Dear SGAC members,

As my term as Chair of SGAC has come to completion, I would like to reflect on the shared journey with my SGAC colleagues over the last three years, as well as share a message of hope for the future to come. Serving as Chair has been a great honour, and I am humbled and grateful for the wonderful experiences and times together with our SGAC community. Above all, working alongside this remarkable team of passionate students and young space professionals has given me an unshakable faith in the capacity of SGAC to tackle new challenges, dream bigger, and make the World a better place; more inclusive, more connected, a true Spaceship Earth.

Last year, SGAC celebrated its 20th anniversary, which highlighted the incredible progress of the organisation over the years since its foundation in Vienna at UNISPACE III all the way to becoming the leading space youth organisation with over 15,000 members in more than 150 countries. The dream from that bold group of students and young professionals who founded SGAC in that Summer of 1999 remains as strong as ever. Since then, every new generation of SGAC volunteers, staff, and alumni has renewed their commitment to the foundational vision to employ the creativity and vigour of youth in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses of outer space. Long years have passed since our humble beginnings in 1999, in which collectively we have grown to overcome new challenges in our pursuit of new horizons. Along the way, SGAC has expanded to more countries, welcomed more members, collaborated with new partners, started exciting projects, organized more events, participated in international space fora, with the list ever growing. As Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, and so we endeavour to reach higher orbits in our never ending quest for making a positive impact in humanity through the peaceful uses of outer space.

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 crisis has been a great challenge for all. In spite of the difficulties, SGAC members have shown courage and strong confidence in the future. After a propelling a period of robust growth in terms of members, events and resources, SGAC reacted with swiftness and creativity to the hardships imposed by COVID-19 in order to connect our passionate members from all corners of the globe, and provide them a platform for growth to become the future beacons of the space community. In 2020, SGAC conducted over 100 webinars with a total attendance of more than 10,000 people connected from more than 120 countries. We also held dynamic and exciting online events such as the SpaceGen United with 143 delegates from 53 different countries, NextGen Summit with more than 40 speakers in which 70% of them were women, as well as SpaceGen Summit, 9 Regional and Local events online, and SG[France] held on-site. Furthermore, the SGAC Project Groups continued excelling in their space contributions with examples such as the Space Exploration Project Group SGAC team winning the Moon Base Design Contest.

Finally, I would like to express my best wishes to our incoming SGAC Co-Chair Anthony Yuen, who will be working arm on arm with Harriet, Davide, Valentina and all our SGAC members. This dream team will continue elevating SGAC to new horizons and inspire the international space community to be more inclusive, aim higher, explore further and contribute to the progress of humanity. With this, I will officially join the joyful club of Space dinosaurs and continue supporting SGAC for the years to come.  

Per Aspera ad Astra!

Arnau Pons

Former Chair and new SGAC dinosaur