Navigating Day 1 of the Biggest SATELLITE Program in History

With more than 330 panel and keynote speakers, 90 events and conference sessions, and 16,000 attendees from more than 100 nations around the world, SATELLITE 2019 is the biggest, most inclusive, and perhaps craziest week-long event we’ve ever produced! SATELLITE 2019 Chair Jeffrey Hill provides helpful guidance and highlights from each of the four days of our conference program.

Day One

In writing a preview of what you’re about to experience, it might be easier for me to list who is not speaking, sponsoring, or exhibiting at SATELLITE this year. Following the largest Space Symposium event in the gathering’s long history, to say that this is an exciting time to be a part of this community feels like an understatement.

The SATELLITE 2019 Conference kicks off with an opening day on Monday that is packed with must-see speaker presentation. The opening day begins with a general session that puts executives from Boeing, Amazon Web Services, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Hughes, Orange, and Isotropic Systems on stage together to answer the space technology question on everyone’s mind, “What's the (Next) Big Idea?” Open to all attendees, this session was inspired by commentary in Karl Klaus’ “Fourth Industrial Revolution” that the next space industry revolution would be defined by “spin-in” benefits from other industries. Which of these benefits or applications will make the most dramatic impact on the commercial space industry during the next decade? The panelists will explore a range of technologies including data fusion, cloud computing, lasers, robotics, blockchain, Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and new propulsion systems.

Our 86,000-square-foot exhibit hall opens immediately after this session, followed by our first block of breakout sessions, which will begin at 11:00 a.m. Monday’s conference program includes the annual Finance Forum, the SGx Keynote series, and our Technical Presentation series, running throughout the week in Room 145 and including a kick-off keynote presentation — a surprisingly candid behind-the-scenes look at the development of one of the world’s first satellite constellations — from Iridium CEO Matt Desch. At this time, I will also be sitting down with Relativity’s young and brilliant CEO, Tim Ellis, for an educational fireside chat about how new 3D printing techniques will help space manufacturers build rockets and satellites within mere days of initial order. Ellis and I will also discuss Relativity’s unique approach to building through the integration of machine learning, software, and robotics with metal 3D printing processes.

At noon on Monday, SATELLITE attendees with conference-level passes can then head up to the Ballrooms for what is undoubtedly the biggest keynote luncheon program we’ve ever produced. We will hear keynote presentations from two very special guest speakers: Maersk Shipping’s Head of Mobility, Klaus Egeberg, and The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence.

This keynote lunch will represent the first time SATELLITE has ever hosted both a senior executive speaker from one of the world’s top three commercial shipping companies, and the first time we have ever hosted a serving U.S. Vice President. While the two speakers come from markedly different backgrounds, both will address critical, innovative changes driven by advancements in space technology. Egeberg will explain how satellite connectivity can help drive the evolution of global autonomous shipping fleets. Vice President Pence will deliver a special keynote address on how the administration plans to increase support for space exploration and commercialization projects that require partnership between national security, civil space, and satellite industry organizations.

If Monday morning at SATELLITE wasn’t busy enough, the day will continue with the debut of our Startup Space Pitch Workshop, open to new entrant attendees seeking one-on-one guidance directly from investors on how to improve their business models and pitches. Special tickets for the Pitch Workshop can be purchased at the registration desk.

SATELLITE’s day-one conference program ends with a fireside chat keynote presentation from OneWeb CEO Adrián Steckel and Softbank Managing Director and Partner Alex Clavel. Hosted by Christian Davenport of the Washington Post, the fireside will detail Steckel and Clavel’s vision for the digital divide-focused operator, following the successful launch of its system. This vision, if you recall, was first laid out by OneWeb Founder Greg Wyler at SATELLITE 2015, during a special keynote presentation that included building a shack on stage and installing an active satellite antenna on its roof. The rush of day one finally comes to an end with our Lunar Ball Welcome Reception, where we invite you to join colleagues and attendees for drinks, light hors d’oeuvres and plenty of conversation!

Our SATELLITE 2019 Chair preview will continue in the next edition of the Via Satellite show daily with a preview of the Tuesday conference program, including the Global Operators general session, launch panels, Startup Space, and the closing Space Leaders Forum. VS

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