On Orbit Podcast

April 26, 2019

Produced by Via Satellite magazine and hosted by Via Satellite Senior Managing Editor Rachel Jewett, On Orbit is a technology-focused podcast that provides in-depth information and discussion about the socioeconomic value of space and satellite capabilities.

On Orbit is a problem-solving podcast, with a mission to educate listeners on the real human value of space and satellite technology and works to answer, What’s our future in space?

Subscribe to On Orbit wherever you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

On Orbit is supported by sponsorships and advertisers. If you would like to take part, please contact Joe Milroy at [email protected] +1 (215) 489-0585.

Episode 121 | May 6, 2024

Building Deep Space Satellite Connectivity Networks

Connectivity is the cornerstone of today’s global economy and it will certainly be the case for the Future Space Economy, with even more complex, data-centric applications. We spent decades building the global satellite connectivity infrastructure around Earth, is it possible to replicate Earth’s satellite connectivity infrastructure on the Moon, or on other planets? This episode of the On Orbit Future Space Economy series explores what deep space satellite networks will look like, and how they will be built to perform in extraordinary environments. We’ll also discuss the history of deep-space exploration and research satellites and what we’ve learned from those missions.

Episode 120 | April 22, 2024

How TrustPoint Aims at the Commercial Future of GPS, with CEO Patrick Shannon

In this week’s On Orbit episode, we’re joined by Patrick Shannon, CEO of TrustPoint. Shannon won the 2024 Startup Space pitch contest at SATELLITE in March, competing against nine other startups. TrustPoint is building a commercial GPS system, and working toward its own constellation of around 300 spacecraft in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) to offer GPS services that have more affordable precision, better security, and greater availability. Shannon breaks down some of the the limitations of traditional GPS and why we are now seeing more commercial businesses like TrustPoint looking to provide new solutions to GPS issues.

Episode 119 | April 1, 2024

To LEO, GEO, and Beyond: A Conversation With Tom Mueller

We have a special On Orbit episode from SATELLITE 2024 this week, a fireside chat with Impulse Space CEO Tom Mueller. Mueller is considered one of the world’s leading spacecraft propulsion experts. As one of SpaceX‘s founding members, he led the development of propulsion systems for the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, as well as the Dragon line of spacecraft. His work was crucial in the development of reusable rocket technology. Mueller spoke with Via Satellite editor-in-chief Mark Holmes during SATELLITE about his new company Impulse Space, an in-space transportation company working to deliver payloads to LEO, GEO, the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Episode 118 | March 5, 2024

Nuclear Weapons in Space: Behind the Headlines With Brian Weeden

A few weeks ago, space security issues took center-stage in the news after reports of a nuclear satellite weapon. The White House confirmed that Russia is developing an anti-satellite (ASAT) capability, but said it’s not an active capability, and did not speak to any nuclear capabilities. This raised a lot of questions — What would a nuclear weapon mean in space? Why would Russia pursue this? In this week’s On Orbit episode, we dig into these questions with Dr. Brian Weeden, chief program officer of the Secure World Foundation. He explains the physical and geopolitical consequences of detonating a nuclear weapon in space, implications for the Outer Space Treaty, and how this situation has raised awareness of security issues in space.

Episode 117 | February 16, 2024

Unpacking the Geopolitical Landscape of GNSS With Zephr CEO Sean Gorman

We often take for granted how much of our modern lives are underpinned by GPS technology. This episode of On Orbit digs into GPS and the global landscape of GNSS, which stands for Global Navigation Satellite System with Dr. Sean Gorman, CEO of new startup Zephr. This episode covers how much economic value is supported by GNSS technology, the GNSS geopolitical landscape including China’s investment in the BeiDou constellation, private GNSS systems, and why this technology will be important for future use cases. Sean also talks about how Zephr fits into this landscape, and how working at Snapchat and dealing with GPS accuracy on mobile devices led to the idea for the company.

Episode 116 | February 5, 2024

Exploring Potential in Quantum Tech, Diversity, and Creativity With Sonali Mohapatra

In this episode, On Orbit interviews Sonali Mohapatra, who works in quantum innovation at the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) in the U.K. Sonali breaks down quantum technology and shares some of the future use cases that relate to the space industry. We talk about some of the human implications of the responsibility she feels to contribute to quantum technology development in a way that serves the greater good. Sonali is a very creative person and deeply passionate about diversity and gender issues. We talk about how she brings all of that together in her work and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, and mentoring and diversity initiatives.

Episode 115 | January 22, 2024

Keeping Space Clean and Safe for Everyone: The Global Sustainability Mission

In this episode, we’ll learn about the true scope of the threat posed by space debris, congestion and the lack of situational awareness and about the technologies and solutions being deployed to keep space clean. We’ll also explore the value of space sustainability economy itself, and how government and private investment in green space tech will pay off in the future. This episode features Patricia Cooper, president and founder of Constellation Advisory; Audrey Schaffer vice president of Strategy & Policy for Slingshot Aerospace; and Kristin Shahady, business development manager for Astroscale U.S.

Episode 114 | January 8, 2024

Inside the World of Space Communications With Sarah Nickell

As a PR professional with her own firm, Sarah Nickell works to craft the message of her space industry clients. She has worked with Via Satellite for years, and she has had stories placed in national publications like Bloomberg, ABC News, and Vice. In our first episode of 2024, Nickell gives a look behind the scenes at the world of space public relations, covering topics like building a messaging strategy, managing national security concerns in communications, and how running a small business. Also, On Orbit debuts a new logo!

Episode 113 | December 19, 2023

2023 Year in Review With Via Satellite Editors

2023 was a year of massive news in the satellite industry. From the Viasat/Inmarsat and Eutelsat/OneWeb mergers, to new leaders at top operators, and major constellation updates from Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, and Telesat Lightspeed, Via Satellite had no shortage of things to cover this year.  In this episode, Rachel Jewett, Mark Holmes and Jeff Hill recap some of the biggest announcements in the satellite sector of 2023, and how they set the stage for 2024.

Episode 112 | December 5, 2023

Explaining the Vital Space-to-Ground Link With SSC’s Erwin Mercado

SSC’s mission is: “We help Earth benefit from Space.” For SSC — Swedish Space Corporation — fulfilling that mission involves its extensive ground network that supports launches with real-time TT&C data and communicating with payloads. This episode of On Orbit features a conversation with Erwin Mercado, president and CEO of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, SSC Space US Inc, about the value of space communications. Formerly known as Universal Space Network, the company was founded by Pete Conrad, commander of the Apollo 12 mission and third person to walk on the Moon. This episode of On Orbit is sponsored by SSC. For more information, visit sscspace.com/

Episode 111 | November 14, 2023

Satellite Policy and a Side of Space Movies With Henry Gola

In this episode of On Orbit, we talk about regulation and space movies with Henry Gola, a partner in Wiley’s Telecom, Media & Technology practice. Wiley is a leading law firm for the satellite industry, and Gola has been part of some of the biggest regulatory developments in the industry, like representing the C-Band Alliance before the FCC. He gives a review of some of the top policy issues at the FCC right now. This policy discussion comes with a side of space movies. Gola is a fellow podcast host, leading the Hosted Payload series on the Wiley Connected podcast. We chat about some of his favorites like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Gravity.”

Episode 110 | October 30, 2023

How Startups are Shaping the Future Space Economy

Today’s space startups are pitching their products as the glue that will hold the future space economy together. In this episode, the leaders and founders of space startups across multiple applications join us to discuss what they feel are the strongest opportunities for their businesses to succeed in an expanding space ecosystem. We also ask them if investors are buying into the space economy for the long haul, and whether or not startups could play a leading role in shaping space policy.

Episode 109 | October 17, 2023

What Does ESG Mean for the Space Industry Here on Earth?

When the space industry talks about sustainability, the conversation usually centers around in-space topics like  space traffic management and space debris. But what about the impact of the space industry here on Earth? Amber Ledgerwood, senior manager of Social and Environmental Impact at SES is trying to bring attention to these issues. In this episode, Amber talks about how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues apply to SES and the satellite industry. These issues range from the climate impact of space companies on Earth, diversity and inclusion, how a company’s products and services impact society, and also responsible behavior in space.  It’s a critical topic that goes beyond the space industry, and also gets at bigger questions of how businesses define what success looks like.

Episode 108 | October 2, 2023

Future Space Economy Series: Cyber Defenses and National Security

Most of us understand the damage caused by cyberattacks on Earth. In space, the consequences of cyberattacks are even more dire. They can sabotage years of economic activity, threaten national security and the lives of astronauts and in-space personnel, and spark uncontrollable military action in an already dangerous environment. In this episode, we’ll learn about how modern approaches to cyber and national security change when dealing with complex in-space infrastructure, and protecting human activity in space. This episode is part of the On Orbit Future Space Economy webcast series.

Episode 107 | September 20, 2023

Future Space Economy Series: The Evolution of the Space Tourism Experience

As it exists today, the space tourism “experience” relies on the thrill of just being in space for a select group of dedicated space enthusiasts. However, for this budding tourism industry to grow, it needs to appeal to a broader mainstream audience and to those who want more than a rocket ride and a view of the Earth. This episode of the On Orbit Future Space Economy webcast series features experts who are working to build a more complete space tourism experience package that includes pre- and post-launch adventures, in-space activities and entertainment.

Episode 106 | August 29, 2023

Why the MyRadar Weather App Launched its Own Satellites

How and why does a popular mobile app become a space company? In this episode, MyRadar CTO Sarvesh Garimella shares why the weather app is investing in its its own satellites. The story turns the traditional Earth observation model on its head, as MyRadar is already an end user of satellite data, and now its purpose-building satellites for its own needs. The episode also covers how a weather app helps its users deal with climate change, how AI models are impacting weather forecasting, and why a digital-first weather company still invests in the power of real, human meteorologists.

Episode 105 | August 1, 2023

Future Space Economy Series: The Value of a Lunar Economy, Explained

Why are the world’s space faring nations racing back to the Moon? What is the value of establishing a new lunar economy? In this episode of On Orbit’s Future Space Economy webcast series, host Jeffrey Hill speaks with Yale University’s Emma Louden, Nanoracks’ Mike Lewis, and former SpaceX leaders David Anderman and Sita Sonty about what’s driving the new space race to the Moon. The group explores the value of lunar materials and resources, research on the “dark side of the Moon,” and the economic opportunities created by just getting there (as well as getting there first).

Episode 104 | July 17, 2023

Is Space Crowded? Managing Traffic in Space With Chiara Manfletti of Neuraspace

Is space crowded? While space is infinite, space crowding is an important issue as the satellite industry launches more and more mass to orbit each year. Chiara Manfletti, COO of space traffic management startup Neuraspace joins On Orbit to answer this and other critical questions about space sustainability. In this episode, she digs into the specifics of the risks to satellite operators, and different approaches to space traffic management, and how governments and even insurers have a role to play in sustainable in orbit operations.

Episode 103 | July 7, 2023

Decoding the Direct-to-Device Market With Tarun Gupta of Skylo Technologies

Tarun Gupta, chief product officer and co-founder of Skylo Technologies joins On Orbit to talk about the growth in the direct-to-device market. In the past, OEMs didn’t believe small devices could connect directly to satellite, and now companies are asking how fast devices can be brought online. In this episode, Tarun talks about trends in this market, the enabling technologies and developments, and use cases like remote power line monitoring for wildfires. We also talk about Skylo’s recent announcement with Qualcomm.

Episode 102 | June 16, 2023

Future Space Economy Series: Laws and Liability in Space

Space is an exciting new frontier for the global economy, but like all frontiers, it exists largely without a legal framework to guide and protect the people and businesses that would participate in this economy. In this episode, policy experts Therese Jones, senior policy director for the Satellite Industry Association (SIA); Chris Kunstadter, Global Head of Space for insurer AXA XL; and Dara Panahy, Milbank partner, tackle tough questions related to space law like — What does it mean to own property in space? How does the insurance industry assess risks in space? How do we prepare for the legal challenges in the future when more people are working and living in space?

Episode 101 | June 5, 2023

Internet of Tractors: Unlocking Agricultural Connectivity with John Deere Engineer Chung Hsieh

John Deere made headlines last year announcing a satellite project, looking for industry partners to connect thousands of agricultural machines beyond cellular networks. In this week’s episode, we talk to Chung Hsieh, senior infrastructure engineer at John Deere. Chung has long worked with the satellite industry on John Deere’s StarFire GPS augmentation network, and he has been working with participants in the RFP as well. Chung gives an engineer’s perspective on data and connectivity in agriculture, and dealing with the reality of physics constraints of satellite antennas, and his perspective on working with the satellite industry.

Episode 100 | May 23, 2023

On Orbit’s 100th Episode, Featuring Startup Space Winner Jacqueline Good

The On Orbit podcast has reached 100 episodes! Thank to our listeners for tuning in over the past three years for engaging conversations with the people driving the business of space. In this episode, co-hosts Jeff Hill and Rachel Jewett commemorate the milestone by looking back on some of their favorite episodes, and share a highlight reel of clips.

This episode’s guest is Jacqueline Good, founder of Magnestar and winner of the 2023 Startup Space competition. We talk with Jacqueline after her Startup Space win and dig into the issue of signal interference and how Magnestar is working to help with spectrum coordination and improve the resilience of space services.

Episode No. 99 | April 25, 2023

An Inside Look at Geospatial Intelligence With Ronda Schrenk

Ronda Schrenk, CEO of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, joins On Orbit this week ahead of USGIF’s annual GEOINT Symposium, to talk about how she has seen the geospatial intelligence industry evolve. She recounts how one of her first assignment as an imagery analyst was manually counting boats around a small island, and how much analyst work was done manually in spreadsheets at the time. She talks about the enabling technologies that have increased the speed of insights and made life easier on analysts, and shares context behind some of the recent headlines in the geospatial intelligence industry.

Episode No. 98 | April 10, 2023

Future Space Economy Series: Computing Power in Space

The fourth episode of On Orbit’s Future Space Economy series features leaders from Mynaric, Ramon.Space, OrbitsEdge, Nebula Space Enterprise, and Avantus Federal for a discussion on how they are building to support advanced applications and automation in the space environment. Learn about how these systems operate in space and are protected from the harsh environment. The group also explains how virtualized networks will work to transfer data from space to Earth, and how data is processed, transmitted, and protected in the future space economy.

Episode No. 97 | March 28, 2023

Boeing’s Michelle Parker on the Evolving Landscape of Satellite Manufacturing

Michelle Parker recently took on a new role as vice president of Space Mission Systems at Boeing. After restructuring Boeing Defense, Space & Security last year, Boeing brought all satellite programs together under Space Mission Systems including commercial and government satellites, Spectrolab and Millennium Space Systems in one organization. Michelle is tasked with integrating these teams and recognizing synergies across the business to present the best offerings to customers. In this wide-ranging discussion, Michelle talks about the demand environment for satellite manufacturing across government and commercial segments in the multi-orbit era.

Episode No. 96 | March 7, 2023

On Orbit’s Future Space Economy Series: Business Models in Space

In this webcast, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Business Operations Casey Swails is joined by speakers from Voyager SpaceSpaceflightLoft Orbital, and BCG for a discussion about how private businesses, industries, civil space agencies, government organizations, and commercial space companies form strategic partnerships and collaborate with each other to accomplish a mission. The episode hits on topics such as: How do customers engage with launch services? How are satellites procured? How can an organization access space without having to build their own satellite or buy their own rocket? The group also takes a look at the International Space Station (ISS) as an example of a space-based economic hub involving a variety of business models and partnerships.

Episode No. 95 | February 14, 2023

Satellite in the Wild: How the Smithsonian and Iridium Track Animals from Space

One of the most exciting things about the satellite industry is exploring how satellite can be used to improve life on Earth. Iridium and the Smithsonian have worked on a particularly interesting example of that with the Smithsonian’s Movement of Life Initiative, that tracks the movement of certain species. The organization recently partnered with Iridium to use the operator’s satellite network. In this episode of On Orbit, Jared Stabach, research ecologist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and Dan Mercer, vice president and general manager for Iridium, talk about how satellite-enabled IoT furthers conservation efforts by tracking these species. 

Episode No. 95 | January 31, 2023

Future Space Economy Series: Infrastructure for a New Frontier

The Future Space Economy is, at its core, a massive infrastructure building project consisting of spaceports, rockets, satellites, and advanced spacecraft. These elements create the physical framework to support advanced space applications. In this episode, we’ll talk to the people who are building and investing in this new infrastructure about their plans for the future, as well as their greatest needs and challenges in completing their mission. We’ll also discuss mission planning, extending infrastructure on Earth and beyond Earth’s orbit, and the critical role that advanced computing and telecommunications will play in the building process.

Episode No. 93 | January 17, 2023

Can I Work in Space? Evona’s Tom Kelly on Expanding the Sector Workforce

The space industry is in a race for talent, to hire bright and innovative people to propel companies forward to meet their bold growth projections. Executives have been open about feeling the crunch for talent, and even the White House is getting involved. Space recruiting firm Evona is part of the solution. Co-founder and co-CEO Tom Kelly joins the podcast to talk to new host, Via Satellite Senior Managing Editor Rachel Jewett, about how specialized space recruiting works, how Evona makes an effort to hire from outside of the industry, and why that is important. Evona encourages everyone to ask the question — Can I work in space?

Episode No. 92 | December 19, 2022

Future Space Economy Series: The Next Giant Leap

This is the very first episode of the On Orbit Podcast’s new “Future Space Economy” educational series – designed to educate audiences about the opportunities, challenges, risks, and rewards of expanding economic activity off-world. The first episode is a discussion about why we should be investing the infrastructure needed to expand the modern economy into space. This includes building new spaceports on Earth, space stations in orbit, and transportation corridors to the moon.

Episode No. 91 | November 28, 2022

How Space Startups Score Seed Investment in a Crowded, Competitive Market

In this episode, investor judges from this year’s Startup Space competition at SATELLITE 2023 explain how their early-stage seed investment strategies have changed and how entrepreneurs can adapt their pitches to stand out in an increasingly competitive startup market. They answer questions like: Do investors remain as hungry for space startups as they were five to 10 years ago? Are investors being more cautious and selective as they navigate through an unusual market environment?

Episode No. 90 | October 10, 2022

Does the iPhone 14’s Satellite Service Signal Stronger Space-Cellular Industry Relationships?

The relationship between satellite operators and cellular wireless carriers has always been complicated. Yet something has changed recently that has put satellites in the spotlight, driving companies like T-Mobile and Apple to sign contracts to utilize satellite services. NSR Research Director Brad Grady explains the history of the relationship and how their interests are aligning more than ever. He outlines how the development of the 3GPP standard, the rising cost of infrastructure, and the desperate need to find new customers drove these long-time “frenemies” to the negotiating table.

Episode No. 89 | September 20, 2022

Adventures in Paris: World Satellite Business Week Wrap-Up

World Satellite Business Week (WSBW) has wrapped up in Paris capping off what has been a very busy summer for the satellite industry. Via Satellite Managing Editor Rachel Jewett attended the week-long event. She joins us on the On Orbit podcast to outline the key takeaways from the Euroconsult conference, explaining how the CEOs from the world’s largest satellite operators responded to some of the biggest news stories of the season, including Eutelsat’s combination with OneWeb, SpaceX’s Starlink partnership with T-Mobile, and Globalstar bringing emergency communication functions to Apple’s iPhone 14.

Episode No. 88 | August 29, 2022

Super-Charged Hyperspectral Satellite Imaging with Dan Katz, Orbital Sidekick

On this episode of the On Orbit podcast, Orbital Sidekick Founder and CEO Dan Katz joins us to talk about the souped-up Global Hyperspectral Observation Satellite (GHOSt) constellation his company is launching to help global industry and government customers achieve their sustainability goals. Hyperspectral imagery systems can capture more than 500 narrow contiguous color bands and reflectance features in the visible and infrared light spectra, which allows data collectors to distinguish between material compositions and determine the molecular makeup of what it is seeing.

Episode No. 87 | August 8, 2022

Spaceflight’s Curt Blake Talks Sherpa OTV News, Future of Multi-Orbit Ridesharing

Spaceflight has shipped its brand new fully integrated Sherpa-LTC orbital transfer vehicle to Cape Canaveral for launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and signed a deal with Arianespace to launch on Vega missions as soon as next year. Spaceflight CEO Curt Blake joined us on the podcast to talk about what these latest versions of Sherpa can do and the challenges of delivering satellites beyond LEO to trans-lunar, low-lunar, and GEO orbits. We also talked about the benefits of green propulsion technology, the company’s relationship with SpaceX, and the impact of launch services adding satellite manufacturing and mission management capabilities on broadening access to space.

Episode No. 86 | July 12, 2022

Cloud to Street Transforms Climate Change-Era Flood Insurance with Satellite Data

Cloud to Street is a company that is utilizing satellite imagery and data and integrating it with data on the ground to more accurately calculate flooding risks so that insurers, industries, and governments can take a proactive approach to insurance. Co-founder and CEO Bessie Schwarz joins us on this episode of On Orbit to explain how parametric insurance data works and how satellite data plays a key role in its collection. We also talk about the psychology involved in one of the most common challenges faced by space data solutions providers — how do you translate space data in a way that snaps clients into action? What does ‘actionable’ data look like?

Episode No. 85 | June 21, 2022

Can Europe’s Newest Spaceports Turn the Continent into a Global Launch Hub?

In order to have meaningful access to space to meet the demand for launch services, the world needs more spaceports and launch centers. In this episode, we are joined by Satellite Applications Catapult COO Lucy Edge, who is working with partners to build the new spaceport in Cornwall, U.K. We are also joined by Andoya Space Orbital Admin Director Ingrid Hanssen, who is part of a team that is renovating and upgrading Norway’s Andoya Island space center so that it can launch more commercial and civil spacecraft. Lucy and Ingrid talk about the benefits of untapped launch sites, and the impact that an expanded spaceport network would have on costs, availability, and time to target orbit.

Episode No. 84 | June 6, 2022

John Deere’s Kiel Ronning Sees Data-Driven Solutions for Food Shortages

John Deere’s Industry 4.0 lead Kiel Ronning joins us to talk about how his company is working to solve the global food shortage crisis through technology and education. We also discuss Ronning’s work in revolutionizing John Deere’s own production facilities. Through advancements in industrial IoT, John Deere has developed some of the most cutting edge private enterprise networks. Ronning explains how it has both led by example and followed other industries in rolling out these networks.

Episode No. 83 | May 23, 2022

US, UK, and Argentine Government End Users Outline What They Need from Commercial Partners

On this special episode of On Orbit, government satellite technology program directors from the United States, United Kingdom, and Argentina join us to explain how they are working directly with commercial providers to get connectivity directly in the hands of enterprise, civil service, and military end users. This episode is a preview of the new Digital Forum Events that we’re producing exclusively for SATELLITE Group Members. This podcast contains a promo code that will provide a 20% discount on any subscription purchase.

Episode No. 82 | May 3, 2022

Boosting Smallsats to Geostationary Orbit With GeoJump’s Isa Fritz

Believing that there is a viable and profitable future for smallsats in GEO orbit, Isa Fritz co-founded GeoJump and took on the role of its chief technology officer. The company’s mission is to open the door to GEO for budget-conscious smallsat operators. By utilizing a Sherpa-ES orbital transfer vehicle developed by Spaceflight and employing a lunar fly-by trajectory, GeoJump says it can get customers to GEO safely in just two weeks… a huge improvement over the standard trip, which can take as long as six months. Fritz joined us for a chat about lessons she’s learned while leading a startup and why she sees massive opportunities for small satellites in GEO.

Episode No. 81 | April 18, 2022

Startup Space Winner Dr. Luisa Buinhas of Vyoma Balances Building Tech and Building Her Business

Dr. Luisa Buinhas is the co-founder of Vyoma Space, a space debris mitigation technology company based in Germany. During this interview, Buinhas discusses the origin of Vyoma and how its intelligent algorithms and software solutions work. She explains how she prepared to go up against a very competitive field of entrepreneurs at Startup Space and how she is preparing for the potentially life-changing 30-minute pitch call with investors that she won as a grand prize. Buinhas also shares some valuable advice on establishing short- and long-term goals, hiring, and finding the right investors for new startups.

Episode No. 80 | April 5, 2022

Why Argentina is Investing in a Future-Focused, Government-Supported Space Economy

Argentina’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Daniel Filmus and his colleague Matías Kulfas, Argentina’s Minister of Productive Development, join On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill to explain why their nation is investing in building the largest space economy in South America. Filmus and Kulfas share details about their plan to build a launch facility outside of Buenos Aires, the importance of their working relationship with Argentina’s civil space agency CONAE  and other regional governments, as well as the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of satellite technology.

Episode No. 79 | March 15, 2022

Space Gets Caught in the Crossfire of Russia’s War on Ukraine

On this episode of On Orbit, NSR Consultant Claude Rousseau, a trusted veteran analyst of the global satellite and space industries, joins host Jeffrey Hill to talk about the immediate and long-term consequences of Russia’s war on the space industry. Rousseau explains how each of the space-faring superpowers will fare in this new environment and identify who stands to lose and who stands to gain most in a global commercial space market without Russia. We also break down how the war impacts the already fragile global tech supply chain, which continues to struggle in its recovery from the pandemic, as well as the increased risk of kinetic and cyber warfare in space.

Episode No. 78 | March 8, 2022

Asia’s Satellite Bandwidth Market Prepares for a Post-COVID Rebound

In this interview, On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill speaks with APT Satellite Co. Executive Vice President Huang Bauzhong about the state of the Asia Pacific and Chinese Ku-band markets, regulatory challenges in the East, and the operator’s plans to explore potential LEO and MEO offerings. This interview is part of a three-part series of exclusive interviews with three of the Asia-Pacific region’s leading commercial space companies in China, Japan, and Hong Kong. These interviews were produced in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC).

Episode No. 77 | February 22, 2022

Startup Space 2022 Entrepreneurs Battle for Million-Dollar Pitch Meeting

On this episode of On Orbit, we’re joined by competition organizer Rafferty Jackson of Jack Industries to talk about the impact Startup Space has made in its six years of existence, helping cultivate fast-growing companies such as Astroscale, LeoLabs, Ursa, Orbit Fab, and dozens more. Rafferty has been a Startup Space judge since its very first year and she has assembled an impressive line-up of competitors and judges participating in this year’s event. During this interview, Rafferty and I detail the range of technologies and people that will take the stage at SATELLITE 2022 to convey their potential during a brief, but grueling five-minute pitch.

Episode No. 76 | February 8, 2022

BryceTech’s Carissa Christensen Shares the Science of Space Industry Soothsaying

In this episode of On Orbit, Carissa Christensen of BryceTech takes us behind the scenes to explain the methodology of her analysis, which involves creating industry simulations and a comprehensive understanding of how space technology evolves. We talk about her role in creating the Satellite Industry Association’s annual state of the satellite industry report, as well as how the two-year long COVID-19 pandemic factors into her equations and the stability of the space industry throughout the crisis. Finally, we talk about why and how she established BryceTech, and why she describes it as both an analysis and engineering firm.

Episode No. 75 | January 24, 2022

GSOA’s Satellite Spectrum, Space Sustainability Mission Goes Global

On Orbit interviews Global Satellite Operators Alliance (GSOA) Secretary General Aarti Holla-Maini, who has led the organization since 2004. Holla-Maini explains the history of the organization, how it functions today, the benefits for members, and why the organization decided to grow from a regional to a global alliance. We also talk about the greatest challenges facing today’s established and emerging satellite operators and the upcoming fight for spectrum rights at the WRC-23 conference.

Episode No. 74 | January 11, 2022

World-Renowned Physicist Dr. Michio Kaku Explains Our Future in Space

Dr. Michio Kaku, science correspondent for “CBS This Morning,” and an international best selling author of 10 books, joins us for a discussion about the possibilities and challenges related to our future in space, his role in popularizing science education, the need for new global space policy, and the significance of the James Webb Space Telescope launch!

Episode No. 73 | December 20, 2021

Why Does the Space Industry Struggle with  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace?

The space industry has been addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workforce issues, but it has also had struggles hiring people of color, diversifying executive boards, and dealing with employee burnout. In this episode, we’re joined by Kim Macharia of Space Frontier Foundation and Robert Bell of Space & Satellite Professionals International to talk about how industry organizations support DEI initiatives, and the responsibility of executive leaders in cultivating healthy work environments.

Episode No. 72 | December 6, 2021

Former Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson: Will Private Capital Fund Off-World Infrastructure?

In this episode of On Orbit, C5 Capital’s Rob Meyerson explains how private investors define “space infrastructure.” Meyerson was one of the first employees of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, serving as its president until 2018. Since leaving the launch industry, he has built a broad space sector investment portfolio. He talks about his early days at Blue Origin. He also outlines the biggest opportunities for private investors in space, but also what worries financiers about the future of private space. 

Episode No. 71 | November 22, 2021

Taiwan’s Space Startups are Creating a Global Sandbox for Low-Earth Orbit

On this episode, we are joined by the second of our two Startup Space 2021 winners, TMY Technologies (TMYTek) Co-Founder and Vice President Ethan Lin. Lin about his efforts in building tech for an interlinked 5G and LEO world, the company’s use of modular design for its products and why modular-based space technologies are attracting investors, and the role that Taiwan plays and could play in the future global space market. 

Episode No. 70 | November 8, 2021

How Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo Caught the Space Bug

Meteorologist Meredith Garofolo, is a true space enthusiast, who successfully integrated her love of satellites and rockets with her full-time career. Meredith joins On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill to talk about how she caught the space bug, what she learned from her panel at SATELLITE, how meteorologists play an important role in space education, the ever-increasing value of visual, analytical data, and her dream of being the first broadcast meteorologist to go to space.

Episode No. 69 | October 26, 2021

HakwEye 360’s Serafini: ‘You Can’t Be a Part-Time Government Data Provider’

Instead of collecting data through imagery, or Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Hawkeye 360 maps radio frequency emissions to produce what they call space-based Radio Frequency (RF) analytics. In this episode, Hawkeye 360 CEO John Serafini explains how he has been able to carve out its own distinct government-focused business and why he believes you can’t serve major markets like his on a part-time basis. We also talk about Hawkeye 360’s rapidly expanding constellation and its ambitious upcoming 18-month launch schedule.

Episode No. 68 | October 15, 2021

Month in Review: Blue Origin Blues, Data for Everything, and Chasing SpaceX

On this episode, Via Satellite Managing Editor Rachel Jewett joins us to unpack what has been a whirlwind month for the space industry. William Shatner’s journey to space comes just weeks after Blue Origin was racked by serious allegations penned in a letter by current and former company employees regarding safety and workplace culture. We also talk about the massive challenges facing space data analytics, imagery and sensing service providers in reaching their long list of target vertical markets. Finally, we take a look at Michael Sheetz’s report from CNBC about SpaceX reaching a $100 billion valuation.

Episode No. 67 | September 30, 2021

How Startup Space’s Youngest-Ever Winner Found Gold in NASA’s Idea Storage Closet 

Adisesh Yeragudi just graduated from Rutgers University … and also became Startup Space’s youngest-ever competition winner at SATELLITE 2021. His company, AV SpaceTech, is building a modular ion space propulsion engine – the Xe-1 – a disc composed of engine layers that can be added or removed to increase or decrease power. The concept image is stunning, but what’s even more stunning is how and where Adisesh first stumbled across the idea …

Episode No. 66 | August 31, 2021

Supercomputing in Software-Defined Space

Ramon.Space CEO Avi Shabtai joins us to explain the software-defined space revolution. Shabtai, whose startup aims to bring supercomputing and a variety of new in-space applications to satellites, outlines the unique challenges that the harsh space environment presents to software developers. Shabtai also discusses the benefits of reprogrammable space technology, the evolution of the satellite control center, new space-based applications, troubleshooting space software, and the job market for space software engineering talent.

Episode No. 65 | August 17, 2021

A Battle Against Physics: Building the Perfect, Low-Cost Antenna 

The guest for this episode is the moderator of one of the most popular sessions at the SATELLITE show – How can the industry overcome design constraints and build the perfect low-cost antenna? Whitney Lohmeyer, assistant professor of engineering at Olin College and a research affiliate at MIT in aeronautics and astronautics, is an expert on ground systems development. In this episode, we ask Whitney some of the most common questions we receive about satellite ground systems and for her thoughts on how today’s modern antenna systems compare and perform.

Episode No. 64 | August 3, 2021

Astronaut & Author Ron Garan Explains How Space Travel Changes Perspective

 In this episode of On Orbit, former NASA Astronaut and U.S. Air Force Pilot Col. Garan shares his experiences as a pilot, his thoughts on commercial space travel, and a powerful recollection of how he first experienced the overview effect. He also talks about his upcoming book, “Floating in Darkness,” the follow-up to his debut The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles, as well as answers the question — Why travel to space when we have so many problems to solve on Earth?

Episode No. 63 | July 20, 2021

Seeking New Ground for New Space 

ST Engineering iDirect CTO Frederik Simoens has seen ground-based space technologies evolve from gigantic physical structures to virtual programs in the cloud. His customers expect ground technologies to constantly evolve and become smaller, lighter, cheaper, and easier to operate — a state of constant change. Recognizing the amount of change that the New Space movement has brought to the aerospace industry, Simoens and his company want to cultivate that same level of disruption in the complex world of ground systems, with a New Ground movement. Simoens joins us for this episode of On Orbit to explain what that movement would entail.

Episode No. 62 | July 6, 2021

Editors Discuss Via’s 10 Hottest Satellite Companies of 2021 

In this episode, On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill joins Via Satellite Editor-in-Chief Mark Holmes and Managing Editor Rachel Jewett to reveal and explain the team’s picks for the magazine’s ultra-popular 10 Hottest Satellite Companies for 2021. This list includes what we feel are 10 of the most buzzworthy companies with a lot to prove, and a lot riding on what happens over the next 12 months. Executives of these companies will be featured as guests on future episodes. Read the full list here, and access additional multimedia content related to the list here.

Episode No. 61 | June 22, 2021

Astronaut Sandra Magnus Takes on Optical Satellites, Human Spaceflight, and Space Sustainability 

In this episode, former NASA Astronaut Dr. Sandra Magnus talks to On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill about her new role on BridgeComm’s advisory board and her interest in the company’s optical wireless satellite technology and its mission to form the backbone of interconnected networks. She also talks about her work as an advisor to Virgin Galactic, her views on space tourism, and her memories of the Space Shuttle and how it compares to modern launch vehicles. She also expresses her opinion about how global and collaborative Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and space debris removal capabilities are both necessary and possible.

Episode No. 60 | June 8, 2021

Emily Calandrelli Demystifies Space for Netflix and Tik Tok 

Emily Calandrelli is a household name for a new generation of space enthusiasts. She’s the host of “Emily’s Wonder Lab” on Netflix, “Xploration Outer Space,” and the author of the Ada Lace children’s book series. In this episode of On Orbit, guest host Rachel Jewett interviews Emily about how she went from interning at NASA to hosting a Netflix TV show, debunking science myths on Tik Tok, and the coming age of human space flight. 

Episode No. 59 | May 25, 2021

The Future Legacy of Alabama’s ‘Rocket City’ 

In this second of the On Orbit podcast’s two-episode space cities focus, host Jeffrey Hill catches up with Aevum CEO Jay Skylus to talk about the role that Alabama’s history “Rocket City” played in company’s rapid success as a space logistics and automated launch systems company serving commercial, government and military customers. Jay also talks about the decision Aevum must make on whether or not to leave the nest, so to speak, as it grows into a national business.

Episode No. 58 | May 11, 2021

Quebec’s Space Economy Jumps to Lightspeed 

In return for a massive investment from the government of Quebec, Telesat hopes to create hundreds of new jobs, attract new talent, and establish a new long-term, future-facing tech hub in the province … and build a really cool Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Telesat Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager Stephen Hampton sits down with host Jeffrey Hill to discuss why Telesat chose Quebec as the place to build its new $5 billion connectivity system.

Episode No. 57 | April 26, 2021

(Space) Graphic Design is My Passion 

Visual and graphic design elements play an important, yet often overlooked role in our industry’s ability to communicate. For the past few years, space and satellite companies are actively trying to change their look to attract new customers to commercial space services. To provide some perspective on this, we invited two space-focused graphic design experts to come on the show and explain how visual design in the industry is evolving as access to space is expanding. 

Episode No. 56 | April 13, 2021

Eric Berger, Elon Musk, and the Stars of SpaceX’s Origin Story 

Ars Technica journalist, meteorologist, and lover of all things space-related Eric Berger has spent a lot of time with Elon Musk during the past few years. While watching the billionaire SpaceX founder closely as he sat in on board meetings and gathered with his family on flights to Texas, Berger discovered the formula behind the company’s two-decade ascension to space industry dominance. In this episode of On Orbit, Berger brings us behind the scenes of writing his new book “Liftoff,” a widely-praised chronicle of SpaceX’s establishment in the early 2000s. He shares some insights that weren’t included in the book, as well as thoughts on who might lead SpaceX after Musk.

Episode No. 55 | March 30, 2021

Farmer Charlie’s Space-Powered Smart Agritech Platform 

A 25+ year space industry veteran and chair of SSPI’s U.K. chapter, Betty Bonnardel found a passion to bring low-cost connectivity to farms that grow crops for sustenance and local distribution through her smart agritech startup Farmer Charlie. This space-based connectivity will provide farmers with vital information about their fields. By providing this access to space, Betty believes farmers can grow healthier, higher-quality crops and sell their produce at a better price. In this episode, Betty shares the challenges of delivering space-based connectivity to local farmers, such as convincing farmers to trust new and unfamiliar tools and getting tech partners to invest in direct communication with individual end users.

Episode No. 54 | March 16, 2021

Pack Your Bags! We’re Going on a Space Vacation! 

Space vacations are a real thing! If you want to see the Earth from a brand new perspective, and experience weightlessness like a real astronaut, and you have a few million dollars to spare, you can sign up right now. But, what is the space tourism experience really like? Is it safe? How long is the trip? Will they serve food? In this episode, I’m joined by space experts Laura Seward Forczyk of Astralytical, and Raphael Roettgen of E2MC Ventures, who answer all of my space tourism questions.

Episode No. 53 | March 2, 2021

Mourning a Lost Satellite: How In-Space Bounced Back from a Launch Failure

Satellite builders form a unique bond with their spacecraft. In-Space CEO Doug Liddle described his start-up’s first satellite, Faraday-1, as a ‘precious child’ that he raised for 18 months before turning it over to the launch gods. This past July, the gods proved to be especially cruel to Liddle and the In-Space team, as the satellite was lost during a failed launch on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. In this episode, Liddle takes us behind the scenes of the Faraday-1 loss, and explains how he was able to pull himself, and his team together to bounce back from the incident.

Episode No. 52 | February 12, 2021

The Creative Process of Virgin Orbit’s Storyteller, Kendall Russell

Via Satellite executive editor Jeffrey Hill returns as the host of On Orbit and sits down with Kendall Russell, Virgin Orbit’s communication officer, for a chat about creative and effective storytelling in the space industry. Russell used to report on developments in the industry for Via Satellite, but now he crafts stories about Virgin Orbit’s milestones for  journalists and space watchers around the world. Russell talks about his transition from news reporter to media relations, his big adventure moving west for his new job, and meeting and working with Richard Branson.

Episode No. 51 | January 2, 2021

Khristian Jones Chats Patti Grace Smith Fellowship

Khristian Jones is a senior aerospace engineering student at Wichita State University, and one of the co-founders of the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship. In this episode, we talk to Khristian about what sparked her passion for STEM, and how the  Patti Grace Smith fellowship is empowering Black excellence in aerospace.

Episode No. 50 | January 20, 2021

2020 in Review and the Decade Ahead With Euroconsult’s Maxime Puteaux

In this episode, Maxime Puteaux, principal advisor at Euroconsult, gives us the rundown of satellite trends in 2020, as well as what he sees happening in the decade ahead. Puteaux reviews a forecast of satellite manufacturing and launch services, pegged to a recent Euroconsult report on the subject.

Episode No. 49 | December 22, 2020  

Fueling Up in Space With Orbit Fab’s Dan Faber

With space startup Orbit Fab, CEO Dan Faber is hoping that by enabling satellite refueling, it will lead to a bustling in-space economy for new industries like space tourism, manufacturing, and mining. In this episode, we talk about how he started Orbit Fab, what a gas station in space actually means, and how he envisions a thriving market in space.

Episode No. 48 | December 7, 2020  

SIA’s Therese Jones Chats Zed Factor Fellowship

Therese Jones is the senior director of policy at the Satellite Industry Association (SIA). She works on issues such as universal access to broadband, and more recently, space policy as it pertains to the upcoming Biden administration. In this episode we talk about her transition from astronomer to space policy specialist, her current work at SIA, and what motivated her to be a part of creating the new Zed Factor Fellowship.

Episode No. 47 | November 24, 2020  

From Launch Dreams to Laser Beams With Tina Ghataore of Mynaric

Tina Ghataore is president of Mynaric USA, a company specializing in laser communications. She’s had an impressive career, but her love for space started with wanting to be an astronaut as a child. In this episode, we talk to Tina about her childhood spaceflight dreams and her career trajectory, and she gives us a lesson in Lasers 101.

Episode No. 46 | November 10, 2020  

How Astroscale’s Carolyn Belle Sees the Future of the Space Economy

Carolyn Belle has held a variety of jobs in the space industry. At her current gig, she’s the director of advanced systems at Astroscale US. In this episode, we talk about her work in orbital sustainability and how it aligns with her vision for the future of humanity in space, diversifying the space industry, as well as most importantly — Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

Episode No. 45 | October 27, 2020  

What Does the 2020 Election Mean for Space Policy?

What would a Trump or Biden administration mean for space policy? On this episode, we talk to Via Satellite Managing Editor Rachel Jewett and SATELLITE Chairman Jeff Hill and about what we know about each candidate’s platform. Can space remain a bipartisan issue?

Episode No. 44 | October 13, 2020  

Chatting with Grace Graham: ULA Internship and Twitter Q&A

We bring back previous co-host and guest Grace Graham, student at Utah State University. She catches us up on her summer internship with ULA, her firsthand experience with rocket launches, and the secret to Tory Bruno’s social media success. Rolling into a Q&A from Twitter, we talk about Space Force the show, the nitty gritty on the Artemis announcement, why learning to code is essential, and more.

Episode No. 43 | September 28, 2020 

Internship 101 With Former Matthew Isakowitz Fellow Josh Ingersoll

So you’re interested in the space industry, but how do you land an internship? As someone who’s interned at NASAGE Aviation, and OneWeb, Josh Ingersoll has some tips and tricks to share. Ingersoll is currently a graduate space policy student at George Washington University, and also serves as recruitment chair for the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship. He shares how internships have shaped his career, and musings about his current studies in mega-constellation space policy.

Episode No. 42 | September 14, 2020 

To Mars and Beyond With Chris Bellant of the Mars Initiative

Chris Bellant is an operations planner for the International Space Station (ISS) by day, but by night, he’s the executive director for the Mars Initiative. Through this nonprofit, he’s able to help humanity get closer to exploring Mars through both grant programs and its Mars Prize Fund. In this episode we talk to Bellant about his passion for space exploration, his work at the Mars Initiative, how he landed that gig, and why humans should land on Mars.

Episode No. 41 | August 31, 2020

The Potential of the African Space Industry With MzansiSat’s Victor Stephanopoli

Victor Stephanopoli is the COO of MzansiSat, South Africa’s first private prospective satellite operator focusing on telecom. The company focuses on the South African market, and aims to deploy Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites, with the goal providing internet connectivity anywhere inside the country by 2025. In this episode, Stephanopoli shares his uncommon path to the space industry, the ins and outs of the African market, and his take on GEO vs. LEO.

Episode No. 40 | August 17, 2020 

A PocketQube Startup Story with Alba Orbital’s Tom Walkinshaw

Tom Walkinshaw is the founder and CEO of Alba Orbital, a startup specializing in building pocketqubes — small satellites that only measures 5 cm across. Making satellites smaller and more inexpensive makes space more accessible to everyone, Walkinshaw says. He’s excited for different pocketqube applications, including RF and imagery,  which he hopes can benefit the greater good. In this episode we talk to Walkinshaw about building a pocketqube startup, applications for tiny 5 cm satellites, making space more accessible, and being named the 39th coolest person in Scotland.

Episode No. 39 | August 4, 2020 

From Amazon Software to Space-Based Blockchain with Aravind Ravichandran

Aravind Ravichandran is a Senior Strategy Consultant at PwC’s space practice, and a self-proclaimed Earth Observation (EO) data aficionado with a passion for blockchain. As a former software engineer at Amazon, he comes to the space industry from the software industry. On this episode, Aravind talks about transferable learnings from the software industry, popping the space industry bubble, and use cases for blockchain.

Episode No. 38 | July 21, 2020 

Propulsion in Space While Moving Forward on Earth With Naia Butler-Craig

Naia Butler-Craig is a NASA space technology graduate research fellow and a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, focusing on electric propulsion. She’s not only involved in gateway Artemis projects, but as a self-proclaimed thrill-seeker, aspires to be an astronaut. In this episode Naia talks about her journey in the space industry, her research, the importance of the smallsat renaissance, and the importance of tackling racism in STEM.

Episode No. 37 | July 7, 2020 

Keeping Space Green and Clean With Luc Riesbeck

Luc Riesbeck is a space policy research analyst at Astroscale U.S., and wants to make our orbits a safer place. In this episode, Luc talks about the importance of space sustainability, keeping our orbits clean, and what space policy could look like in the years to come.

Episode No. 36 | June 23, 2020 

Cubesat Experiments With Julie Sage, a Gen Z Aspiring Astrophysicist

Julie Sage is an aspiring astrophysicist, science communicator, and the host of SuperNova Style Science News. In this episode we talk about her various cubesat experiments, the challenges she’s faced as a 16-year-old scientist, as well as making science more accessible for young folks.

Episode No. 35 | June 8, 2020 

Exploring Space Medicine with Dominic Tanzillo 

What is space medicine? Although the answer can vary, doctors look for ways to keep humans in homeostasis while they endure extreme environments. There’s also ways that the space environment can benefit researchers studying diseases. In this episode, we talk to Duke University undergrad, NASA intern and SEDS member Dominic Tanzillo about the history of space medicine, what it encompasses, and what we can learn during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode No. 34 | May 22, 2020 

Making Space in the Space Industry with SEDS Director of Projects Nicole Chase 

A woman with many titles, Nicole Chase is the director of projects for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), director of the student space ambassador program for The Mars Generation, and a database administrator for Made in Space. She recently submitted an abstract about the importance of young leadership in the space industry, and why it is crucial to foster an environment that young leaders thrive in. In this episode, we talk to Chase about what “space is for everyone” means, how to foster young leadership, and how to make the industry an inclusive space (no pun intended) for all.

Episode No. 33 | May 12, 2020 

Launching Both Cubesats and Events with SEDS Rice President Ryan Udell 

In this episode, On Orbit talks to Ryan Udell, the chapter president for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space at Rice University. Udell revamped the SEDS chapter at his university, transforming the club from a single member to over 30, and founded and hosted the inaugural Owls in Space Symposium event. Host Annamarie Nyirady and and Udell talk about the similarities and differences in leading (and launching) two very different projects, and what it takes to be a next-gen space leader.

Episode No. 32 | April 27, 2020 

The Automated Fiber-Planting Tractor that Won Startup Space

On Orbit caught up with Startup Space winner Daniel Turner, CEO and co-founder of TRAXyL, a company that is developing an automated, tractor-powered fiber deployment solution. TRAXyL installs optical fiber lines along existing roadways without digging deep trenches. Daniel shared the company’s origins, how he and his partner came up with the idea of using an automated tractor, and how technologies like the FiberTRAXtor can benefit the satellite and space sectors, and 5G deployment.

Episode No. 31 | April 6, 2020 

On Orbit Live at SATELLITE — What Does ‘New Space’ Really Mean?

What exactly do we, people in the space and satellite industry, mean when we use the term ‘New Space’? New Space is often used to describe new companies, new ideas, and new technologies. Is New Space a technical term? Or, is it a cultural identity? This episode, our first live episode, was recorded during SATELLITE 2020 and it’s co-hosted by Grace Graham, a Brooke Owens Fellow, and Brian Garret-Glazer of Avionics Magazine. Our guest panelists are Dr. Tanya Harrison of Planet, Charlie Nitschelm of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), Rafferty Jackson of Jack Industries and Astia, and Ali Younis of Astranis.

Episode No. 30 | March 23, 2020 

The Songs (and Sounds) of Space with Steven Drozd & The Flaming Lips

Over the course of their nearly 37-year existence, the Flaming Lips have drawn inspiration for their music from the most fascinating and unique corners of science fiction, as well as some of the most important moments in space exploration history. Steven Drozd, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter joins us for a discussion about how the NASA Moon landing, Voyager program, Mars mission, visual artist Moebius, David Bowie, the films “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Logan’s Run,” and composers Gustav Holst, György Ligeti, and Igor Stravinsky have all helped shape the Flaming Lips’ signature sound.

Episode No. 29 | March 17, 2020 

Connecting the Unconnected Finale: The Future of Satellite Connectivity 

For our sixth and final episode of our special podcast series, “Connecting the Unconnected,” we’re joined by Hughes Vice President of Corporate Marketing Arunas Slekys and Senior Vice President of Engineering John Corrigan for a conversation about the future of global satellite communications. We discuss how broadband connectivity is a fight for global economic equality, and how the rollout of 5G services could impact the development of satellite hardware and ground terminals.

Episode No. 28 | March 3, 2020 

Connecting the Unconnected Part 5: The Regulatory Landscape with Jennifer Manner 

Satellite is an important part of bringing connectivity to users wherever they are. The regulatory choices that are made by governments can assist in bringing connectivity to users. Satellite spectrum is an invisible asset that is invaluable to us as a society. While it covers the planet, spectrum is actually scarce. How is the spectrum supply managed? In this special episode of our six-part podcast series, “Connecting the Unconnected,” EchoStar Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Manner examines the spectrum, funding, and other decisions that impact the ability of satellite providers to meet the demands of users on both sides of the digital divide.

Episode No. 27 | February 25, 2020 

Rapid-Fire Inspiration — an SGx Preview with Karina Perez Molina

Karina Perez Molina is in charge of producing the Space Generation Advisory Council’s SGx Keynote Series program at SATELLITE. The program, co-produced by SGAC and the Future Space Leaders Foundation, consists of a series of short TEDx-style keynotes that connect the ideas of students and young professionals with the experience and insight of aerospace industry leaders. Karina and I talk about how and why she got involved with SGAC, how SGx is designed to inspire and keep young professionals motivated, and how she landed the leading actor of hit sci-fi series “The Expanse” as this year’s emcee.

Episode No. 26 | February 18, 2020 

Connecting the Unconnected Part 4: In the Air, On the Ocean, On the Move 

Many Americans report being online “constantly,” and hyper-connectivity behavior follows consumers wherever they go, now even reaching airplanes and cruise ships. Analysts at Euroconsult predict a 200% increase in connected aircraft during the next eight years. In our latest in the series “Connecting the Unconnected,” Reza Rasoulian and Royce Hernandez of Hughes Network Systems share the latest developments in connectivity solutions for aero and maritime customers.

Episode No. 25 | February 11, 2020 

Harvest Hub: Food Security from Space  

Dr. Hannah Kerner develops machine learning solutions for NASA Harvest, a program led by the University of Maryland, in which a group of international partners use satellite data to make decisions related to food security and agriculture in the U.S. and around the world. But her background in machine learning is out of this world, specifically on Mars and other planets with the Mars Science Laboratory, and she has also worked on commercial remote sensing at Planet. Dr. Kerner talks about how and why she made the choice to change the focus of her work from exploring other worlds to protecting and maintaining our own.

Episode No. 24 | February 4, 2020 

Connecting the Unconnected Part 3: When Disaster Strikes 

In the third episode of our special podcast series, “Connecting the Unconnected,” Hughes Network Systems’ Tony Bardo and Dan Brown join me for a discussion about the vital role that satellite technology plays in emergency services and disaster recovery, and the difference it has made in some of the most infamous disaster situations in recent years.

Episode No. 23 | January 28, 2020 

Kerbal Space Program’s Aerospace of Play

Kerbal Space Program, the successful space flight simulator has been hailed by game industry critics and space industry leaders such as ULA’s Tory Bruno and SpaceX’s Elon Musk as providing the “perfect blend of science and slapstick.” Grant Gertz is a game producer for Private Division, the company developing KSP’s much-anticipated sequel. We discuss his unique path to a career in video games, the influence of space technology on pop culture, the educational value of video games, and how developer Private Division plans to build on the success of the first release with Kerbal Space Program 2.

Episode No. 22 | January 21, 2020 

Connecting the Unconnected Part 2: Changing Lives with Affordable Internet Access

In our second episode in the series “Connecting the Unconnected,” On Orbit is joined by Wilson Azevedo, Hughes Network Systems’ Wifi Product Manager in Brazil, John Holguin, a Hughes Application Engineer in Colombia, and Hughes’ Senior Director of International Networks, Vinay Patel for a deeper dive on satellite-enabled community Wi-Fi solutions and how they are creating affordable internet access in South America and around the world.

Episode No. 21 | January 14, 2020  

WTF is WRC (and Why Should I Care?)

Bandwidth is by no means an unlimited resource. Your family’s smartphones, your in-home WiFi, and the dozens of Bluetooth devices in your automobile all take bites of different slices of the larger bandwidth pie. The rollout of 5G wireless is like someone walking up to that pie and shoveling a big scoop out of the center with both hands. Who determines how to split the remainder of the pie? Who determines who should be compensated for the pie that was lost? OmniSpace Chief Regulatory and International Strategy Officer Mindel De La Torre joins us for this episode — a primer for those who don’t understand how the ITU’s World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) works and an explanation of how it impacts the everyday consumer.

Episode No. 20 | January 7, 2020

Connecting the Unconnected Part 1: Connecting Rural and Hard-to-Reach Places

In the first episode of our special podcast series, “Connecting the Unconnected,” sponsored by Hughes, we’re joined by Hughes Network Systems Dave Rehbehn and Mark Weimer to define connectivity challenges in rural and remote regions. We define the challenges of connecting those in rural and “hard to reach” locations. Dave and Mark explain why satellite broadband is considered core to achieving higher and improved penetration to these regions.

Episode No. 19 | December 23, 2019

The Top 12 Space and Satellite News Stories of 2019

Via Satellite Editor-in-Chief Mark Holmes and Managing Editor Annamarie Nyirady join us to discuss the biggest space and satellite news stories of 2019.

Episode No. 18 | December 10, 2019

Microsoft Azure, Dell Energy CTOs on the Digital Innovation Frontier

Microsoft Azure Global CTO William Chappell joins us for a conversation about how secure cloud systems allow satellite operators to support many new and exciting applications at the edge – applications that define business evolution in the age of IoT. Following this interview, we play an excerpt from one of Jeff’s favorite keynote speeches of the year, delivered by David Holmes, CTO of Dell Technologies‘ Global Energy Program.

Episode No. 17 | November 26, 2019

Satellite Cybersecurity Horror Stories with Ken Munro

We sat down with Ken Munro, the founder of Pen Test Partners, following his keynote at the 2019 OilComm conference. He discusses his recent fascination with the commercial space industry, specifically due to what he sees as a concerning lack of security for satellite ground systems. Ken explains his recent work and shares some ideas on how satellite companies can help better secure their networks in the constantly evolving IoT ecosystem. 

Episode No. 16 | November 12, 2019

Building Smallsats Like Cars: NanoAvionics Comes to the USA

NanoAvionics CEO Vytenis Buzas defines his small satellite-building business as an homage to the smart industrial practices of the American automobile industry. What emerged as a spinoff of Lithuania’s Vilnius University, NanoAvionics is now thriving and Buzas sees an opportunity to achieve success in the land that inspired his business. In this episode of On Orbit, co-host Grace Graham and I spoke with Vytenis and NanoAvionics USA’s new CEO Frank Abbot about the company’s move to the States.

Episode No. 15 | October 29, 2019

Commercial Satellite in the 1980s: An Industry History Lesson w/ Scott Chase

In this episode, Scott Chase tells On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill the SATELLITE show’s origin story. The annual event was created in 1981 as a small gathering of innovative minds and invested leaders, determined to realize their visions of a global voice, video, and data network. Scott shares his insights from his many years as chair of the event, and the lessons that the industry learned along the way from technologies and companies that failed despite great expectations.

Episode No. 14 | October 15, 2019

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr on Satellite-Powered Precision Farming

The episode begins with GPSIA Executive Director David Grossman speaking about the connectivity resources needed to power precision agriculture businesses. We then sit down with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to talk about the FCC’s new Precision Agriculture task force. The episode concludes with an interview with Iowa Soybean Association’s Jeff Jorgenson, who tells us how farmers are learning about new precision agriculture technologies.

Episode No. 13 | October 1, 2019

Cosmic Girl: Launching Satellites from Jumbo Jets w/ Sirisha Bandla of Virgin Orbit

In this episode of On Orbit, co-hosts Jeffrey Hill and Grace Graham sit down with Sirisha Bandla, business development and government affairs manager at Virgin Orbit, who supports the development of the company’s LauncherOne and SpaceShipTwo programs. Sirisha explains how LauncherOne works and talks about the results of its most recent drop test. She said the company is moving full speed ahead, with its eye firmly on the prize — first launch.

Episode No. 12 | September 17, 2019

Seeing is Believing: Space-Based SAR to Save our Environment w/ Capella Space CEO Payam Banazadeh

We caught up with Payam, a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow, NASA Mariner Award winner and entrepreneur recently named to Forbes “30 Under 30” list, about the unique capabilities of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, specifically when used for environmental monitoring.

Episode No. 11 | September 3, 2019

Community Wi-Fi: Education, Healthcare, and Economic Equality w/ Dave Rehbehn and Peter Gulla

In this episode, Hughes Network Systems’ Dave Rehbehn and Peter Gulla join On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill for a granular look at the global effort to bring the world online. Dave and Peter provide a boots-on-the-ground viewpoint on the role of both existing and new constellation satellites for providing affordable access – from cellular backhaul to community Wi-Fi to the deployment of new GEO and LEO assets.

Episode No. 10 | August 20, 2019

Carpooling Satellites: Historic and Unique Rideshare Launch Missions w/ Spaceflight and TriSept

Rideshare launching is like the carpooling of launch services. On this episode of On Orbit, we’re joined by Melissa Wuerl, Vice President Business Development for Spaceflight Industries, and Jason Armstrong, Director of Small Satellites for TriSept, for an episode dedicated to rideshare launch services and the impact they’ve made on opening access to space.

Episode No. 9 | August 6, 2019

It’s Cleanup Time! Dangerous Space Debris w/ Astroscale COO Chris Blackerby

Astroscale COO Chris Blackerby talks about how his company turned crisis into opportunity and developed a technological solution to remove dangerous space debris from orbit. Chris and I also discuss the economic consequences of ignoring space debris congestion, the global responsibility for action and collaboration, Astroscale’s sharp and sudden rise as a leader in the field, and its search for new ideas and talent in the workforce.

Episode No. 8 | July 23, 2019

The All-in-One Aerospace Engineer, Economist, and Entrepreneur w/ Grace Graham, 2019 Brooke Owens Fellow From Utah State University

Mechanical Aerospace Engineer Grace Graham does it all! In addition to being a 2019 Brook Owens Fellow and full-time student Utah State University, she also interns at The Aerospace Corporation, and helps run her own startup Elements Meals. Grace explains why it’s equally important for young space industry professionals to master economics, and how understanding market and supply chain economics can help you become a better engineer and entrepreneur.

Episode No. 7 | July 9, 2019

Software-Defined Space(s): The Evolving Cloud w/ Greg Quiggle of Kratos & Alain Guigui of Hewlett Packard

What does it mean when people say that the satellite industry is becoming more “software-defined?” Does it mean that the satellite industry is becoming a lot more like the software industry? Or both? On Orbit Host Jeffrey Hill interviews Kratos Defense and Space Vice President of Product Management Greg Quiggle. He then speaks with Alain Guigui, Chief Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise at 5G World in London.

Episode No. 6 | June 25, 2019

The 5G Link to Satellite w/ Karl Horne and Ashish Sharma

SES Networks’ Karl Horne sees 5G as a tremendous opportunity not only to drive innovation and create new business opportunities, but also as a way to collaborate with terrestrial competitors on rolling out the network. Why collaborate? The answer lies in the unique relationship between future virtualized 5G and present-day satellite networks. Horne joins On Orbit Producer and Host Jeffrey Hill for an interview recorded live at TechXLR8 London. Inseego CMO Ashish Sharma then joins Jeff to answer these questions from a terrestrial perspective, and also discuss why enterprise end-users will maintain pace with consumers in driving 5G adoption.

Episode No. 5 | June 11, 2019

Space Politics, Space Force

To explain everything you need to know about Space Force, and other recent government/military space policy developments, we invited our good friend, Defense Daily space and Capitol Hill reporter Vivienne Machi, (@VivienneMachi) to join us for an interview. Vivienne takes us through the basics, answers my questions about the political and operative functions of a space force, and explains developments in space technology acquisition such as the establishment of the Space Development Agency.

Episode No. 4 | May 28, 2019

3D Printed Rockets w/ Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity (Live at SATELLITE 2019)

At SATELLITE 2019, Jeff hosted a fireside chat on 3D Printed rockets with Tim Ellis, CEO and Founder of Relativity, a unique launch service company that aims to print and launch entire rockets within 60 days. Tim tells the story of why he left a promising career as a 3D printing specialist at a major launch company to disrupt 60 years of established aerospace industry practices. He explains why investors like Marc Cuban are so excited about how 3D printing can help us get to Mars, and provides a detailed look into Relativity’s in-house technology and Terran launch vehicle.

Episode No. 3 | May 13, 2019

The Business Value of Space Data with Jeff Matthews (Live at SATELLITE 2019)

Deloitte’s Specialist Leader in Space Jeff Matthews sits with On Orbit host Jeff Hill to explain why all of these new industries are interested in investing in space. Commercial space customers used to be limited to military, broadcast networks, and ISP resellers. Now, insurance companies, manufacturers, transporters, retail, city planners, farmers… the list of commercial space “customers” is growing more diverse as new space-based capabilities evolve. What value do these new industry customers see in space?

NOTE – This episode was recorded live on the SATELLITE 2019 exhibit hall floor during operating hours. Please excuse the background noise!

Episode No. 2 | May 13, 2019

Launching Thousands of Smallsats with Jenny Barna (Live at SATELLITE 2019)

Jeff asks Spire Launch Manager Jenny Barna why the satellite industry can’t just send satellites into orbit whenever they want. This episode addresses the launch bottleneck faced by operators looking to put tens of thousands of constellation satellites into space during the next few years. Jeff also speaks to Via Satellite editorial director Mark Holmes about the highlights of the first two days of the SATELLITE 2019 exhibition and conference in Washington D.C.

NOTE – Please excuse the background noise during the interviews. We were recording on the SATELLITE 2019 show floor during operating hours.

Episode No. 1 | April 30, 2019

Building Bridges Across the Digital Divide: Hybrid Satellite Networks

In Via Satellite’s debut episode of “On Orbit,” host Jeffrey Hill sits down with Geeks Without Frontiers CEO David Hartshorn to decipher Digital Divide statistics and discuss the role that hybrid networks, satellites, and specifically the new LEO/MEO constellation satellites will play in providing connectivity to the world’s 4 billion people without access to broadband. We also talk about the importance of electric power as a resource, and how private industry firms are investing in developing economies through connectivity.

How you can support On Orbit
On Orbit is supported by sponsorships and advertisers. If you would like to take part, please contact Joe Milroy at [email protected] +1 (215) 489-0585.