WG 1 – South America in Space Exploration

WG Description: There has been a great growth in interest around the world in crewed missions towards the Moon, Mars, and several outer space destinations. As part of this endeavour, there has been a development in analogue missions. Analogue missions are field tests in locations that have physical similarities to the extreme space environments that we can find in other locations in outer space. Analogue missions experiments involve testing of new technologies, robotic equipment, vehicles, habitats, communications, power generation, mobility, infrastructure as well as the observation of human factors such as the analysis of behavioral effects, isolation and confinement, team dynamics, menu fatigue, among others. Previous studies have shown that South America has several places that could be used to develop analogue missions. This working group will identify how SA countries can be part of this research trend from different perspectives: locations/facilities in SA for the development of analogue mission, formation of human resources for future missions, and interaction between the region and external agencies and institutions.

Key Questions:

  • What is the role of South America in the global efforts for human Space Exploration?
  • Could we identify possible actors and locations in SA to conduct analog missions?
  • What lessons learned from the analog mission conducted by south-american scientists should be taken into account?
  • How could the experience in analog missions in South America be transferred to the institutions/agencies dedicated to crewed missions?
  • How can SGAC/students and young professionals contribute to this topic?

WG 2 – Space Entrepreneurship

WG Description: In the early stages of space exploration most activities were undertaken or guided by states, however there is a current trend of private companies developing several aspects of space exploration. From launch services, to satellite parts manufacturing, including Earth observation services and space tourism, private initiatives have flourished towards a new age of space exploration, a philosophy known as NewSpace. This trend has been allowed by the development of the markets, cheaper technology, new regulations, appearance of new applications for a broader audience, and new opportunities for commercial exploitation of space resources. The South American region could benefit from the development of a space economy ecosystem, by providing a benchmark for the appearance of private companies tackling space applications. The knowledge of the technical developments along with management skills become essential to generate space-technology-based companies. This working group will focus on identify the actors needed in the generation of these companies as well as their current relationships if any(government, private sector, academia, society). In addition, participants will need to propose the steps to interconnect these actors (or institutions) by analyzing benefits, contributions, operative costs and human resources for each part.

Key Questions:

  • What is necessary to create a NewSpace ecosystem in the SA region?
  • When are partnerships needed in to develop or support space technology-based companies? Do they exist? How could they be created?
  • What benefits and challenges do we anticipate in these partnerships?
  • How can SGAC/students and young professionals contribute to this topic?

WG 3 – Latin American Space Agency – Why and how

WG Description: The Latin American Space Agency (LASA) has been proposed before in the scope of many space scientists, governments and research institutions in our region. This institution can be seen as an enabler in the organization and development of space-related projects, shared knowledge and/or experiences in space technology implementation, identification of applications, among others cooperative activities. However, for this institution to take shape, interaction among the actors should be analyzed from different aspects: long-term government policies in science, technology and innovation, financial support on research, interest on wide-area risk management, society benefits, etc, and define if it is feasible to create this entity. This working group will discuss the matters stated as well as identify how students and young professionals can be part of this initiative. For this the delegates should take into account current examples of international cooperation among South american countries, as well as the human resources required for such endeavour.

Key Questions:

  • What are the current trends/policies in terms of space science for each south american country? Is it possible to standardize the region interests, objectives, and policies in space science and technology?
  • What benefits would the south american countries receive from LASA research and development?
  • What are the challenges for the development of a Latin American Space Agency and what would be the recommendations to address those Challenges? What mechanisms of cooperation should be developed?
  • How can SGAC/students and young professionals contribute to this topic?

WG 4 – Small satellite applications

WG Description: The electronics miniaturization as well as cost reduction have been the trigger of a new generation of small satellites, amongst them the ones known as CubeSat. Although small, this kind of satellites can carry a variety sensors such as multispectral and hyperspectral cameras or even spectrometers that can acquire important and useful information while they are in orbit around the Earth. Its general low cost implementation makes it interesting for researchers, governments, and companies who want to provide services such as internet, land monitoring among others, to use them as a resource. Several institutions in South America have been developing small satellite technology as independent initiatives, gathering experience relevant for the implementation of small satellite based missions which could benefit the region. This working group will focus on identify possible partnerships, the steps to generate collaborative programs in this area, and the current state of affairs regarding the technology capacities, towards making a first approach for emergent countries towards the space sector, and serve as a platform for solving some problems of the region that could be aided by the use of space located assets, such as natural disaster control.

Key Questions:

  • How can the current state of the art regarding manufacturing and operation of satellites in the South American countries be leveraged?
  • How can institutions from different countries collaborate to implement a regional small satellite applications community?
  • What could be the most relevant applications of small satellite missions for the South American societies?
  • How can SGAC/students and young professionals contribute to this topic?

WG 5 – Space in Society: New Opportunities

WG Description: As Carl Sagan stated, “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology”. The development of space science and technology relies greatly on support of society, sometimes manifested as political support from instances such as congress and ministries, and some other times, driven by the interest of the researchers and universities to be part of the global space trend. However, there is still a knowledge gap between the space actors, including their activities and results, and society in general, which doesn’t has awareness of the potential benefits of research, resulting in a low support to space development efforts. This is in part due to the lack of outreach, information and efforts from different actors as government and media to show the benefits and opportunities that space exploration and applications could offer to local communities, countries or regions. This working group will try to find what is the best strategy to include space as a national and regional resource to solve scientific, technological and social problems. Also to define how could space appropriation in society increase the participation of the region in space activities.

Key Questions:

  • How could space be seen as a resource to solve problems in the region from a political, academic and civilian perspective?
  • What direct/indirect benefits that the society from SA region could obtain from a better involvement in space development?
  • What actions could be taken to increase the recognition and acceptance of public in space investment?
  • How can SGAC/students and young professionals contribute to this topic?