And that was 2021!!! Our final edition of the year is here and what a year it has been on many levels. Just before this edition has gone to press, Viasat announced a stunning deal to acquire Inmarsat in perhaps the biggest news story of the year. I know at SATELLITE 2021, there was much talk about possible consolidation, but this is always part of the discussion. Viasat has been active thanks to its acquisitions of European Broadband Initiative, Rignet and now Inmarsat. It is certainly an aggressive statement of intent.
As for this edition of Via Satellite, we bring some fantastic content for you. Our cover story features Sirisha Bandla, vice president of Virgin Galactic, who was part of Virgin Galactic flight to space with Sir Richard Branson. We talk about the whole experience and how it has changed Bandla’s perspective of life on Earth. Bandla has become a role model, particularly to young girls in India. We talk about this as well as what is next for her after her amazing trip to space.
The United Kingdom has recently put forth an exciting space strategy and is determined to be one of the biggest global space players. The country government has already invested in OneWeb and is determined to build on that still further. It is a vibrant space market, and here Adrienne Harebottle talks to some of the key players about the future of the U.K. space industry.
My colleague Rachel Jewett writes our annual year in review story, where we highlight the biggest stories in satellite over the course of 2021. It is no surprise that there are plenty to choose from here.
Finally, Marisa Torrieri looks at one of the biggest issues for 2022 — sustainability in space. I write this just after COP26 has finished. The issue of climate change has been front and center for all of us. Sustainability in space, particularly given the ambitious plans of many players is an evolving issue. Here, we feature commercial companies offering solutions for end of life services, orbital debris removal, and space situational awareness.
As this is the last edition of the year, I want to thank our loyal community for all of the support you have given us this year. It is something we never take for granted. I wish you all happy holidays and we look forward to reporting on the seismic changes across the industry in 2022.