Rank #1: A Commercial Lunar Exploration Panel Discussion at CASI 2019
This week we have another special recording from the recent Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute ASTRO 2019 conference in Laval, Quebec.
In this podcast, the topic is Commercial Lunar Exploration. The panel was divided into two sections, presentations by each panelist followed by a moderated question and answer session. We will post the video of the presentations when it's available, but the focus for this podcast is the excellent Q&A discussion.
The panel was moderated by Jan Clarence Dee a Space Consultant at Euroconsult. The panelists were Erick Dupuis, Director, Space Exploration Development, Canadian Space Agency; Michele Faragali, CTO, Mission Control Space Services; and John Walker, VP Lunar Surface Operations, ispace Inc.
Note that subsequent to this talk and later in the conference Erick Dupuis announced that the Treasury Board of Canada had approved the requested $150 million over five years for the Canadian Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program.
Rank #2: Episode 38: Dale Boucher, CEO of Deltion on Space Mining
Some of the questions Dale answers include:
How is Deltion involved in space mining?
Will Canada participate on a mission to test mining equipment on the moon or elsewhere?
How mature or immature is the technology? Is anyone working on heavy mining machinery needed for the moon?
Do we know where to begin mining operations on the moon?
Are nations like Canada, a leader in mining, working on policy frameworks for mining on the moon or elsewhere?
Rank #3: NASA Discusses its Moon 2024 Budget Amendment and Announces the Artemis Program
The NASA Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Amendment documents are available here:
Rank #4: Episode 42: Mike Greenley, MDA's new President, Canada's largest space company
MDA, once the parent company of several business units in the U.S., is now one of four business units in the larger U.S. based Maxar Technologies which it created. The other business units are SSL, DigitalGlobe and Radiant Solutions.
Being a player in the the defence and space sector in the U.S. brings unique challenges due to security issues. To grow the company MDA became Maxar.
Greenley assumed his new role on January 15 of this year. Greenley is an industry veteran having worked 22 years at companies such as Greenley & Associates (his own company), CAE, General Dynamics and most recently L3 Technologies in Burlington, Ontario where he was Sector President.
In this wide ranging interview, we discuss some of the changes Greenley has made since he came on board and the challenges in growing the business in Canada.
Rank #5: Episode 76: Sara Spangelo, CEO of Swarm Technologies
The company wants to build and launch 150 of these pico satellites, called SpaceBees, to create a global network to allow Internet of Things devices such as sensors in a farmers field to send small amounts of data back to servers for processing. Currently the company has 7 experimental satellites in orbit.
Swarm is less than two years old and it's gotten more attention than perhaps they would have wanted. Last year could have been a company killing year for a startup as they ran afoul of the Federal Communication Commission when they not only launched 4 of their satellites without an FCC license, they also performed unauthorized weather balloon-to-ground station tests and unauthorized tests of satellite and ground station equipment.
They settled with the FCC, paying a whopping $900,000 fine and they recently closed their Series A round of financing for $25M. The company wants to put past mistakes behind them and build the company out with its innovative technologies.
Rank #6: Mike Gold on Helping NASA Commercialize Space
The committee was created in the summer of 2018 to look at how NASA could further commercialize its activities. Mike is one of 15 members, mostly from industry, that meet several times a year including with NASA’s other Advisory Council committees.
Committee members include long time space players such as Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin to new space companies SpaceX and Blue Origin to name a few. In its first meeting last November the committee published its first observations, findings, and recommendations. The committee tackled a board range of ideas from export controls, intellectual property, supporting space-based commercial development, private sector habitats, logos, advertising, astronaut endorsements and space research.
Rank #7: Episode 43: Kate Howells From the Planetary Society on Space Advocacy in Canada
She is also a member of the government of Canada’s Space Advisory Board.
In this interview we talk about the Planetary Society and its growth in Canada, space advocacy in Canada and her role as a member of the Space Advisory Board.
Rank #8: Episode 51: Space Mining and the Governments Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan
I have two guests to discuss this topic. In the first segment I speak with Glenn Mason, Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Minerals Sector from the Department of Natural Resources.
In the second segment I spoke Michelle Ash, Chief Innovation Officer at traditional mining giant, Barrick Gold.
For those interested in the space industry’s take on space mining, I will direct you to episode 38 from March in which I spoke with Dale Boucher.
Show timing notes:
Introduction - 00:16
Guest 1: Glenn Mason - 01:16
Guest 2: Michelle Ash - 20:44
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Rank #9: Episode 74: Vinny Capezzuto, Chief Technology Officer of Aireon
Aireon started as a partnership between Iridium and Air Navigation Service Provider NAV Canada. From its founding in 2012 to today the partnership added several other Air Navigation Service Providers including ENAV from Italy, NATS from the UK, Naviair from Denmark and Irelands IAA.
Aireon has hosted Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers built into each of the 66 satellites in the Iridium NEXT constellation which had its last batch of satellites successfully launched earlier this month by SpaceX.
Aireon’s space-based ADS-B will for the first time in history provide global data to track airplanes in real time. At present only 30% of the Earth is covered, primarily land area. When the system is fully operational later this year, the roughly 70% of the Earth, primarily oceanic and remote areas, that didn’t have ADS-B receiver coverage, will now be covered.
For the aviation industry this is a game changer. In emergency situations having real-time situational awareness of what’s happening to a plane will be available. As well, knowing the precise location of aircraft will lead to other benefits including reducing pilot response time to weather events, reducing the required separation gaps between aircraft, and addressing navigational errors before they become large issues. For the airlines, it should mean cost savings as planes will should be able to fly more efficient routes saving on time and fuel.
As you’ll hear from Vinny, he provides historical context to what their new service means, as well as explaining the technology advances, and briefly discussing the business case.
Rank #10: The Moon Race is On
My interview this week is about the Moon Race competition. The competition is a global initiative founded by Airbus and its international partners including Blue Origin, and is aimed demonstration key technologies required for the sustainable exploration of the moon.
The race consist of challenges in four parallel technology streams. If you’re a small or medium business who are interested in getting your technologies demonstrated on the moon then this initiative just might be for you.
- 0:18 Start of my introduction and thoughts surrounding the recent developments on the exploration of the moon.
- 7:08 Introduction to my guest.
- 7:59 Guest interview.
Rank #11: Episode 75: Philip Berthiaume, CEO of SpaceHorizon
The company has ambitious plans to become the first orbital launch provider in Canada.
Earlier this month, the company announced it was going to resell launch services from other companies while at the same time it moves forward with developing its own fleet of rockets.
Having just completed the conceptual design stage, the company’s first launch vehicle, called Launch Vehicle 1 or LV1, is planned as a small satellite launcher with an estimated development cost of $50 million.
The company currently doesn’t have the resources to fully fund the development of the rocket and will be reaching out to investors mid-year.
Philip says they eventually want to launch from Canada, but that they don’t necessarily want to build their own spaceport. They would rather be the user of a facility that someone else builds, such as Maritime Launch Services.
Philip provides more insight into the company and its plans then they’ve revealed publicly to date.
Rank #12: Episode 47: Brigadier-General Kevin G. Whale on Canada's Military Space Component
Canada’s military space component is set to grow significantly going forward both in terms of personnel and capability. General Whale provide a status update on the space component he leads, and tell explain how our defence forces are preparing for the challenges of the future.
CASI ASTRO 18 Stories
Rank #13: The Future of Canada’s Space Sector - A CASI ASTRO 18 Special Podcast
The moderator for this discussion is Jacques Giroux of ABB who is also the incoming president of CASI. The panelists in order of who you’ll her from are; Sylvain Laporte, president of the Canadian Space Agency, Mike Greenley, president of MDA, Ewan Reid, president and CEO of Mission Control Space Services and Kaley Walker of the University of Toronto.
For more podcasts and stories from CASI ASTRO 18 go to spaceq.ca/tag/astro-2018.
The story that accompanies this podcast is available here:
Rank #14: Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson on Investing in the Space Sector
My guest this week on the SpaceQ Podcast is Chad Anderson, CEO of Space Angels.
If you’re a startup then chances are you’ve heard of Space Angels. The financial services company was started in 2007 but it wasn’t until around 2014 that the marketplace was ready for the investment community to make some serious forays into the space sector beyond a company like SpaceX.
Typical investment by Space Angels is anywhere from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The company has invested over $30 million to date and this may surprise you, many of their investments are outside the US.
In its recently released 2018 fourth quarter report, Space Angels said that US$2.97B in equity capital was invested in space companies globally in 2018 and that number is set to grow even larger in 2019.
Rank #15: Mining the Moon for Fun and Profit - 2019 Summer Series
In this weeks episode we hear from George Sowers who will speak on "Mining the Moon for Fun and Profit.” Dr. Sowers is a Professor of Practice at the Colorado School of Mines who works on the world’s first and only graduate program in Space Resources.
This talk was featured in the mid-June Future In-Space Operations weekly teleconference. The slides are available with the podcast on our website from the link below.
Rank #16: Introducing Terranauts - A New SpaceQ Podcast With Iain Christie
What happens when you bring Iain Christie and Marc Boucher together? Well, naturally they’re both going to want to talk, a lot.
One of the outcomes of that June meeting was the idea to start a new podcast. That podcast idea is now Terranauts, which will join the SpaceQ family in September.
Ok, so what is Terranauts going to be about? Well…
How do you inspire the next generation of workers in the space sector? One way is to tell the compelling stories of those people who are firmly rooted here on Earth, unlikely to ever fly into space. We call these people Terranauts. They are 99.9% of the workforce, a vast majority of which you rarely hear about. Their contributions are essential to our knowledge of space and its use to benefit humanity.
Today, in introducing Terranauts, I’m going to turn the tables on the host of the new SpaceQ pop-up podcast, Iain Christie, and interview him. Iain’s first episode will air in September.
Rank #17: Episode 37: Grant Bonin of Deep Space Industries, a technology and asteroid mining company
Deep Space Industries is a five year old privately held company spacecraft technology with a long term plan of mining asteroids that has adapted its business for the long game.
At the time the company launched, some people wondered if the idea was crazy. It’s not, but it is hard, and It’s a long game. Deep Space industries (DSI) is still here and apparently has adapted its business plan to meet the challenge and has been working on developing technologies needed for its long term goals but which have commercial appeal now allowing them to generate revenue streams now.
Since the company was formed they've sparsely released information. Last year when Daniel Faber, the CEO at the time, left the company, he said not too long afterwards that he was proud of having led the company to sales in the area of $10 million in 2016. That was really the first public acknowledgement of any sales volume.
With DSI's products, most notably Comet, its water-based SmallSat propulsion system set to fly on four customer satellites this year, the company is slowly emerging from the shadows. As well, the company will be shortly announcing its first Series A funding meant to accelerate their Mission 1, a technology demonstration spacecraft which they hope to launch to a near-earth asteroid in 2020.
This week they also announced that they've sold another Comet propulsion system to Astro Digital. According to Grant, that's the 34th propulsion unit they've sold.
Listen to the podcast for a complete update on DSI's activities.
Rank #18: Episode 45: Rafael Jorda Siquier, CEO of Open Cosmos on Inexpensive Space Missions and Startups
Rafael and some of his colleagues had an idea 10 years ago to make space more accessible. To bring that idea to fruition took many years of schooling and then working in the industry. The result was the creation of Open Cosmos, a company dedicated to providing inexpensive space missions using small satellites in low earth orbit an eventually beyond low earth orbit. Not content to just build satellites, they offer an end-to-end service. From the satellite, to procuring the launch, arranging ground station access for data, and even making sure all the proper paperwork for whatever regulatory needs, are in place.
The story of how Open Cosmos came to be, its philosophy, mission and success to date, are one all entrepreneurs and those wanting to create a new space company should hear.
Rank #19: Episode 46: Joe Cassady, Explore Mars on the 2018 Humans to Mars Report
The report reinforces a notional date of 2033 for the first Humans to Mars mission. There also seems to be a convergence happening within the Mars community, both within government and the commercial sector, that the pieces needed to make a mission happen by 2033 can be ready.
Joe is the Executive Vice President and a Director at Explore Mars who published the report and organized the annual summit. I should note that his day job though, is that of Executive Director, Space at Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Rank #20: An Update on NASA's Moon Exploration Plans
The teleconference was held on April 17th after the Trump administration had mandated that NASA put Americans on the moon within 5 years.
The presentation mentioned in the podcast is available on the SpaceQ website.