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The Space Generation Advisory Council is a global non-governmental, non-profit (US 501(c)3) organisation and network which aims to represent university students and young space professionals to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia.



SGAC Successfully Completes the Inaugural Space Generation Fusion Forum

17 April, 2012

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) completed its first ever Space Generation Fusion Forum (www.spacegenerationfusionforum.org) in Colorado, USA at the Broadmoor Hotel, in conjunction with the 28th Annual National Space Symposium. Over two days, the Space Generation Fusion Forum offered the next generation of space sector leaders from government, industry, and academia the opportunity to come together to exchange views on current, hot space topics via interactive panels moderated by today's sector leaders.

SGAC Successfully Completes the Inaugural Space Generation Fusion Forum

17 April, 2012

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) completed its first ever Space Generation Fusion Forum (www.spacegenerationfusionforum.org) in Colorado, USA at the Broadmoor Hotel, in conjunction with the 28th Annual National Space Symposium. Over two days, the Space Generation Fusion Forum offered the next generation of space sector leaders from government, industry, and academia the opportunity to come together to exchange views on current, hot space topics via interactive panels moderated by today's sector leaders.

Day 1

SGFF Photo
Ariane Cornell (L) & Andrea Jaime (R) open the Fusion Forum

The conference opened with welcomes from Catherine Doldirina (SGAC Chair), Ariane Cornell (SGAC Executive Director) and Andrea Jaime (SGAC Deputy Executive Director), as well as from William Parker (Special Advisor to the Space Foundation for International Affairs), and Elliott Pulham (Space Foundation CEO), leaders of the Fusion Forum's host, the Space Foundation. The welcome was followed by a keynote speech by Lori Garver. Ms. Garver discussed the importance young professionals play in the future space workforce. She highlighted NASA’s commitment to international collaboration via 535 global cooperations with over 100 countries, the utilisation of orbital satellite communication to aid the education, health and water systems of developing nations, and new advancements in private sector commercial crew and cargo development. She concluded with a firm statement of the United States' commitment to deliver on the promise of the 1958 Space Act, and a Top 10 list of why young professionals should make space their future.

SGFF Photo

Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator of NASA, addresses delegates

After the keynote, SGAC heard from three speakers who are specialists in the topics of the conference:

1.   International Collaboration: From Space
Situational Awareness to Exploration,
2.   Developing Regions and Space Applications
3.   The New Role of Commercial in Space

Mike Simpson, Executive Director Secure World Foundation spoke about the importance of international collaboration. He mentioned the “Apollo way” of accomplishing goals based on national pride was not necessarily the ideal path, making the analogy that an orchestra cannot produce a great symphony if all instruments struggle to become the conductor; each section must instead master the role they play in the group. He argued that limiting geographical sources of talent in a space programme stifles innovation. He stressed that successful collaboration requires both the seeking and giving of information, avoiding close-minded procedures, being respectful of other cultures, and expecting/mandating progress. He felt that in 53 years of space exploration, the world has achieved a lot, and he challenged the younger generation to surpass his generation’s achievements.

Yasushi Horikawa, Executive Director Space Applications Mission Directorate at JAXA gave context for the Space Applications for Developing Regions panel by discussing how younger space programmes contribute to advancements, and the resulting technological benefits in the developing world, particularly in the use of satellites.

SGFF Day 1

Lori Garver with the 2012 Space Generation Global Grant winners

Following an overview of Japanese space history, he touched upon global collaboration via the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). He highlighted satellites that measure global conditions and changes, such as greenhouse gas levels and climate change, and those that provide valuable services, such as the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), an augmentation to the standard Global Positioning System (GPS). He stressed JAXA’s commitment to space development contributions, and that the most important factor in success is continuity in space policy.

Mark Sirangelo, VP Space Systems Sierra Nevada Corporation discussed commercial space. He discussed industry advancements in many different areas of spaceflight, including spacecraft systems, technology, propulsion, and space exploration. He expressed his optimism for the space industry, particularly in the domain of small, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. He defined “commercial” to mean spaceflight-as-a-service, whereby NASA purchases flights without owning the vehicle, with initial development funding coming from both NASA and the private sector. Commercial space, he argued, allows NASA to focus on more ambitious goals beyond LEO. He concluded that in the long run, the market lies outside of NASA and is even bigger than NASA, where great opportunities await.

The first day was closed with a reception hosted by United Launch Alliance (ULA.) ULA’s Ronnie Johnson welcomed the delegates to Colorado on behalf of the Colorado-based launch services provider.



Day Two

SGFF Photo
Fusion Forum delegates from 20 countries

The second and final day of the Space Generation Fusion Forum (www.spacegenerationfusionforum.org) in Colorado Springs, USA was highlighted by young adult panels and the kick off and New Generation events of the National Space Symposium.  The panels looked to examine and consider key questions facing the space sector and international community at large, as well as to provide input to international thinking from the next generation of space professionals.

The first panel focused on International Collaboration – From Space Situational Awareness to Exploration. The panel was moderated by Chummer Farina, Vice President of the Canadian Space Agency. The panel discussed issues surrounding international collaboration, specifically in regard to export control and technology transfer, respecting cultural traditions and handling communication, and issues of promoting collaboration without sacrificing the benefits of competition. Collaboration was found to be important not only due to increased financial resources and innovation, but also because a lack of communication and regulation could hinder progress for all parties in the case of unmonitored orbital debris. Panelists for this session included: Artiom Anisimov of Belarus, Heejin Jeong of South Korea Alanna Krolikowski of Canada, Julia Leeson of Australia, and Minoo Rathnasabapathy of South Africa.

The second panel focused on Developing Regions and Space Applications. The panel was moderated by Enrique Pacheco Deputy Director of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM).  This panel discussed how emerging regions are looking to utilise space and what challenges lie ahead. The use of orbital hardware was a common thread during the day’s discussion, focusing on applications in natural disaster mitigation and prediction, crop monitoring, tele-health, and tele-education programs. A significant question was the benefits obtained from using technology produced from other nations’ space programs, versus the creation of a new space programs in the developing world. Individual programs were found to be beneficial, since those countries would own the technologies produced. However, convincing governments to think in the long-term is a challenge. As one panelist said, “A space program does not change the value of bread today, but it does change the course of civilization tomorrow.” The panellists for this session were Katrina Laygo of the USA, Bustanul Arifin of Indonesia, Bekele Erko of Ethiopia Rahul Goel of India, Ana Alexandra Perez of Venezuela and Diego Urbina of Colombia/Italy.

SGFF Photo
Fusion Forum delegates with Keynote Speaker, Malissia Clinton (center)

The final panel discussed The New Role of Commercial in Space Flight. This panel was moderated by Clay Mowry, President, Arianespace, Inc. The panel raised questions about the definition of term “commercial space” as opposed to transitional endeavours, as well as the importance of solidifying a sustainable space market. Several novel ideas were proposed, including the notion of a “space lottery” system. Safety was a large concern of the panelists, specifically the additional stresses and medical standards required for even suborbital flight. It  was important, it was concluded, to balance profitability with the decreasing marginal returns of added safety features.  The panellists were Emmanuelle David of France, Laura Drudi of Canada, and Chris Erickson, Dan Kwon and Kyle Buse all of the USA.

The first part of the Space Generation Fusion Forum closed with a keynote from Malissia Clinton of The Aerospace Corporation. Ms. Clinton addressed the issues of encourage education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields among the youth, and encouraging core values of ethics to prepare the world of tomorrow for the emerging space workforce.

Finally, the AIAA MVP Award was presented, and after an election among the selected best five participants of the Space Generation Fusion Forum, Minoo Rathnasabapathy was the winner of the award. The MVP Award  will allow her to represent SGAC and present the report of the Space Generation Fusion Forum at the AIAA's SPACE 2012 Conference.

During the second part of the Fusion Forum, participants were introduced to the Space Foundation’s 28th Annual National Space Symposium by participating in the Space Foundation's New Generation Leadership Exchange and Networking Reception.  The Leadership Exchange, or "speed networking" event, gave delegates the opportunities to interact with today's top space sector leaders from government and industry.  Space sector executives who participated in the event included high level people form industry and government, that sit for about 10 minutes in each table where about eight young professionals were able to ask questions in a very relaxed and personal atmosphere.  The activities of the Space Generation Fusion Forum concluded with the opening ceremony and reception of the 28th Annual National Space Symposium.

SGAC would like to thank all of its partners and supporters for helping organise such a successful event – Space Generation’s first in the United States in ten years.  The organisation also would like to thank its excellent volunteer team that organised the Space Generation Fusion Forum.


About the Space Generation Fusion Forum

The Space Generation Advisory Council presents the inaugural Space Generation Fusion Forum – a US space event highlighting international thinking geared towards university students and young professionals. This event, held April 15 & 16 in Colorado Springs, USA in conjunction with the National Space Symposium, aims to gather a competitively chosen group of up to 50 top young adults from various areas of space – government, industry, and academia. Intense, interactive panel discussions among selected young adults will be moderated by today's international space sector leaders and will gather the perspectives of tomorrow's space leaders on key space issues. Output will be reported at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (AIAA’s) Space 2012 conference.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet many high-level international space leaders through networking events and experience the opening of the 28th Annual National Space Symposium.  The event is being hosted by the Space Foundation and is held with participation by AIAA, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


About the Space Foundation’s National Space Symposium

The National Space Symposium, held at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has brought together space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and dream about the future of space since the inaugural event in 1984. Attendees at that original event numbered barely 250 space enthusiasts, while expected participants at the 28th National Space Symposium will surpass 9,000. The National Space Symposium has become widely known as the premier U.S. space policy and program forum and as the "must attend" opportunity for information on and interaction among all sectors of space.


SGFF Photo SGFF Photo
International Collaboration Panellists
2012 Fusion Forum MVP winner, Minoo Rathnasabapathy
(South Africa) speaks with moderator Chummer Farina,
VP of the Canadian Space Agency
SGFF Photo SGFF Photo

Dan Kwon (USA), on the New Role of Commercial
Panel, explains risk vs. cost trade off

Dr. Horikawa explains space applications' benefits

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