How Space Regulations and Innovations Drive Global Growth

As the commercial space sector continues to innovate, there are multiple opportunities for continued growth in emerging markets.


Air Date: December 2, 2020

Moderator: Christian Zur, Former Executive Director, Procurement and Space Industry Council, Tarek Tawfik, President, The American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham Egypt)

Featured Guests: His Excellency Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, Egypt

The space industry is becoming increasingly more complex as we approach a new space age driven by public policy as much as it is by commercial activity. The global growth of the space industry is crucial in the business, technological, and public sectors throughout the world.

As the commercial space sector continues to innovate and create new policies, there are multiple opportunities for continued growth in these emerging markets.

Scotland Is Making Large Strides Towards Developing a Strong Space Sector

The Right Honorable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, discussed the grand plans Scotland has to expand their space sector, including creating Europe's first vertical satellite launch site in Sutherland.

“Scotland's space sector has been growing annually by 10% in recent years,” explained the Right Honorable Sturgeon. “We account for almost a third of the value of the UK's space manufacturing output, and the city of Glasgow makes more commercial, small satellites than any other city in the world, outside of California.”

“A total of five other launch facilities are currently being planned: three for vertical takeoff and two for horizontal takeoff,” she continued. “We hope that taken together, these can cater for a large proportion of the growing small satellites market.”

Edinburgh University in Scotland is also working with NASA on robotics. Additionally, the Right Honorable Sturgeon stated Scotland has “a growing number of data companies and a wealth of expertise in big data analysis.”

Artemis Accords Set the Stage for Future Space Travel Etiquette

The Artemis Accords are known as an international agreement among a number of countries signed in 2020. Mike Gold, acting associate administrator for International and Interagency Relations, explained how the treaty works to lay the foundation for civil exploration of space.

“[We’re trying to] avoid conflict before it occurs,” Gold explained. “The Accords lay out a series of principles grounded in The Outer Space Treaty, The Registration Convention, The Agreement On The Rescue of Astronauts, as well as several traditional practices that NASA and our international partners have always abided by.”

“If we follow these principles, we can achieve [a] safe, prosperous and peaceful future on the moon, going to Mars and in space that … the world deserves,” he continued. “An ounce of prevention now can prevent a pound of trouble in the future.”

“We're either reaffirming existing multilateral agreements, or we're implementing or operationalizing aspects of the outer space treaty because it's important as we go to the moon that we not only take our astronauts, but we need to take our values,” Gold explained.

Congressional Support Is Needed for the U.S. to Move Forward in the International Space Industry

Congresswoman Kendra Horn of Oklahoma stresses that educating fellow congressional members is key to finding bipartisan support in funding programs needed in the space sector, especially when it comes to international regulations.

“I think one of the things is in the short-term, we need to increase recognition amongst the public and elected officials and agencies about why it's so important, '' explained Congresswoman Horn.

Congresswoman Horn emphasized that the commercial space sector isn’t just about exploration.

“Space is a critical part of infrastructure,” she said. “It's the role that it plays and the jobs that it creates, the economic impact … Then on the civil side and the national security side, make sure that those investments in cutting-edge technology are still there. That's one of the things I think is really critical when we're talking about member engagement and policy.”

At the mention of the NAPA Study — findings which recommended “commerce as the agency to take over and lead the effort on space, traffic management and situational awareness” — Congresswoman Horn noted its success would rely on proper funding.

Kevin O’Connell, director of the Office of Space Commerce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, agreed when speaking on the importance of space regulations.

“As we think about space traffic management, the key aspect … is really the establishment of international norms and rules that will guide how people will behave in space,” he said. “That piece is as important as the technical piece that we're working on right now.”