Looking at a rocket launch, it is difficult not to be amazed by the scene of a huge machine shooting straight up into the sky, creating enormous smoke clouds around it. The astronauts on the rocket have trained for years for this moment and have a hectic few months of important scientific work awaiting them. However, with the rise of space tourism, some things have changed. These new space travelers do not receive much training and go to space mostly for their entertainment. While it is impressive that within a few decades, space flight has become so much more accessible, it also raises the question of whether we are prepared for a large space tourism economy, especially from a safety and sustainability standpoint.
In the middle of May, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nia van Woggelum for the first edition of our new interview series ‘Women in Space for Safety and Sustainability’. Nia has over twelve years of experience producing composite products and is currently working as the Manager of Operations at GTM Advanced Structures. We spoke about her career journey, aspects of safety and sustainability that she encounters in her work, as well as her experiences as a woman of color in her field.
On 10 March 2023, NASA published a study into the costs and benefits of orbital debris remediation. NASA cited the importance of sustainability in space for future generations to use and explore the domain as one of the key factors in the decision to undertake this incredibly detailed study.
On March 3rd, 2023, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin released updated guidelines for safe and responsible space operations in a memo labelled "Tenets of Responsible Behaviour in Space." The memo covers five tenets, outlining specific behaviour applicable to military operations.
The Space Medicine and Life Sciences (SMLS) and Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) project groups of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), alongside the University College London (UCL) Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) Space Health Risks Research Group, are launching a short answer competition to recruit members to work alongside their research team.
SGAC is looking for a volunteer to become a co-lead of the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group. The new co-lead will work with current co-lead, Maren Hülsmann, to support the activities of the Project Group, and will report to the project group coordinators Ciro Farinelli and Alessandra Vernile.
SGAC is proud to announce the winners of the South American Space Leader Award 2019 who will be sponsored to attend the 5th SA-SGW 2019 event to be held in La Paz, Bolivia.
SGAC is pleased to announce Alexander Gilbert (USA) as the winner of the SSS Essay Competition 2019. Organized with the support of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the SGAC Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) Project Group invited participants aged 18 to 35 from around the world to take part in this essay competition. The competition provided entrants with the opportunity to introduce new ideas on the topic of how humankind could expand into outer space and most importantly, in a safe and sustainable way.