17–19 September 2018
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Space Economy Is Happening Despite Challenges

Panelists: Moderator Melissa Sampson, senior manager of commercial aerospace and strategic technology, Ball Aerospace; Carissa Christensen, CEO, Bryce Space and Technology; Andrew Rush, president and CEO, Made in Space Inc.; James Vedda, senior policy analyst, The Aerospace Corp.

by Michele McDonald, AIAA communications manager

AIAA SPACE FORUM, Orlando, Fla., Sept. 19, 2018 — The cislunar economy has many variables shaping its future — from if people can “live off the land” in space to geopolitical conflicts on Earth — panelists said during the “Cis-Lunar Economy Development” session.

Despite challenges, the space economy is happening.

“It’s not tomorrow. It’s not next week. It’s now,” said Melissa Sampson, senior manager of commercial aerospace and strategic technology at Ball Aerospace.

The cislunar’s investment future has changed in three years, said Carissa Christensen, CEO of Bryce Space and Technology. Atypical, risk-tolerant investors have invested at least $2.5 billion since about 2015, she said, adding that small satellite systems have been the door-opening application for these investors.

Manufacturing in space — not building on Earth and unfolding in space — will open “the final frontier,” said Andrew Rush, president and CEO of Made in Space Inc.

Looking ahead, the Department of Commerce could be the U.S. government’s one-stop shop for space commerce, said James Vedda, senior policy analyst with The Aerospace Corp., adding that implementation of an expanded space commerce strategy will take years, not months.

Watch the full video for more information, once it soon becomes available.

Return to 2018 AIAA SPACE Forum Headlines

Return to 2018 AIAA SPACE Forum Home

FAQsContact UsPoliciesMedia