Can you believe this is the final edition of the decade? It feels like a landmark moment in more ways than one. We end with an edition of Via Space, as we expand the coverage once again to look at more space-related topics.
It is interesting to think what the 2020s might bring. One hundred years ago, they were described as the roaring 20s as the world came out of a bruising and brutal first world war. Obviously, a hundred years ago, there was no satellite sector, and satellites were still a few decades away from getting into the global consciousness.
The contrast to one hundred years later is stark. This could be the decades of thousands rather than hundreds of satellites being launched. This could be the decade where human space tourism becomes more accessible. We could see the space-based economy start to take shape. We could see science fiction become a reality. I suppose at the start of every decade, we say it is a pivotal one for our industry as the industry fights and grapples to be relevant in a modern global communications ecosystem. I remember when I first joined the satellite industry at the start of the millennium — there was almost a black humor, and questioning whether the industry would be around in 2020. Back then, it was the onset of IPTV that was causing sleepless nights as many wondered if satellite companies could make revenue away from traditional broadcast. While the death of DTH has been severely over-exaggerated, the industry has also looked to carve new markets, particularly in areas of “connected” transportation — which have also helped.
In some ways, the more things change, the more things stay the same. I am not sure I will be the Editor of Via Satellite in December 2029, but if I still am, I am sure I will be writing that the 2030s will be a pivotal decade as well. But, it seems obvious that the 2020s could see a huge change that we could not have imagined at the start of the millennium.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes of the last decade. Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat’s ex-CEO and one of the most charismatic speakers in our industry said the space industry is one for dreamers and an industry that allows you to get “closer to God.” Now, whether or not you agree with that sentiment, it was one that I remember, as I know what he was trying to convey.
I look forward to this decade working with a great team at Via Satellite/Via Space to keep bringing you the stories that matter in our industry. My own journey in this industry started just part of the Millennium and truth be told, I probably didn’t expect to still be writing about the industry in 2020. Journalists and editors can often bounce around different industries. But, it has been a privilege and a honor to work with you all over the last two decades and I wish you all the best for the 2020s. I hope you continue to innovate and create, and make this industry one of the most exciting on Earth, even though it makes you dream beyond Earth’s boundaries. VS