Show Preview: Gearing Up for Space Symposium 2019

By ATLAS SPace Operations

It’s that time of year again: The 35th Space Symposium is nearly upon us, and ATLAS Space Operations is getting ready for a busy, productive show. Here’s what we’re excited to see, hear and do:

The Space Generation Fusion Forum 2019: Before the show even officially starts, the Space Symposium kicks off with this three-day, high-intensity, fast-paced professional development and networking event focused on the international and U.S. space industry. Delegates are students and young professionals from around the world and various facets of the space sector, including science, engineering, law/policy, business/commerce, medicine, media, military and government.

The forum is a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs to gain leadership skills and business acumen while networking and making connections that could last a lifetime.

The Sessions: With dozens of sessions and events on the docket, attendees should review the agenda carefully and create a schedule to ensure they hit the ones that interest them the most.

Two that we’re eager to attend: “The Next 50 Years: Agency Leader Perspectives,” from 3:50 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, is an international panel intended to share predictions about the future, and it’s always interesting to hear what industry pundits see in their crystal balls. Additionally, “What Should the U.S. Do About Space Threats,” on Wednesday from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. features a coterie of animated and opinionated panelists.

The Startups: The Ignite the Night Colorado Springs event on Wednesday evening gives 10 startups the opportunity to pitch their technology to an audience and panel of judges in a lightning-round format, and it will be incredible to see up-and-coming industry rock stars compete to gain investors and NASA iTech mentors. ATLAS was one of these startups two years ago, so I’m a big fan of this event.

Events like this remind us how times have changed; I was at the Space Symposium in 1991, and back then, there were no startups at all. Now, they have their own pavilion and events like this one. Smaller companies like RocketLab, Firefly, and Vector Launch are exhibiting at the show just like Boeing, Arianespace, and ULA – showing that a company can be small but mighty, and that size and age don’t matter when it comes to innovation.

The Big News: ATLAS is eager to hear opinions from other experts – who, like senior members of our company, have spent their entire lives in this industry – on the rebirth of USSPACECOM and the creation of the Space Development Agency.

Both of these could be key to growth in the sector, and it will be interesting to see how the industry will respond to these changes. The real question for me is how these developments will enhance national security writ large, and I’m looking forward to hearing what others think.

The Opportunities: Of course, we’re at the show for the same reasons as every other company: to exhibit our technology and show potential customers what they could gain by looking to ATLAS for the ground control element of their operations.

While the state of satellite command and control hasn’t changed much since the Cold War, what has changed is demand. In the last year, we saw another significant increase to the on-orbit satellite population.

Yet while the magnitude of activity in space is increasing, the ground solution has remained fairly stagnant – which is why ATLAS is thrilled to be exhibiting at this show again to demonstrate how our ground solution has matured in the past few years. We have eight ground stations up and running now, with more to come, and several customers reaping the benefits of our Freedom network and Freedom space management and control software platform.

Our goals are to demystify the ground element of satcom and make this part of the value chain simpler and more affordable – in other words, to democratize access to space – and we’re eager to share our vision with other Space Symposium attendees. Come see us at booth 1424!

Mike Carey is co-founder and chief strategy officer of ATLAS Space Operations. Carey can be reached at mcarey@atlasground.com.

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