Where has the year gone? As we exit 2018, we look forward to what is shaping up to be a fascinating 2019. As it is the end of the year, I wanted to share some of my personal highlights. Certainly, the opportunity to do an interview with Jeff Bezos face to face at SATELLITE 2018 was one that will live long in my memory. While I have interviewed many top C-Suite executives in my time, it was a great honor to talk to Bezos specifically about his plans for Blue Origin. It was also great to interview Sir Richard Branson, another high-profile business person who is looking to make an impact in the space arena.
In terms of trips, the trip of the year was undoubtedly courtesy of SES and Carnival Cruises, when I witnessed a world record of satellite connectivity on a cruise ship. As I sat on the ship watching the ocean, I thought that perhaps, the life of a satellite journalist is not so bad (not sure many of my colleagues had much sympathy when I told them I was hard at work, though). My role as the “Authenticator” — as Steve Collar has called me on numerous occasions — was one I eagerly embraced, and one that I am open for, should any satellite operators wish to don my cruise shoes once again.
In terms of trade shows, SATELLITE 2018 was a particular highlight, as there seemed to be a new energy about the show this year. For the first time in many years, the impact and the energy from these new startups seemed to pervade the entire event. While I have never known the satellite industry to be anything other than optimistic, it seems like the next few years will be critical for satellite as it becomes part of the mainstream ecosystem.
I am also personally fascinated by space tourism (or life on Mars — call it what you will). I am a bit pessimistic about this to be honest, and I see these new plans actually taking longer than expected. I hope to be proven wrong, but I think we are miles away from this actually happening.
We have some exciting features in this edition of Via Satellite. We look out at SATELLITE 2029 and see what the satellite world may look like in 10 years time. We decided to ask a number of high profile and up-and-coming women in our industry (which is still very male dominated) to give their views on this.
We also came up with the ten hottest companies in satellite and ten young people to watch in our industry. We don’t expect you to agree with us, but I hope it can lead to good conversation.
I would like to finally wish the readers of Via Satellite a Happy Holidays, as well as a prosperous 2019. We are part of an increasingly dynamic, beautiful industry that really makes a difference to humanity, and we should be all blessed by that fact. VS