Investing in Space boosts Industry growth

by Clayton Vallabhan | April 26th, 2015

Al-Ahbabi-2Regional and international leaders from the space sector will be highlighting the importance of investing in space education and development at the Global Space & Satellite Forum 2015 in Abu Dhabi.

The Global Space & Satellite forum will discuss topics such as space technology applications, innovative solutions; low-cost satellite developments such as macro and nano satellites; and how satellite systems are improving lives – ranging from life-saving developments in the field of disaster management to the delivery of entertainment media via handheld consumer devices.

Taking place from 26 – 27 May 2015, the 5th GSSF, is hosted by the UAE Space Agency and organised by Streamline Marketing Group (SMG), and will bring together more than 400 of C-level executives, senior decision makers and government officials from the space and satellite sector.

UAE Space Agency, Director General, Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi commented: “The Global Space and Satellite Forum will provide us with an important opportunity to discuss the benefits of space exploration and space technology to our day to day lives. The UAE is making strategic advancements in the space industry and we look forward to showcasing the progress made and outlining the plans for the future at the summit.”

Jerry Jon Sellers, PhD (LtCol USAF-ret), Senior Space Systems Engineer and author of “Understanding Space”, will address the forum to outline the impact of space technology on wider economic growth in the region and internationally.

The forum will demonstrate how space expenditure in a country helps to promote national image and  sovereignty , enhance national and regional security, advance science and technology and support local industries.

Sellers argues: “The capabilities provided by space assets – communication, GPS, weather forecasting – impact the lives of nearly every man, woman and child on the planet. Unfortunately, we who work in the space industry are sometimes the victims of our own success. We’ve developed these capabilities to be so effective that they are effectively invisible to the casual user.

‘Why waste all that money on space?’ is a typical question asked. But of course, money doesn’t get spent in space. It gets spent here on Earth, creating jobs and building infrastructure that supports our economies. Those of us who work in the space industry too often take the benefits we deliver to society for granted, assuming they are obvious to all. However, it is our responsibility to constantly help to remind our friends and families how different their lives would be without space.”

As of 2012, space was a $304 billion global sector. These activities included commercial space products and services and direct-to-home (DTH) Television, television programming globally provided by space assets.

Satellite radio and radio programming are also made available via space assets. Satellite Communications, often referred to as telecommunications, is based on information flow using space assets. Earth Observation has been significantly developed as a result of space technology.

Putting the cost of space programs into perspective, in 2013, the United States government allocated a total budget of approximately $50 billion for space-related activities during 2013. In the same year, the U.S. also spent about $57 billion on cosmetics for men and women.

The UAE’s investment in space technology is continuing to grow, as the country seeks to develop a long-term strategic plan for a solid and sustainable foundation for advanced space innovation and exploration. This investment is expected to aid the growth of science and knowledge based economy. Compared to the USD$300 billion international space industry, the UAE’s investment in space technology is already substantial and exceeds AED 20 billion (USD 5.44 billion).

The UAE is the first Arab and Islamic country and one of only nine countries with ambitions  to explore Mars. Expected to reach the red planet in 2021, the unmanned probe will travel more than 60 million kilometers in nine months and will be launched to coincide with the UAE’s 50th anniversary. The UAE aims from the Mars mission, is to develop Emirati human capital in the STEM fields and contributing in delivering new scientific contributions to humanity.

A strong line-up of event speakers has already been confirmed including Dr. Mohammed Al-Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency; Dr. David Parker, Chief Executive, UK Space Agency; Jean-Yves Le Gall, President, French Space Agency; Douglas L. Loverro, Dy. Asst. Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, U.S. Department of Defense; Dr. Charles Elachi, Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA; François AUQUE, CEO, Airbus Space and Defence; Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, Chief of JAXA Astronaut Group at the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) and others.

GSSF 2015 will examine the complete journey that emerging and developed space regions need to take from research through to development and modern applications.

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