Written by Jennifer Taylor, NVTC President & CEO

Recently my husband purchased a satellite for our 41 ft. Beneteau sailboat. I now feel safer and more connected, and like that I can easily work remotely below deck. Best of all, I can watch the U.S. Open and college football while Dave is at the helm.

While sailing past Norfolk one night this summer, we witnessed a spectacular sight as a constellation of Starlink satellites passed overhead in a perfect line. I became more fascinated with all that is happening in space.

This past November, I attended Iridium’s 25th Anniversary celebration and learned about the unconventional ways satellites are used. I also met Rob Ruyak, global aerospace and business development lead at AWS, who educated me on the global space industry, including:

  • The global space industry spends $350B+ annually, relying heavily on an ecosystem of governments, commercial companies, venture capital firms, accelerators, incubators and research and academic institutions.
  • In 2022, the U.S. Government spent nearly $62B (excluding classified) on space—five times that of China, which rapidly increased their spending to $12B.

Space Security Challenges: Rising Satellite Numbers, Threats, and Strategic Implications

And then since I am ‘nerding out’ on all things space right now, these stats from a recent episode of The Daily podcast titled, “What does the US Space Force actually do?” intrigued me:

  • 44,500 space objects circle Earth, including 9,000 active satellites and 19,000 significant pieces of debris (including a Tesla roadster).
  • Space threats include kinetic kill vehicles that can destroy other satellites, and machines that can cast nets and extend grappling hooks to capture them.
  • China, whose presence in space now outpaces Russia’s, is launching unmanned space planes into orbit and adding AI capabilities to satellites.
  • Countries at a physical warfare disadvantage against the U.S. may view attacking the U.S. space system as a tempting alternative.

How will NVTC contribute to space tech?

As NVTC continues to anticipate and modernize, our region is uniquely positioned to contribute to and advance the space-enabled and/or related missions of both public and private sectors.

NVTC plans to launch a space tech Community of Interest to convene professionals who want to network and stay abreast of emerging trends, innovations, and policies impacting the space market.

NVTC looks forward to deepening our understanding of the industry and exploring opportunities for our community to collaborate and grow.