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Rocket Reusability, Earth Observation and Big Data Hot Topics at Space Symposium

By Pat Host | April 4, 2017
      33rd Space Symposium Opening Ceremony. Space Foundation

      33rd Space Symposium opening ceremony. Photo: Space Foundation

      Rocket reusability, Earth observation and big data promise to be hot topics at the 33rd Space Symposium, taking place in Colorado Springs, Colorado this week. Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) President Eric Stallmer told Via Satellite’s sister publication Defense Daily Monday the aspects of Reusability — feasibility, practicality and how it will happen — will be the big talking point at the conference this year. Stallmer said the success of SpaceX successfully launching a used first stage booster last week and Blue Origin’s mammoth used New Shepard rocket on display outside the exhibit hall here demonstrate the prominence of reusability among top industry officials.

      “People are understanding the paradigm is shifting and reusability is going to be a key factor in the reshaping of this industry,” Stallmer said.

      Another space executive expects big data to be a popular topic. Space Angels Network investing group founding partner Dylan Taylor told Defense Daily Monday the key point will specifically be how big data is shaping the future of space, not only in terms of creating new opportunities for business models, but attracting additional capital to the industry. Taylor believes increasing consolidation within the Earth observation industry will be a prominent topic of discussion. Taylor said he also wants to learn more about Blue Origin’s timeline for passenger flights.

      Blue Origin’s used New Shepard rocket being prepared for display outside the National Space Symposium's exhibit hall. Photo: Space Foundation

      Blue Origin’s used New Shepard rocket being prepared for display outside the National Space Symposium’s exhibit hall. Photo: Space Foundation

      Planet Vice President GA/GPI Rich Leshner told Defense Daily Monday Space Situational Awareness (SSA), space traffic management, and rules and responsibilities have been getting a lot of attention. Leshner said he wants to learn more about interesting capabilities emerging from the commercial sector such as the New Shepard rocket and how it might provide new ways of doing business with the government.

      Planet says it operates the largest constellation of Earth-imaging satellites providing timely and global imagery. Leshner said he wants to learn more about who is working on new ideas to continue to expand the depth of human understanding of the Earth and where the tools for exploitation come in. He also wants to find out about who is on the leading edge of creating applications and capabilities for turning earth into a queue-able planet.

      The National Space Symposium runs through Thursday, April 6.

      The original version of this story was published on Defense Daily, a Via Satellite sister publication covering the global defense market intelligence in land, sea, air, and space initiatives.