in. 

It’s possible if you’re patient and thorough and you work hard, which is what we’ve done so far. It’s a very exciting business to get into, because coming up with great products that are engineered correctly and fulfil the needs of the customer is highly rewarded by the industry. 

The other way to get into this market is to not compete with the incumbents. Why? Because the incumbents are there for a reason. They have launch experience and they’ve optimised their products for decades. They have a great offering. Our strategy has never been to compete in that market, but rather to find new markets that are not addressed, where we can create a different product that is complementary to what the big incumbent players propose. 

On top of that, our way to get from a radiofrequency product manufacturer to a satellite manufacturer has been to team up with players and suppliers and reuse satellite subsystems that are not worth reinventing. We are really innovating around payload and RF technology, which is our focus. Our innovation is in developing a smaller spacecraft that fulfils different types of missions. We work with heritage and legacy suppliers and partners to procure all the subsystems that benefit from heritage and just need to be integrated differently into a smaller spacecraft to make it a success. It’s a very collaborative strategy within the Satellite ecosystem to build this new success around smaller geo satellite missions.

All in all, the trick to successfully entering the industry is to use it to your advantage by creating a space for yourself and working alongside those bigger legacy companies instead of against them. 

To hear more about Emile’s fascinating work in the Satellite & NewSpace industry, tune into the full episode of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Space in the Future

We recently sat down with Laurynas Mačiulis on The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast, where we talked about the future of the NewSpace industry. Laurynas is best known for launching Lithuania’s first satellite, which sparked the NewSpace company NanoAvionics. Today, NanoAvionics is one of the largest small satellite mission integrators in the world. But Laurynas Mačiulis didn’t stop there. In 2019 he helped co-found Astrolight, an advanced laser communication system for space, where he remains the CEO. With those credentials it’s easy to see why his thoughts on the future of space are so interesting!

What is the future for space?

There are always people who are pessimistic about investing anything in space, who think they should just make life better on Earth. We don’t need to put in a contradiction, we can do two things together. We can progress in space without sacrificing life on Earth or taking away from progress on Earth. It’s really complimentary. 

The philosophical question of ‘What is our future in space?’, even without the worry that something bad would happen here, is always really interesting. Our destiny as a species is actually to go further and explore. We don’t need to stop on Earth, we need to go further. I think that’s our destiny. Space transportation is probably the technology that will have to pave the way for this ability. Exploring whether life exists on other planets is a fascinating question that needs to be answered. 

When the space shuttle transportation technology reaches a level where it is affordable, space travel, space tourism, asteroid mining, building hotels in space, and maybe some remote colonies in other space stations and other planets is going to happen. When that happens, the other stepping stone will also be how to communicate, because we would need to be in touch. Information is something that connects us. Laser communication will play an important role there to actually enable that. 

Do you think people living in space is something that’ll happen in our lifetime?

I definitely think that we would have more of a presence in space. It’s my dream to see people landing on Mars. That would be a very important milestone in our evolution as a species. Even such simple things like giving ordinary people the chance to see from space would be a fantastic achievement, because I would compare it with the moments in our history where part of our civilization went to the other lands. There were some bad things that happened with that, but there were also a lot of good things where new ideas emerged. We could also see some very interesting developments from societies living in space and maybe coming up with better ways to organise society. The fragile connection that we have between space and earth is the transformational feeling that astronauts are always talking when they see Earth. Imagine if everybody could feel that, I think that could change our whole attitude to life. Fundamentally, I’m quite optimistic about space travel. It’s not just for a million years’ time, it’s definitely the goal for my lifetime.

To hear more about the work that Laurynas is doing to advance the NewSpace industry, tune into the full episode of The Satellite & NewSpace Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

What are the issues facing “connecting the unconnected” in the African continent?

On Episode 1 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were thrilled to welcome Scott Mumford, CEO of Liquid Telecom Satellite Services, and now CCO of Liquid Dataport. Scott has a very impressive 25 years of experience in the industry, starting as an Engineer through to C-Suite.  

We unpacked so many interesting topics in this episode, our favourite highlight is below! 

What do you think is the key to helping those without connectivity get connected? 

There are a number of factors, so I wish there was just one answer, because then it would be easy to deliver. The technology gap is, is one that we need to solve, for sure.  

If you look across the African continent, generally, there are hundreds of millions of people without access to the internet. Internet penetration rates across the continent are around sort of 34%, which is the lowest globally. Some of that comes from the sheer size of the continent.  

I think a lot of a lot of people see Africa on a map and go, “yeah, it’s relatively big”, but, the maps are quite deceptive – it’s vast. I’m sure we’ve all seen those maps, where you can see the US and India and China and Europe and everything all sort of fitting within the African continent from a landmass perspective.  

The second element of that is really where technology is gone. If you look at you, me, and everybody else, everything really has moved towards applications and handset-based usage. Banking, shopping, travel, you name it, are all pretty much done from a handheld device these days.  

And, that really hasn’t spread into the African continent, partly from a cost perspective. It’s a bit of a vicious circle, there’s no network because there are no handsets, and there are no handsets because there’s no network.  

So, where do you go first? But I also think, you know, a lot of those, a lot of countries around Africa are still very cash-based economies as well,  because of the lack of connectivity and devices, the move to a digital banking and finance sort of architecture hasn’t taken hold as yet, either.  Dealing with a number of currencies in physical cash is another complication, that that has to be overcome.  

It’s a multifaceted problem that isn’t just on the communications industry, or the satellite industry. It’s the banking sector, the manufacturers, it’s a big, big melting pot that everybody needs to put into.  

There’s a lot of progress going on there and satellite to sort of bringing it back, that’s playing a massive role in the sense that we’re seeing huge deployments of visa terminals and satellite terminals and satellite connectivity across the continent.  

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The State of Space Sector – Satellite production may not be up to speed with industry growth & launch predictions

On Episode 4 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we spoke to István Lőrincz, the president and co-founder of Morpheus Space. Morpheus Space are innovators of the world’s most efficient and scalable satellite propulsion systems and a key driving force of next generation space tech across several areas within the industry. We spoke to István about his experiences in the industry, from how he got into it to what he thinks its future will look like.

What is your take on the current state of the space sector?

I represent a controversial perspective on the industry, because I think that the industry is definitely on the right track. Certain aspects of the growth of the industry haven’t been great, and that will cause inevitable delays for the entire industry when it comes to reaching our projection. Right now, that projection is solely based on the capacity of the launchers, and nobody actually took a detailed look at what the capacity of the industry is to build satellites. If you look critically into it, the industry isn’t able to build as many satellites as we’ve projected. It’s just because of the nature of the industry. It’s emerging, which means that it’s highly segmented and there are a lot of small companies just like us, however, what’s missing in all of those other companies is the buy-in to the growth of the industry. You have to lean into it, you cannot be reactive in this environment, you have to take the responsibility and be proactive and lean into those projections. If you see that, in three years, there’s gonna be 10 times as many satellite launches, you have to work with those numbers for whatever you produce. You need to make sure that your trajectory brings you to the place where you can make 10 times more components, for whatever you’re building. That’s what’s lacking; everybody’s too cautious. We need to talk about this, someone needs to do analysis and uncover hidden capacities, primarily in the western world, because that’s represented in a consolidated market.

What are your expectations for the next five to ten years in the industry? 

We have an internal project where we are conducting market analysis to assess what the capability of producing satellite components of the industry is, and what it will be in the next two to three years. If we see a discrepancy there, we will look at solutions of how, for example, the government could incentivize companies to focus more on adapting mass production capabilities and scalable ways to conduct their business. In most small companies there are no processes or tools in place that would allow the handling of 100 clients or 1000 clients, that’s such an enormous number that most small companies would not be able to handle.

I have a feeling that that is being revived. There’s excitement around space exploration that was at its peak during the Apollo programme, and since then it’s slowly diminished. Now we are seeing this new wave of interest, this new wave of random, unconnected industries utilising this excitement and trying to attach their brands to something that’s spacey or something like that. Young people are excited about space again, even if they don’t understand the technical intricacies. It has become something to look forward to, it has become a beacon of hope. That’s growing, and it’s giving me goosebumps. That is something that I strongly believe we need to push in order to inspire the next generation, because that’s where the majority of the revolutionary changes will come from. Young people are the future of the industry. 

What gave us the success that we are seeing today?

It’s the unique technology. At the end of the day, we want to steer the customers away from that question, because the satellite operator does not care what technology is in the satellite, but rather what that technology enables the operator to do. Through our new hardware as a service model, the question has changed. The question that should be asked is ‘What is the price that you can provide to your customers for a unit of change in orbit for their momentum or velocity?’ That’s the question that we are trying to lead the industry towards. 

What distinguishes us from the bulk of the propulsion systems is our use of metal as propellant. That metal is stored in a solid state in the heart of the thruster, so it’s already integrated. Everything is tightly integrated and compact. With traditional propulsion systems, you had to procure the thruster, the propellant tank, all the piping and all the valves and sensors and flow sensors, and so on and so forth. Usually that ordeal was so complex that you had to design the satellite around the propulsion system. Our system is not like that.  You basically purchase it from us and you get a neatly packaged array that you just screw into your satellite, plug in one connector and you’re done! That’s the biggest upside of having a plug and play and complex system. Integration of components into a satellite is an ordeal and you want to make that as easy as possible there. There are companies out there where the core of their business is making integration. Let’s look at Antares; one of their primary objectives is to have a number of components in their offerings that are already optimised for integration, like easily integrating double components. 

Furthermore, the underlying physics that enables us to generate thrust is a new process. That process is highly efficient. The ionisation efficiency is a big component in every electric propulsion system. To date, this approach has the highest ionisation efficiency. If you have low efficiency, you lose a lot of energy just to create a fluid medium that you can use to generate thrust, so you want to have that as much efficiency as possible. 

There are other secondary technological innovations like our neutralizer. The propulsion system itself emits positive ions, and in order to maintain the charge balance of the spacecraft, you also have to emit the same amount of negative charges or electrons, which happens through a neutralizer. In most cases, you either have to use propellant to do that, or you have to heat up things at high temperatures, which leads to inefficiencies because it does not generate thrust. When you emit electrons or negative charges, usually those are not used to generate thrust, so they are lost. What we do is eliminate the propellant, we just use electrostatics and things called carbon nanotubes to extract and emit electrons, which improves our efficiency further. All those technologies together have put us in the position we’re in now to be making further advancements in our field. 

If you’d like to know more about the future of the satellite industry, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Podcast from neuco, with new episodes monthly. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Why will Electronically Steered Antennas Unlock a Huge Amount of Potential?

On Episode 3 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Andy Lucas, the CEO of LEUK Teleport & Data Centre, previously known as Signalhorn. He’s an avid cyclist who hopes to discover the next big use case for satellite communications and apparently get himself a robot lawnmower as well. Andy has had an impressive career in the satellite and space industry, which has led him to some really exciting things at LEUK Teleport & Data Centre. They currently provide services to GEO platforms with LEO and MEO solutions about to be launched very soon. 

We talked about the new tech in the Satellite and NewSpace industry, touching on everything from lawnmowers to the cloud. Below are some of Andrew’s most interesting insights on electronically steered antennas and their wider applications. 

What opportunities do you think exist for a business like yours within the NewSpace market, and how do you think the solutions and offerings that you’re able to provide will be influenced by NewSpace rather than traditional communications?

The pace of change in technology is remarkable, right? It’s game changing for the satellite communications industry in particular. One thing I would stress is that I firmly believe the future is a hybrid model. It won’t be Leo or Meo or Geo, or 5g or fibre, the solutions will be an aggregation of all these different technical solutions, such that customers are delivered solutions that genuinely offer the best of everything, and as a result are very biassed towards QE but don’t forget about reliability. There are issues of reliability, particularly as locations move around the world, so there’s a mix of options that change depending on area. 

Hybrid models are definitely the way forward. Now, we mustn’t forget that Leo has been around for quite a few years in the satellite industry, as has Meo, and Leo has been very successful with Iridium, for example. The difference now is actually just the capability that’s available from Leo constellations, and Meo constellations – it’s just unrecognisable from 5 or 10 years ago. Customers are much more cloud oriented. They have got a completely different mindset in terms of quality experience and how applications behave in all settings. This recent push behind homeworking, for example, has really driven home the fact that we are basically all working from a little bubbles, relying on a conductivity to actually make something like this possible. Behind that is obviously lots of fibre and variables, with a very high speed and low latency. Classic Geo really just wouldn’t have been successful, we would have all been desperately trying to find a coffee shop to huddle up in. Leo and Meo brings that low latency, high output experience to anybody everywhere around the whole planet, which is a revolution really in terms of opportunity and capability to individuals and businesses alike. 

So how do I see this being something that LEUK TDC can capitalise on? Number one, our customers are demanding it. We have numerous critical use cases that we provide for our customers. Low latency would definitely enhance our customers ability to leverage the solution that we provide, but as I say, the hybrid model is going to be the thing that blends that enhanced user experience with the reliability and simplicity of the solutions we provide today going forward. We don’t want to provide solutions to customers that give them latency at the expense of the quality of service and convenience that they enjoy today. So what does it bring to our customers? I think it brings greater reach, higher performance, far superior QE and application behaviour and it unlocks solutions such as the technology we’re using at the moment for this podcast. That’s a big improvement, particularly in locations that are classic telco coverage areas.

What developments in the industry are you most looking forward to seeing in the future?

It’s actually the whole electronic sustainable internal world. I think it has unlocked so much potential because it fixes the ease of use problem. As an industry, we need skilled engineers with a lot of experience to actually successfully deploy solutions, especially in cyber mobility contexts, where the technical solution is a bit more sophisticated. Even a simple cell tower in Africa requires an engineer to install the hardware and commission it successfully in a way that remains reliable though. Even though it’s a simple fixed antenna screwed to a tower, it still needs a bit of work to make that work correctly. 

What the ESA world brings is the potential for plug and play. It requires reduced skill sets to install equipment. As a result it greatly reduces the barrier to entry for satellite communications products, because then it’s not really a satellite communications terminal with all the complex connotations that that implies – it’s just an appliance that happens to connect wirelessly to something and then magically presents a high performance connection that has all these low latency, high throughput or high reliability solutions to the end users on the site. To me, that’s the key thing that the industry requires to unlock the potential of the existing Geo or high-performance solutions. There isn’t the number of engineers in the world to allow us to keep on doing it the old way.

I think the potential applications of steerable antenna systems are huge. How far in your future do you see them being found in everyday life?

They’re already available! One application is lawn mowers. You can spend an hour a week cutting the grass, give or take, maybe more depending on how fussy you’re being. You’ve got to get the lawn mower out of the garage, you’ve got to clean the blades, check if it’s got petrol, if it’s charged… You go around the garden, you sweep up the clippings… I enjoy it, but it’s work, whereas a Rover lawn mower just whizzes around your garden cutting the grass for you. It finds its docking station and it just deals with things by itself. There are some challenges with them though. Bizarrely they’re not necessarily easy to use. In theory, you can just draw up your grass and off they go, but actually, what you’re supposed to do is pick a wire around the perimeter of your lawn and around plants you don’t want destroyed which takes time and effort. You need an external mains socket. You know, they’re waterproof but you don’t want them being rained on. They’re gonna get stolen because they’re quite high value items. So they’re not necessarily the kind of purchase you would just make randomly, but the opportunity for me is I can get two three hours a week back, and I don’t have to buy petrol for my lawnmower anymore. That’s the kind of application that I want to start seeing more of. 

To hear more about Andy Lucas’s work at LEUK Teleport and Data Centre and the advancements in the Satellite and NewSpace industry, tune into the full episode of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast from neuco. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Consolidation of the Satellite & NewSpace Industry

On The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Stuart Gill, a product manager for Leanspace; a service provider that allows space organisations to develop bespoke software systems that are fully integrated, ready to scale and fast. Leanspace’s solution is a first of its kind, enabling space organisations to be more competitive by increasing their agility and lowering their costs. Stewart is one of the new wave of space professionals who are helping to deliver fantastic innovations in the NewSpace industry. Having started his career as a research and development engineer, he very soon became a satellite platform specialist with Thales before moving to Leanspace, where he leads the creation and delivery of new and innovative products. 

We’re talking about NewSpace, and the clue is in the name – it is relatively new – but it’s been massively growing over the last couple of years. A lot of people seem to think that we’re perhaps due some consolidation, or merging of the NewSpace industry with incumbent space and other industries. What do you think the state of the market is looking like right now? 

That’s a good question. I think everyone out there would pay to have a crystal ball which could predict that. I would agree that there’s probably going to be some mergers and some consolidation. There are a lot of actors who have arrived on the market in recent years so it will be interesting to see if there’s space for everyone. Smallsat was a very interesting example. I’ve read already about a lot of mature micro launcher companies who are turning to a verticalized business model and supplying not just the launcher but also the satellite. It will be very interesting to see where the market goes, I think there’s still going to be tremendous growth. I think everyone agrees with the projection that it’s going to be a growing industry for some years to come, but I think in the next couple of years in particular it will be interesting to see how specifically traditional space companies pivot and adapt. I think that they’re already starting to feel some pressure. And I think the NewSpace companies will start to see, especially with the economic conditions we have today, maybe a bit more trouble raising funds. It’s always dynamic in space.

When we look at consolidation in the industry, is there one particular area of the market that you think is potentially oversubscribed, that we’ll see consolidation happening in soon?

I would say the launcher market, if I was being entirely honest. I think that there’s been a lot of investment in the launcher market, but I would like to see more projects which the launch market can depend on coming through the pipeline. Even if all these launcher companies make it, they still need companies to invest in creating constellations, or any kind of satellite project. There seems to be an unequal investment in launchers versus the projects which are coming through in which those companies will rely on as well. For those companies to be commercial, they can’t rely on one or two projects per year, they have to have a sustainable, vibrant ecosystem. I think that they need to have more investment in satellite projects, or any other kind of space project. 

Are there any technologies or innovations currently in development that you think are going to have the most impact on expanding the industry in the near future?

I think the infrastructure and the digitalization space is going to have a huge impact, because it basically drives growth. All the other systems, which we have in the space industry are always siloed, they’re very slow to adapt. The changing ecosystem will be a big driver for growth, whether it’s digital factories, smarter software for operating your missions, cloud technologies… All this will have a big impact on how the industry grows. 

To hear the rest of Stuart Gill’s insights and experience in the NewSpace industry, listen to the full episode of The Satelite and NewSpace Matters Podcast here. 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.