Inspiring the international space industry to collaborate and innovate was a leading theme at the Global Space Congress. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai attended the event which welcomed a global audience of more than 600 space experts, including space agency leaders, C-suite space and aerospace executives, government ministers, top researchers and academics.
HE Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, explained to the audience how the UAE has built international ties with major space organizations in order to increase knowledge transfer and cooperation. He added that the national space sector policy has been adopted in the UAE, based on the clear vision of its leadership, and that the space sector will be a main factor in advancing national capabilities in science and technology.
Throughout the panel sessions of day one, digitization, artificial intelligence and robotics featured as movements that are revolutionizing the space industry across the globe.
Airbus, Vice President, Head of Future Programmes, Laurent Jaffart commented on the phenomena of merging technologies with robotics and refueling satellites. He added that R&D projects will enable refueling by 2022 and that electric propulsion is now being used for One Web. Earth observation applications will also continue improving according to Laurent who believes artificial intelligence will be a major game changer for the space industry.
Nicolas Chamussy, Executive Vice President Space Systems, Airbus Defence and Space commented: “New, innovative technologies like flexible payloads, such as our Eutelsat Quantum, reusable launchers, or improved production processes, all offer large opportunities for cost reduction and increased customer value. They also set the future technical definition of space assets. We are convinced that the UAE will become a major contributor to the development of space technologies for generations to come.”
Tom Wilson, President of Space Logistics commented the importance of 3D printing and laser systems. This was echoed by Ryan Reid, Director Space System Architectures from Boeing, who argued that space is becoming more integrated with ground operations and also highlighted the rise of digitization of space crafts.
Commenting on the Global Space Congress, Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin UAE, said: “It is a special honor for Lockheed Martin to be the 2017 Global Space Congress Industry Partner. This event is a tribute to the UAE’s collaborative vision for the future and its commitment to progressing the development of the space sector in the Middle East and far beyond.”