Space agency leaders meet in Colorado Springs

36th Space Symposium Heads of Agency panel. Credit: Space Foundation.

The Space Foundation annual Space Symposium was held as a hybrid event last week, online and in Colorado Springs. One of the events for which a public video has been released is the in-person Heads of Agency panel discussion.

This was the first time since the pandemic started that a Heads of Agency panel discussion has taken place in-person.

In attendance was Canadian Space Agency (CSA) president Lisa Campbell. Unfortunately as Canada in in the middle of an election, Ms Campbell was limited in her comments and her answers to questions were already publicly known.

SpaceQ contacted CSA public affairs to determine if Ms Campbell held any formal meetings with any of the other agency leaders. The CSA informed us she met with the following agency leaders:

  • Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator
  • Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA
  • Volodymyr Taftay, Head of Ukraine Space Agency
  • Walther Pelzer, Head of German Space Agency
  • Ian Annett, Deputy CEO of UK Space Agency
  • Philippe Baptiste, President of the Centre national d’études spatiales (French Space Agency)

Ms Campbell also met informally with Giorgio Saccoccia, President of the Italian Space Agency before the Heads of Agency panel.

The interactions between the space leaders was friendly though there was some disagreement on space traffic management with some contending a national approach was needed, while others opted for efforts via the United Nations.

In particular Dr. Walther Pelzer, Head of the German Space Agency, was a vocal advocate for the UN approach through the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). COPOUS has had some recent success in getting a consensus from the global space community on 21 guidelines for the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities.

Here is the timeline of the event including when speakers made their remarks and the subsequent panel discussion:

  • 1:53 Ian Annett, Acting CEO for Programme Delivery, UK Space Agency (UKSA)
  • 4:02 Dr. Josef Aschbacher, Director General, European Space Agency (ESA)
  • 7:23 Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
  • 12:46 Lisa Campbell, President, Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
  • 15:49 Senator Bill Nelson, Administrator, NASA
  • 19:26 Dr. Walther Pelzer, Head of the German Space Agency, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • 29:10 Giorgio Saccoccia, President, Italian Space Agency (ASI)
  • 36:35 Volodymyr Taftai, Head of Agency, State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU)
  • 43:48 What are the plans regarding the development of an international regulatory framework for space traffic management?
  • 49:45 What are the prospects and impediments to future collaborative projects with China?
  • 54:26 Agency accomplishments

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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