Among the various subjects that were presented during the conference, with 105 constellations planned in the next 20 years, the growth of small satellites is clearly going to boom the space market. Small satellites will enable new services in earth observation, telecom, science & exploration and technology.
Among the various future constellations, OneWeb will be a real new paradigm in the space industry by producing 2 to 4 satellites per day with a total of 900 small satellites! OneWeb will also include a new design with electric plasmic propulsion for the first time.
Sending more satellites into space requires new technologies for propulsion like high power electromagnetic propulsion or re-usable liquid propulsion units; and new spaceports like the projects in Norway or in Scotland.
Another major subject that was discussed during the conference are technologies related to asteroids and debris, for their observation, orbit determination, impact prediction, manipulation/removal and exploitation/disposal.
Last but not least, space exploration was debated. There is a consensus that a phased approach is required to create economic opportunities, to develop the required technologies and finally to enable the discovery. Today, the ISS is used to solve the exploration challenges. The space community is also currently evaluating the potential for lunar resources and developing the standards and legal framework. By 2020, the plan is to operate in the lunar vicinity and build a Deep Space Gateway as well as initiate the assembly of Deep Space Transport. Before 2020 and 2030, the Deep Space Transport could then be completed to conduct yearlong Mars simulation mission. After 2030, it should be possible to leave the Earth-Moon System and reach the Mars orbit. It will then be the beginning of sustained crew expeditions to the Martian system and the surface of Mars.
Before going to Mars, Yuzhnoye State Design Office of Ukraine suggest to establish a permanent lunar base. They presented their project of a Lunar Industry Base. Their concept is relatively well developed and amazingly impressive. However, such a project can only become a reality if an international cooperation between the private and the public sectors is put in place.
This may be one of the conclusions of the Conference. Space exploration and exploitation are the responsibility of the humankind. It can’t be a one-country show!
Build the World You Love!