2016 will go down as the year of seismic political change. I am sure when we have a 50 year anniversary edition of Via Satellite (we celebrate 30 years this year), we would definitely cover this year in huge depth! I write this on the morning that Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States. Whenever these seismic political events happen, we look as an industry on how these events could shape our business going forward – good or bad.
Ironically, we have just recently done a cover story in Via Satellite where we had a number of top executives in the U.K. space industry talk about the fallout of Brexit and what it could mean for the space industry. Similarly, we now have a U.S. president who will have a very different approach to his predecessor on a number of issues. So, one of the questions facing our industry in the United States is what the next four years will look like for major U.S. space companies, both in terms of doing business at home and internationally. In four year’s time, it really will be fascinating to look back at what happened in 2016 and in particularly, how U.S. and U.K. space companies fare between 2016 and 2020.
Interestingly enough, this edition we talk to two key figures: Winston Beauchamp, a member of the senior executive service, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for space, and the director, principal DOD space advisor staff for the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District about their take on U.S. DOD policy going forward and how they may work better with the commercial satellite industry.
Our other two main features this month look at the impact of new national satellite operators on our industry, as well as a look at tomorrow’s launch vehicles.
One of the interesting points of our industry is that no matter what political or economic turbulence there is, it has a remarkable capacity to be resilient and ride through these periods. However, having said that, it is undeniable that the industry will be impacted by what has happened politically this year. But, we may need a few years to figure out what these impacts might be. I may or may not be the editor of Via Satellite in 2020, but I hope whoever is the editor will cast an eye back and assess the impact. It should be an interesting read! VS