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SWF Podcast

This podcast features content produced by the Secure World Foundation (SWF), a private operating foundation that promotes cooperative solutions for space sustainability and the peaceful uses of outer space. The Foundation acts as a research body, convener and facilitator to promote key space security, and other related topics, and to examine their influence on governance and international development.
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Now displaying: 2017
Nov 7, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on November 2, 2017.

This luncheon panel discussion examined the technical, legal, and policy prospects for active debris removal (ADR), and the steps Congress can take to help incentivize the development of ADR technologies and capabilities. 

Space debris continues to pose a significant threat to future space activities. Although progress has been made over the last decade on implementing voluntary guidelines to minimize the creation of new debris, some 22,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm still exists in orbit around the Earth. Scientific studies done by multiple space agencies have shown that collisions between these debris objects will generate thousands of additional space debris, even if there were no new launches, and that removing some of the largest space debris objects from orbit can mitigate this growth and future risk. 

In 2010, the Obama Administration issued a new US national space policy that included a directive to Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Secretary of Defense to jointly research and develop technologies and techniques to do ADR. Seven years later, little progress has been made, and neither NASA nor the Department of Defense has shown a willingness to invest in ADR development, despite the threat space debris poses to their continued use of space. NASA has awarded a few small grants to private sector entities for early concept studies of some promising ADR techniques, but that support has not included on-orbit demonstrations. 

This event is the third in a series organized by Secure World Foundation (SWF) on Capitol Hill. In 2012, "Trash in the Skies: The Challenge of Space Debris" discussed the impact the growing amount of space debris has had on space activities, and the importance of improving space situational awareness (SSA) for managing the risk posed by space debris, and national and international efforts to mitigate space debris. In July 2017, "Trash in the Skies II: Industry Perspectives on Dealing with Space Debris" provided an update that looked at the progress made, and not made, over the last five years, and included perspectives from satellite operators and insurers on the risk to satellites from collisions with space debris. 

Speakers

Opening Remarks: Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Member, Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness

Panelists:

  • Dr. Marshall Kaplan, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Launchspace Technology Corporation
  • Mr. Jerome Pearson, President, Star Technology and Research, Inc.
  • Dr. Siegfried Janson, Senior Scientists, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Mr. James Dunstan, Founder, Mobius Legal Group
  • Dr. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation

Moderator: Ms. Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jul 12, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2017.

SWF held a luncheon panel discussion on Capitol Hill that brought together private sector experts to discuss the current space debris situation, what steps are being done (or not done) to address it, whether the blanket 25-year rule is still sufficient, and what role industry can play in helping ensuring the long-term sustainability of space while fostering continued innovation and growth of the space sector.

In 2012, Secure World Foundation (SWF) hosted an event on Capitol Hill called "Trash in the Skies: The Challenge of Space Debris" to discuss the impact the growing amount of space debris has had on space activities. The event highlighted the then estimated 22,000 pieces of space debris larger than a softball that could destroy a satellite in a collision, and the hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller debris that could cause serious damage. The event also discussed the importance of improving space situational awareness (SSA) for managing the risk posed by space debris, and national and international efforts to mitigate space debris. The biggest effort focused on implementing voluntary space debris mitigation guidelines, the most important of which stipulated that no objects should be left in a protected region for longer than 25 years after the end of their useful life. In addition, the space community needed to focus on developing the capability to start removing space debris from orbit, in order to avoid long-term growth in increased risk over time.

Five years later, there have been few meaningful improvements in the situation. Space debris still continues to pose a threat to space activities. Compliance with the 25-year rule hovers around 40-60%, a rate scientists have concluded is insufficient to stave off long-term growth. Additionally, there have been only very limited efforts made to develop debris removal technologies, particularly in the United States where both NASA and the Department of Defense have shown little willingness to prioritize it.  At the same time, the commercial space industry has grown, with dozens of new companies raising billions in private investment to embark on new and innovative uses of space. Several of these companies are planning large constellations of hundreds to thousands of satellites,  sparking new concerns about space debris and congestion in space.

Speakers

  • Mr. Jonathan Goff, President and CEO, Altius Space Machines
  • Dr. Tim Maclay, Director of Mission Systems Engineering, OneWeb
  • Ms. Lauri Newman, Conjunction Assessment Manager, NASA
  • Dr. James Vedda, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Space Policy and Strategy, the Aerospace Corporation
  • Mr. Mike Vinter, Executive Vice President, AON Risk Solutions
  • Moderator: Dr. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jul 12, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017.

SWF co-sponsored, with the National Space Weather Partnership, the 2017 the Space Weather Enterprise Forum. This year’s theme was "Implementing a National Space Weather Partnership.”

The forum brought together a blended audience of space weather experts from both research and operations, space weather users from the public and private sectors, academia, international representatives, and policy makers. One of the event objectives was continuing outreach and education to raise awareness of space weather effects on systems and humans and to provide information on available services.

Speakers

  • Dr. Sarah Gibson, Chair, Committee for Solar and Space Physics, National Academies of Science, and University for Atmospheric Research
  • Mr. Alec Engell, NextGen Federal Systems and American Commercial Space Weather Association
  • Mr. Charles Chafer, Space Services Incorporated and American Commercial Space Weather Association
  • Moderator: Ms. Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jul 12, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017.

SWF co-sponsored, with the National Space Weather Partnership, the 2017 the Space Weather Enterprise Forum. This year’s theme was "Implementing a National Space Weather Partnership.”

The forum brought together a blended audience of space weather experts from both research and operations, space weather users from the public and private sectors, academia, international representatives, and policy makers. One of the event objectives was continuing outreach and education to raise awareness of space weather effects on systems and humans and to provide information on available services.

Speakers

  • Mr. Steven Clarke, Director, Heliophysics Division, Headquarters, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Dr. Jeffrey Love, Research Geophysicist, Advisor for Geomagnetic Research, US Geological Survey
  • Mr. Kenneth Hodgkins, Director, Office of Space and Advanced Technology, US Department of State
  • Moderator: Mr. William Murtagh, Program Coordinator, Space Weather Operations Research and Mitigation (SWORM) Subcommittee and NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jul 12, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017.

SWF co-sponsored, with the National Space Weather Partnership, the 2017 the Space Weather Enterprise Forum. This year’s theme was "Implementing a National Space Weather Partnership.”

The forum brought together a blended audience of space weather experts from both research and operations, space weather users from the public and private sectors, academia, international representatives, and policy makers. One of the event objectives was continuing outreach and education to raise awareness of space weather effects on systems and humans and to provide information on available services.

Speakers

  • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Dr. William Easterling, Assistant Director Geosciences, National Science Foundation
  • Dr. Louis Uccellini, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and Director, National Weather Service
  • Dr. Conrad Lautenbacher, Chief Executive Officer, GeoOptics Incorporated and American Commercial Space Weather Association
  • Moderator: Mr. Martin Frederick, Northrop Grumman Civil Space Programs

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jul 12, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017.

SWF co-sponsored, with the National Space Weather Partnership, the 2017 the Space Weather Enterprise Forum. This year’s theme was "Implementing a National Space Weather Partnership.”

The forum brought together a blended audience of space weather experts from both research and operations, space weather users from the public and private sectors, academia, international representatives, and policy makers. One of the event objectives was continuing outreach and education to raise awareness of space weather effects on systems and humans and to provide information on available services.

Speakers

  • Ms. Kenyetta Blunt, Chief, Recovery Planning Branch, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Mr. Ralph Stoffler, Director of Weather, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, US Air Force
  • Dr. Ken Friedman, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Department of Energy
  • Mr. Mark MacAlester, Telecommunications Specialist and National Response Coordinator in the Disaster Emergency Communications Division at FEMA
  • Moderator: Mr. Jack Anderson, Department of Homeland Security

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jul 12, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2017.

SWF co-sponsored, with the National Space Weather Partnership, the 2017 the Space Weather Enterprise Forum. This year’s theme was "Implementing a National Space Weather Partnership.”

The forum brought together a blended audience of space weather experts from both research and operations, space weather users from the public and private sectors, academia, international representatives, and policy makers. One of the event objectives was continuing outreach and education to raise awareness of space weather effects on systems and humans and to provide information on available services.

Speakers

  • Mr. Ralph Stoffler, Director of Weather, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, US Air Force
  • Major General Scott Vander Hamm, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, US Air Force
  • Dr. Stephen Volz, Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

May 23, 2017

Recorded in Washington DC, on May 18, 2017.

The Embassy of Italy, the U.S. Department of State, and Secure World Foundation held a discussion on space weather as a global challenge with a focus on research, operations and preparedness. This event updated the international community on progress made toward implementing the U.S. National Space Weather Strategy and advances in Italy, Europe, and beyond.  

Featuring space-weather experts from across the world, the morning's three panels focused on space weather research and observations, space weather services, and industry perspectives. Following lunch, the participants gathered for technical discussions about improving research and observation, developing international frameworks, and enhancing preparedness. 

Speakers

  • H.E. Armando Varricchio
  • Prof. Roberto Battiston
  • Dr. Jonathan Margolis
  • Ms. Victoria Samson
  • Mr. Steven Clarke
  • Prof. Alberto Buzzoni
  • Dr. Paul Shepson
  • Dr. Mamoru Ishii
  • Dr. William Lapenta
  • Dr. Leonardo Sagnotti
  • Dr. Juergen Drescher
  • Gen. Luigi Del Bene
  • Mr. Ralph Stoffler
  • Mr. Ken Hodgkins
  • Mr. Bob Jackson
  • Mr. Frank Koza
  • Mr. Vincenzo Giorgio
  • Mr. Ignazio Droghini
  • Mr. Marco Brancati
  • Mr. Stefano Cesare

More details can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Apr 17, 2017

Recorded in Colorado Springs, CO, on April 6, 2017.

There are an increasing number of governmental and private sector actors in space, which could lead to existing new applications and benefits on Earth but also increased space sustainability challenges. To discuss these issues, SWF held an luncheon panel discussion at the 33rd Space Symposium. The panel featured a variety of perspectives to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing new actors, and the issues and potential positive benefits that the growth in participants poses to existing actors, with the goal of pointing out that structures need to be in place to ensure that all can continue to benefit from access to and use of space over the long-term. SWF presented our new Handbook for New Space Actors, an electronic version of which can be found here.

Speakers

  • Mr. Salem Humaid AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Science & Technology Sector, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre
  • Mr. Pete Hoene, President and CEO, SES Government Solutions
  • Mr. Rich Leshner, Vice President of Government Affairs, Planet
  • Ms. Audrey Schaffer, Director, Space Strategy and Plans in the Office of the Secretary of Defense - Office of the Secretary of Defense

More details can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jan 30, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2017.

On January 27, 1967, the Outer Space Treaty was opened for signature in Moscow, London, and Washington DC. On the fiftieth anniversary of this occasion, a luncheon symposium was held at Georgetown University to reflect on the development of the Outer Space Treaty, the fundamental role the US government played in its development, as well as rationales behind the treaty and fundamentals of public international law underpinning the document and informing our understanding of it.

This event was organized by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) with the support of the Secure World Foundation and the Georgetown Space Law Society.

Speakers (in order of appearance):

  • Ms. Oonagh Sands, American Society of International Law
  • Mr. Christopher Johnson, Secure World Foundation
  • Moderator, Mr. Steve Mirmina, Georgetown University
  • Mr. David A. Koplow, Georgetown University
  • Mr. Robert E. Dalton, US Department of State

More details, including a video recording of the event, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

Jan 17, 2017

Recorded in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2017.

On January 11, 2007, China destroyed one of its aging weather satellites using a ground-based anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon. The 2007 ASAT test, and a similar test by the United States a year later, reignited international and domestic debates over strategic stability and deterrence, space weaponization, and the potential for a space arms race. Ten years later, many of the same tensions and questions remain. 
 
This luncheon panel discussion brought together experts to discuss the evolution of the space security environment over the last decade, and specifically the evolution and current state of the relationship between the United States and China. Panelists will provide contrasting views on the perceptions and tensions on both sides, and outline potential options and strategies the Trump Administration may take going forward.
 
Speakers (in order of appearance):

More details, including speaker bios and a video recording of the event, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.

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