SATELLITE 2021 Preview: It's Time to Get Excited


Every year, at every SATELLITE show, people always ask me what excites me about the event. This year, my answer is — Just being here!

I mean that! The last time most of us saw each other in person was at the SATELLITE 2020 show, which ended on the very day that the world’s 18-month-long COVID-19 quarantine began. During the lockdown, the satellite industry was forced to completely change the way it operated – from re-inventing engineering and manufacturing processes to transitioning all business functions to virtual conference rooms and chat groups. It was not an easy adjustment and there was a lot of uncertainty in those early spring months of 2020.

Once the world settled in to the realization that COVID-19 would be a long-term reality, the satellite and space industries pushed forward to reach some of their most remarkable and historical achievements.

In addition to three privately-owned U.S. launch companies sending crewed missions to space, and more satellites into orbit in one year than ever before, more than a dozen massive new satellite constellations were announced. OneWeb was saved from bankruptcy by the largest and most diverse public/private investment group the satellite industry has ever seen. A new wave of space companies began the process of going public. And, nearly a dozen nations established their first ever space programs.

While all of this excitement was happening, the SATELLITE team and I planned for both the industry’s all-virtual reality as well as its return to in-person interaction. We hosted numerous virtual conferences while preparing for our triumphant return to life outside of our home offices – SATELLITE 2021.

At times, it felt like chasing a mirage. As we waited for the COVID-19 vaccine, we were forced to reschedule this event twice. But, it’s finally here! We’re finally able to celebrate all of those achievements that we realized during the most challenging and stressful times of our lives. We should be proud of these achievements and grateful that we’re healthy and vaccinated and able to see each other again.

So, what excites me the most about SATELLITE 2021 is that you will be here with us. Yes, this is our 40th anniversary event. Yes, we have awesome keynote speakers, a tremendous conference program, and an amazing exhibit hall, but none of that would matter if you weren’t here to experience it. Click on the image below to see highlights of SATELLITE 2021 and be sure to register at We look forward to having you join us September 7-10 in National Harbor, Maryland!

Jeffrey Hill

Chair, SATELLITE 2021

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