KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), July 26, 2019 – The International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) will feature multiple sessions on Wednesday, July 31 focused on the evolving low Earth orbit economy and the critical role that the space station plays in this marketplace. A variety of positive technology advancements and cost trends have led to a rise in private and public investor interest in space-based commercial as well as research and development (R&D) value creation opportunities. These ISSRDC sessions will highlight analyses and forecasts behind this excitement and optimism for the continued growth of a sustainable economy in low Earth orbit.
Alex MacDonald, NASA’s Senior Economic Advisor will moderate an Economics of Low Earth Orbit session at 9:00 a.m. EDT focused on the increasing demand for R&D in low Earth orbit and the impacts this growing demand could have over the next 15 years. A panel of experts will present recent data and viewpoints, discussing the evolution of the International Space Station (ISS) in supporting low Earth orbit commercialization efforts and the economic implications of commercializing the space sector.
This session comes on the heels of a recent NASA announcement that the space station will support additional avenues to promote commercial efforts, including potential private-sector astronauts, branding opportunities, and more. The session also builds on the increasing number of private-sector users that are leveraging the ISS U.S. National Laboratory to push the boundaries of scientific innovation, improving commercial products to benefit life on Earth. In fiscal year 2018, 70% of the payloads delivered to the ISS National Laboratory represented investigations from the private sector.
Another session beginning at 12:15 p.m. EDT will be moderated by Nasdaq’s Global Head of Capital Markets Robert McCooey, Jr. and will focus on Connecting the Capital Markets of Today and Tomorrow in Space. With representation from leading capital market participants from across the funding spectrum, this panel discussion will deliver valuable insights on what is driving space investment and will highlight potential areas of opportunity, as seen by the investment community. With significant acceleration in investment activity over the past 4-5 years—and close to $3 billion in annual early-stage funding from 2016 through 2018—the space economy is seeing strong and growing involvement from the investment community, as numerous emerging companies seek to make disruptive footprints in evolving markets by leveraging low Earth orbit and beyond.
For those unable to attend in person, these panels, along with all main sessions for ISSRDC, will be livestreamed. To learn more about the conference, including how to follow the livestream, please visit: www.issconference.org.
# # #
About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.
# # #