What has struck me in recent times is how much space is a symbol of national pride. Certainly, when talking to the likes of Azercosmos (Azerbaijan) and Es’hailSat (Qatar), there is a real sense that space can make a difference and working at these companies can be quite aspirational for young people. But, it is not just in these markets where working in space is a source of national pride.
I was at the recent Satellite Finance Network conference in London, and discovered there is a huge amount of national pride in space. In fact, the United Kingdom has the aim to build a 40 billion pound ($61.5 billion) market there in the next 15 years, which would be quite an achievement. The space industry seems to engender feelings of patriotism, as well as being at the cutting edge of technology. Even though I have had the privilege of writing about this industry for a number of years, the levels of national pride associated with working in the space industry still surprise me.
Speaking of national pride, one of our main stories in this edition is an exclusive interview with U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. He is a key player in making sure the United States gets great value from its space assets, and he talks in-depth and candidly about how the U.S.’ government relationship with the commercial satellite industry is changing. He offers some fascinating insights on a topic that has been talked about for years and years.
In this edition, we also have a striking column from Hannah Kerner who talks bluntly on what the satellite industry needs to do to attract young talent. Our Generation Next features one of RSCC’s bright young engineers, Denis Eleferov discussing the space industry in Russia and why as a young engineer, he wanted to be a part of this industry. It all comes down to national pride. It is in some ways the very fuel that drives this industry.
Mark Holmes is the editorial director for Via Satellite and Avionics Magazine.