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Space Show-SWF On-Orbit Satellite Servicing Webinar, Sunday, 8-19-12

20 Aug 2012, 16:34 UTC
Space Show-SWF On-Orbit Satellite Servicing Webinar, Sunday, 8-19-12
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Guests: Brian Weeden, Richard DalBello, Major General, USAF (Retired) James B. Armor, Jr.. This is a SWF sponsored webinar addressing issues related to the on-orbit servicing of satellites. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A TWO HOUR WEBINAR PRODUCTION SPONSORED BY THE SECURE WORLD FOUNDATION (SWF). The webinar video will soon be archived on our Vimeo Space Show channel. When available, I will modify the archives to include the webinar video URL. We welcomed Brian Weeden, Richard DalBello, & Major General, USAF (Retired) James B. Armor, Jr. to the program for an in-depth discussion of on-orbit satellite servicing. This is a new business/industry that is emerging with great interest from governments, the satellite industry, & many other interested parties. During our first webinar hour, our guests explained satellite on-orbit servicing, why the interest in it, the values on the table, & the economics behind this developing industry. We heard from the perspective of the satellite operator with Mr. DalBello, from General Armor with the perspective of a company wanting to provide these services plus what they are commercially doing now in this emerging industry. Gen. Armor talked about the new ATK venture for satellite repair, Vivisat (www.vivisat.com). He was followed by Mr. Weeden who connected the dots with us regarding the big picture implications for security, stability, & policy. We talked about liability issues, insurance, & LEO & GEO satellites in terms of their respective economic value & lifespan. A listener asked about GPS satellites, launch costs, & competition here & abroad. In fact, Brian mentioned several projects outside the US with the Canadians, Germans, & JAXA. Toward the end of the first hour, caller Jack asked about testing & reliability, wondering if repairing satellites would reduce reliability engineering & testing on the ground, thus lowering the satellite's cost given the possibility of on-orbit repair. Ben followed asking if satellites having a longer life would be sold, comparing this potential to selling real estate once a property has been fully depreciated. In our webinar second hour, Brian described the DARPA Phoenix Satellite Service project, www.darpa.mil/our_work/tto/programs/phoenix.aspx. The issue of satellite abandonment came up & as you will hear, there is no way to abandon any object in space. Another issue in this segment was space situational awareness (SSA). We talked about SSA in LEO, with the new entrepreneurial small satellite companies doing LEO ventures, & the implication of this new industry for launching to & operating in GEO. Later in this segment, we learned that there was no commercial incentive to address the space debris issue. Don't miss the analysis behind this statement as its important in understanding the space debris issue. A listener asked Richard about launch vehicle insurance & premiums, specifically for the Falcon 9. Also in this segment we talked about the NASA satellite servicing mission, the Restore Mission (http://ssco.gsfc.nasa.gov/robotic_servicing_mission.html). As our webinar drew to a close, we addressed the importance of a STEM education for our young students & the exciting space projects that today's students will get to do in their careers. Everyone's closing comments reflected the future orientation & focus for this evolving industry. Please post your comments/questions on the blog. If you want to email our guests, send your note to me & I will forward it for you.

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