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The Private Space Industry Revolution

Presented in cooperation with George Mason University Observatory

Evening Course

Friday, September 9, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0198A
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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SpaceX CRS-1 Falcon 9 launches (Photo: Steve Jurvetson)

Save when you purchase the Private Space Industry Revolution course!

We are living through a revolution in the private space industry, with the successful launches of reusable first-stage rockets, 3-D printed rockets, and small rockets that can deliver small payloads to a low-earth orbit for the cost of a single Super Bowl ad. NASA is returning to the Moon after more than half a century and has launched American astronauts from native soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle era.

The potential for the transformational lowering of the costs of accessing space, space tourism, and future commercial space stations is driving a complete rethinking of the engineering and cost cycles of satellites and space exploration. 

But with the threat of increased light pollution to potential satellite collisions and “mega-constellations” formed out of the sheer volume of satellites in Earth’s orbit, do the pros outweigh the cons?

The opportunities and challenges of the private space industry revolution raise questions about legality and environmental impact. U.S. and international policy and laws have not caught up to the new "wild west" of the space frontier. Should low-earth orbit fall under environmental protection laws? What happens when multiple nations beyond the U.S, start launching their own satellite mega-constellations?

Expert astronomers and pioneers in the private space industry weigh in on the future in a series of talks and a panel discussion.

Session Information

Reusable Launch Vehicles and Space Policy Issues

Charles Miller, a serial space entrepreneur, explores the social, economic, and national security benefits of big low-Earth-orbit satellite constellations, and proposals to use or amend the National Environmental Protection Act to protect astronomy. He discusses the emergence of fully reusable launch vehicles, their role in the rapid growth of satellites orbiting Earth, and the long-term benefits of these new technologies for astronomical research.

Additional Sessions

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