Cambridge Astronomical Association
Cambridge Young Astronomers


Speaker Meeting

Commercialisation of lunar exploration and modernisation of spacecraft design
Friday 20th May 2022
Start time : 20:00

Speaker : Nelly Offord and Dave Phillips

The Space Economy is changing.

As witnessed by the number of new entrants in the space sector, and record level of private investment in the past decade (over £6bn), the space sector is evolving. Initially driven, financed and controlled by a handful of space-faring nations, space has become a global market place, where industry and institutions cohabit to sponsor and commercialise goods and services.

This transformation has been happening at various speeds for the various applications for Space. Commercial communications are well established and represent in the UK 90% of space applications (~£11bn p.a.), and have led to a modernisation and systematisation of spacecraft production for telecommunications. More surprisingly, areas until now reserved to institutions and scientists have now started their commercialisation journey, such as Earth Observation carried by climatic and surveillance needs, and even Exploration.

This talk will focus on 2 very different aspects on commercialisation of space, looking first at the evolution of spacecraft manufacturing all the way to standardisation in response to the hyper-commercialised telecom market, and moving on to the first steps into the nascent lunar economy.

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About our speaker:

David Phillips, VP, Head of UK National Programmes, Telecom and Navigation Systems, Airbus Defence and Space, and Nelly Phillips (Offord), Head of Exploration, Surrey Satellites Technology Limited (SSTL) David is currently responsible for UK telecom and navigation programmes at Airbus, a responsibility that includes the design, development and delivery of the latest generation communications satellite for UK MoD. Since joining Airbus Defence & Space in 2012, Nelly has had roles in programme management, industrial operations and R&D management, before transferring to subsidiary SSTL in Guildford to develop SSTL’s ambition in lunar communication and navigation services.

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