It is somewhat delayed, but two weeks ago, I had the privilege of being invited as one of the 96 delegates to the 2nd European Space Generation Workshop held at the European Space Agency (ESA) HQ in Paris, France. In the paragraphs to follow, I shall highlight the work some amazing people in the industry contributed towards.
The structure of the two day workshop was that for the majority of the time, delegates would be divided into four Working Groups to focus on their area of expertise, thus contributing to provide solutions to major challenges to the space industry. At the end of the workshop, each of the groups’ representatives would present their findings to the whole delegation, and have the option to continue their work to write a report and even have the opportunity to present it later this year at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
The four groups at the workshop were as follows:
- Space Accessibility: Discussing the state of the market, upcoming changes, and on-going development in the launch sector with a particular emphasis on the Ariane 6.
- Space Exploration: Discussing the physiological and psychosocial challenges faced by astronauts for long-duration spaceflights to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
- Space Diplomacy: Discussing the role, the use, and the potential of space in international relationships.
- Space Economy: Discussing the structure, size, its contribution, and evolution of the space industry to the global economy with emphasis on satellite data for terrestrial transportation.
Delegates of the four Working Groups including a special guest, Paxi! (Also can you spot me?!)
When we weren’t working on delivering the outcomes of the workshop, we were attending various presentations and panel discussions. The most notable panel discussion was that entitled “Diversity in the Space Sector: Unlocking Global Potential.” This featured several heads of NGOs including: Jean-Yves Le Gall (President of IAF), Kai-Uwe Schrogl, (President of IISL), Jean-Michel Contant (Secretary General of IAA), and Stephanie Wan (Chair of SGAC). The panel was moderated by Minoo Rathnasabapathy (Executive Director of SGAC).
From left to right: Kai-Uwe Schrogl (IISL), Minoo Rathnasabapathy (SGAC), Jean-Yves Le Gall (IAF), Jean-Michel Contant (IAA)
SGAC outgoing Chair, Stephanie Wan
Throughout the workshop, there were also many opportunities to network with likeminded young people within the space industry, subject matter experts, professionals, and high seniority decision makers.
One of the highlights of the social side was Cultural Night where delegates spent a few minutes on stage representing their country by either singing, dancing, quizzing, or by straight-up perpetuating stereotypes! Another included a formal dinner on a boat cruising down the Seine absorbing the sights of Paris with good food and good company.
Wherever the 3rd European Space Generation Workshop will take place, the organisers will surely have a tough time meeting the high expectations following this brilliant workshop in Paris! I had a great time, met some amazing, intelligent and driven people, and learnt a lot about the wider space industry and the challenges we will all need to work together to overcome to make interplanetary space travel a reality. It’s a good thing we have organisations like the Space Generation Advisory Council facilitating!
Thanks to Caroline Thro and Florian Ruhhammer for organising such a great workshop!
All photo credits go to SGAC.