I would like to start off by congratulating Michel de Rosen on behalf of all of the Via Satellite team for becoming our Satellite Executive for the Year for 2015. It is very well deserved and recognition for the outstanding job he did, not just in 2015, but since taking over Eutelsat back in 2009.
By the time this edition comes out, preparations for SATELLITE 2016 will be in full swing. It is always an exciting time, as the industry looks ahead over the next year. One of the markets that I think will be interesting to watch over the next 12 months is the launch market. Access to space is always a key issue and the dynamics of this market have changed significantly in recent years. The latest trend to look out for is re-usability of rockets and whether over the next few years this becomes a reality. Operators naturally always want lower cost access to space, but launching satellites is still no easy task. While it is great to see the likes of SpaceX and Blue Origin shake up the market, I am curious to see what the next phase of competition will be. Certainly, Arianespace had a banner year last year and continues to pace the market in terms of new contracts and orders. Others like MHI are looking to have more of an international presence going forward. It is a very dynamic market nowadays, both in terms of the numbers of players, as well as from a price and technology perspective. This bodes well for the industry as a whole, as a progressive launch industry can only have a knock-on effect throughout the industry. The launch panel, which will be moderated for the first time, by Via Satellite Assistant Editor, Caleb Henry and and the Producer and Host of FOX’s “Xploration Outer Space” TV show, Emily Calandrelli, promises to be one of the highlights of SATELLITE 2016.
For those of you going to SATELLITE, we have a great program lined up and it will be great to see everybody for a week of great discussions and debate. It promises to be a be richly substantive event.
Mark Holmes is the editorial director of Via Satellite and Avionics magazines.