Farah Nanji 0:00
We are gathered here today to discuss not only just the future of space but how space can actually impact the UN SDG goals. I'm really really honored to be joined today by Dr. Sian Proctor, the first African American to pilot a spacecraft. Christina Korp, the director for Space For A Better World and the former manager of Buzz Aldrin, Fatema Hamdani, CEO of Kraus Hamdani Aerospace, and Rafall Modrzewski, CEO of ICEYE. So before we kick into today's session, I'd love to start off with a video that really can explain the future of space and how Dr. Sian played a role in that as well. So AV, if you could put on that video.
Inspiration4 Mission To Space Video 0:49
Space X is about getting humanity to Mars. We're trying to make the dream of space accessible to anyone. And ultimately making science fiction nonfiction forever. What they're about to do, will change the game entirely. For civilians are going to space, they will orbit the Earth for three days on there. You know, my dream of always wanting to go to space, I wanted to let you know that I got selected.
They start telling me about this all civilian Mission to Space, how many astronauts are going, that's when she said, No. Haley was diagnosed with bone cancer, I haven't died. And I'm not going to die. Having cancer made me who I am. My dream is to be a nurse, I'm getting to show them what their life can look like after cancer. If I can do it, you can definitely do it.
Went upstairs after the phone call, though and told my wife, they were going to write a rocket and she just went, I don't think I'll think about the worldly impact this mission is going to have until Chris is back on the ground.
I'm like, why would they choose me. But my dad instilled this idea in me that I could do anything.
I'm Commander of inspiration for no matter what I'm a father first. And that comes with a great deal of responsibility. What is the speed? You're 25 times the speed of sound are 17 and a half 1000 miles an hour? Oh, wow. That's getting real. Permission to space had to serve a bigger purpose, which is why it's $200 million fundraising campaign for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
There have been three black female American astronauts who have made it to space I will be number four.
Start thinking about what can happen risks that are involved.
These people are you and me. And they will kick the doors open to space for the rest of us.
This is where we're gonna live for three days home sweet home.
Farah Nanji 3:22
Wow. Dr. Sian, maybe you could first tell us a little bit about the mission.
Dr. Sian Proctor 3:29
Yeah. So last year, I was really fortunate to become part of Inspiration4's first all-civilian mission to orbit where we spent three days in space. That was back in September of last year. And it wasn't just about sending civilians to space. It was also this idea that when we solve for space, we solve for Earth, and it was the largest fundraising in St. Jude Children's resources, research hospitals. existence $200 million raise and we we made it to 243 million as of now and still counting.
Farah Nanji 4:11
I would love also for our other panellists to introduce themselves as well and tell us a little bit about what they're working on and how they got involved in this industry.
Christina Korp 4:21
Hi, I'm Christina Korp. I am known as the astronaut wrangler. I was in the entertainment industry and ran a small media company and then I needed a break. So I took a job working for Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. I thought I was gonna have a nice, quiet, boring life and do it for a couple of years. And that was 14 and a half years ago. So I was responsible for Buzz Aldrin's legacy for at least a dozen years and ran his education foundation. I left at the end of 2019. I thought I was done with space after producing the last five galleries at Apollo of Apollo 11 at Kennedy Space Centre And then during the pandemic, I thought, well, maybe I'm gonna go do something else. And then my friend at the White House shrug Pareek because the Executive Secretary, the National Space Council said, You're in deep space already. You're not coming back to Earth. You need to own your role in space and you need to remind people who you are when this pandemic like ends, and so I started working with other astronauts I now represent four I have three more astronauts who have asked me to take them on. Sian is one of my astronauts I wrangle. But I worked with Charlie Duke 10th man to walk on the moon, Nicole Stott, who's an amazing human and Earthlings and Susan kilruane, the second woman to pilot the space shuttle. And I'm going to take on a few more, but I'm here because of space for a better world. When I spoke on some panels here two years ago, in Davos, I realised how little people, all these people with all this money, understood that space is, I think, the most powerful tool to solve the world's greatest problems and the SDGs. And I am hoping to be that connector. My new tagline is I'm trying to connect the space curious, with the space serious, and try to bring these worlds together and get people don't understand that space is, I think the key to solving the SDGs.
Fatema Hamdani 6:17
Thank you, Christina. I don't know how to go after Fatima Hamdani, I'm the CEO and co founder of Hamdani aerospace when we started looking at fixed wing unmanned aerial platforms. So we're talking about persistent assets that can fly perpetually, eventually, across all different tiers within the Earth's atmosphere. It's everything below low Earth orbit. But it is a full scenario, right to sea, land, air and space, we'll all have to work together. And so when I look at space, of course, the geospatial assets kind of play a huge role. But everything underneath across the different aerial tiers are equally important. From data collection, from telecommunication. And just bringing our worlds together and how we then support the sustainable development goals are as ESG focused folks are calling it and so just bringing all of the data and connecting the world is the mission that my company's on. And that's why the alignment to what we're going to be talking about today.
Rafal Modrzewski 7:21
yes, thank you. So I really like the space curious and space serious. I guess out of those two, we will be probably under space, serious side. So my name is Rafal Modrzewski, I'm the CEO and founder of a company called ICEYE, we build satellites, we design them, we actually have a satellite factory. I'm glad that we've seen SpaceX, because in probably about five hours, we are launching five satellites into space, they will complement the constellation of 16 satellites, which we already have in space. So it's really, you know, it's really changing and it's changing fast. And as, as Christina was pointing out, I don't think people actually know about this. So it's it's very important topic that we should talk about, because there is a natural connection between what we know about our planet, and how we utilise space based technology in order to learn more about this, and I'm excited to be speaking with you guys about this more. Now, what's unique about our satellite, just to give you a context is that they don't use your traditional camera, it's not an optical picture that you're going to get out of this. You know, satellites are generally divided into communication and Earth observation. In Earth observation, you're looking at what's happening on the ground. Now you can do it with a camera. And that's an optical spectrum. Or you can use what we do, which is radar imaging technology. Now, the exciting part about radar is that you can see through clouds, you can see through darkness, you can see for volcanic ash, you can see whenever you have to see, which is why our focus is so much about natural catastrophes, because that's when you have to be there fast, that's when you have to be able to reliably take an image. And let's be honest, natural catastrophes don't usually happen during a good weather condition. So we, we tend to be there. And we tend to pierce through clouds. And and that's what we can provide.
Farah Nanji 9:09
Fantastic. Thank you. Thank you all for introducing yourselves. So let's dive straight in. I'd love to hear from all of you how you think space can help solve the climate crisis and impact sustainability and what those investment strategies look like.
Dr. Sian Proctor 9:23
Well, you know, I'm a geo scientist by training, I've taught geology and sustainable cities sustainable worlds for about over 20 years now. And and going back to that idea of solving for space, also Earth, we think about space, space is all about efficiencies, efficiencies in food, water, energy, shelter waste, when we're talking about SDGs that those are the categories right? And so how do we take that technology that is pushing the envelope of efficiency and and repurpose it in He's down here that make us better. And as we push to the Moon and Mars and beyond, we just have to keep getting more efficient in all of these areas. And I think that that's one of the things that isn't taken into account a lot is the transferability of space technology. NASA has spin offs that they've done published for, you know, over 30 years, that shows how space technology is being used, and spun off as technologies here and applicable on Earth. But when we take and we collectively use not just the traditional old space, which is the ones that were run by agencies like NASA and JAXA and ESA, because of how much it costs to get out of the Earth's gravity. Well, you know, you needed kind of like these big kind of consortiums of nations to be able to do that. And that's why there wasn't a lot of equity in there. But now that commercial spaces to the point where you're not only being able to independently launch payloads to space, but with the technology that has been driven mainly by space technology, in in the reduction of size, and stuff that you're taking stuff that satellites used to be so big, and now being able to create cube satellites and things that with better cameras and stuff that can image the earth and provide real time data about what's happening on our planet, and targeting that data and that information specifically to look at things like you know, hazards, but also where sources of single point sources of, you know, climate gases that are being released by industry on things that you couldn't do before, and really being able to target where sources of emissions are happening and tracking how it's impacting our planet. So I think that that's when we can support industries, the commercial side of what's happening, that are making a you know, that they're there, their sole purpose is to try to figure out how to tackle the SDGs, then we're taking that whole idea of solving for space soles for Earth, and using it the way that it should be.
Christina Korp 12:13
Well, and I want to pipe in as like, having been a fly on the wall of the Apollo astronauts lives. So first of all, I wasn't born when the Apollo missions happened. But somehow, someway, I dropped into their world and I was accepted in their world, what I have learned and what I think we've lost over the last 50 years, there's, there's a great John F. Kennedy quote that I love, which is we celebrate the past to awaken the future. And I've done a lot of public celebrations, what a lot of people don't realise, or maybe they've forgotten, or especially this new generation doesn't know, when Apollo eight went to the moon and orbited the Moon and we saw Earth rise. That moment was shocking for the world to see our whole planet that started Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency was started in the US from the Apollo missions. And so that started a movement that that made a lot of people think, wow, we need to take better care of our planet. And so in the last 50 years, there has been this huge awareness gap, though, of people thinking spaces, this separate thing from our lives. And I posted recently on LinkedIn, we live on a planet in space. We all are in space, this is something that's relevant to all of us. And so the greatest thing though, that we've gotten so many technologies that we use constantly, and people don't understand it's from space, you're using a cell phone, you're using satellites in orbit, you're using communications that evolved from space technology. And so I say this, because a lot of the people who say we're climate people, we're environment people, they're usually standing on a stage and they're usually talking about, we've got to save this planet, we should not be spending money on space. Usually they're using images from satellites in orbit, looking back at the earth. And so often I'll say, Who do you think is providing the data? Who do you think is giving you the the the information you need to save our planet, it's the space people. But the problem is the space people aren't so great at this messaging. And that's why I'm trying to be one of the conduits for that, because I'm a plain speaking South Dakota girl. I am not a scientist, I am not an engineer. But I can see very clearly the benefits that we have from space. And I feel it's my responsibility, having been the one to help carry on this legacy of Apollo. So I, you know, I want to remind people that the world we live in today, the things we benefit is from Apollo, from the Apollo missions and the game changers of today, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, most of the ones were invested in space Richard Branson, because of the Apollo missions, so we kind of need to remind the world of that, and then hopefully, use that inspiration to remind people I that's what I'm trying hard to do is inspire people to want to be a part of it, and then hopefully guide them to people like you guys, and what you're doing to show them What what you've developed is a tool to help them fix, you know, the problems that they care about on Earth.
Fatema Hamdani 15:05
And I'm a firm believer, it's an exchange, right? What are you saying, for example, we're building high altitude pseudo satellites, we talk about aerial assets. And we talk about space assets. There's a whole stratosphere in between, which has very low air density. So flying things there is very hard. A very similar atmosphere exists in Mars, there is no atmosphere, right. And so if we're flying with very low airflow over the wings, the same fixed wing, aircraft or unmanned aircraft can possibly be used for Mars exploration. And so there is a lot of exchange that happens in the military and the DOD, we use terminology, which is called tipping and queuing. So you get a certain piece of information, and then you queue up another asset to collect additional information. And so that's why when we're building persistent unmanned aerial platforms that can fly perpetual, you've already flown nonstop for 26 hours, the same acid can fly up to 340 hours. So think of satellites that don't need orbits. Now, when you combine that an Augment with what Rafael is doing, or any of the other geospatial assets are doing, and so when they're scanning the ocean with the radar, and they find things of interest, we can then follow up and get eyes on the ground and actually identify RF frequency. And that's how we will stop sex traffickers. When the refugee crisis is happening closer to Earth, being able to actually stop the sex traffickers is as equal as making sure that the refugees get back on land safely. In addition to this, there's 3.8 billion human beings that don't have connectivity, and access. So when we talk about equality and parity, let's give them access to the same resources we have access to, when we're building web three, when we're building these tools, they get to have access, these are the farmers that are working in third world countries, these are the refugees that an average refugee spent 17 and a half year in a refugee camp, and does not have an identity. They're not they nobody. And that is what we get to solve for when we come together with these solutions, and actually work in conjunction with each other to solve problems such as wireless services. And I'll end it one last thing. Starling for example, right now, the crisis in Ukraine, the first thing that were brought down, were some of the GPS assets were some of the satellite assets. And Starling had to put terrestrial dishes to get connectivity. We our assets are one of the best cell towers in the sky, the suddenly you're augmenting terrestrial assets, and you're putting that cell tower in aerial assets, so that your last mile or link to the satellites is possible. Now you're all coming together. And so that's how we actually provide services and data and others to the rest of the world. Right. So I'll hand it off to you now.
Rafal Modrzewski 18:05
Yes, I will try to add a little bit to this. Now, I heard that the the engineers aren't really good at speaking. And I'm an engineer, I'm stressed right now. But they're all engineers. That's fair. That's fair. Look, I guess, you know, now that we are speaking to you about the sort of your awareness of what's going on there as a term use that, I think it's obvious to many of us, but it may not be as clear the new space versus old space. Indeed it is, it is important to realise that what we are talking about here really hasn't existed about a decade ago, I think it was about 2010, when when the first CubeSat concept really was was created in the university in California, Cal Poly. And from that moment on, this whole new Space Generation really was constructed. That's that's what happened. And so I was one of those people, I was building cube sets at the university. And that's where how I started. And so what changed is, is really the, the size of the satellites, the way we build those satellites, and ultimately, the cost, right, and the fact that the cost has changed made it possible for a private company like ICEYE to own and launch its own satellites, not only its own satellites, we have currently more satellites that there have ever existed before us. With the five satellites are going to be 21 sar satellites, there's actually more than all sorts of let's learn so far. And that was only enabled because we've managed to drop the cost per single unit by an order of magnitude, maintaining the capabilities. And now I think you know, what I was picking up is a little bit of an emotion over here and I maybe because I shared this emotion with with Dr.Sian, there is perhaps a slight amount of frustration, which is why we're on this panel because I wish I could you know, I wish I could show you pictures because they do kind of a more than 1000 words. We do see those things We do see climate change, we do see icebergs moving around, we do see vessels dropping oil in the scene, we see deforestation, we see forest fires, we see flooding, we see all of those things from space. And we actually see them in real time. And we particularly see them regardless of the weather condition. But the community altogether can observe them. So it is very important for us to have this dialogue and figure out how can we convey that message, whether we are engineers or not, and convince the society to start harnessing because it it has been said, you cannot really solve those problems without having the space part of it, right? Those pictures that data, GPS capability, anything you use has a space component to it. So we cannot treat it as something, something else, we've got to treat it as part of the solution, because it is part of the solution.
Christina Korp 20:52
I just want to add before you move on, I mean, this is the kind of conversations we need more though, because you guys know this, you go to a space conference, and it's the choir preaching to the choir. And then you'd go to another space conference, and it's the choir preaching to the choir. So this is why I'm passionate. And I'm not saying all all engineers are bad speakers. But my point, though more is that getting more open communication outside of space to get more people who aren't going to those space conferences, to understand the value of what you're talking about. Because I think if more people who have the power to make widespread change, understood what you have what you guys have as a tool they could do we could do more, that that's kind of my mission, hopefully to you know, do more of that.
Farah Nanji 21:35
Absolutely. And this room is filled with many, many sustainable impact investors. So let's touch upon the fact that by 2040, space is predicted to be a trillion dollar industry. And Christina, you've touched upon the mindset, what are the obstacles you feel are blocking the potential frontiers of investment opportunities for space?
Fatema Hamdani 21:57
I'll take a little bit on that one. It's very interesting impact investing. The purpose of my company is saving lives. It was a very tall order. When we started the company we like we're going to marry aerial intelligence with decision makers so that they can make decisions faster as in life can be saved, starting with warfighters, civilians, wildlife, anti poaching, search and rescue, disaster management, wildfire monitoring. What's interesting is, if we work with the DOD and federal, we're not viewed as an impact, or a climate tech company, whereas the data that we're collecting is so relevant what Rafa was saying, we're working with payload providers that will allow us to monitor one and trillion air particle. So truly monitoring carbon, truly monitoring methane, or greenhouse gases and layer and stack them up across different altitudes. That's when we can actually see what we're doing and what the impact of what we're doing. Right. And so now going and marrying that with investors opportunities, and we have to be part of those conversations, when a country is at war, when there is a disaster, the carbon footprint goes out of the window. And so that's why we have to bring these solutions together and talk joint and in you know, have the impact investors invest in technologies that are also working elsewhere and dual use, so to speak.
Farah Nanji 23:20
Absolutely. Do any of you have anything more to add?
Rafal Modrzewski 23:23
Yes, I mean, of course, I can come in. So look, I mean, we both have startups, so we are facing the challenge of financing this whole idea of building the space capability. And as much as we have made it cheaper, it's it doesn't mean that it's cheap. It still requires quite a lot of finance again. So you know, when people tell me that this is going to be a trillion dollar industry in 2050. I'm like, great, but where is this money right now? It's actually quite, you know, it's quite challenging to raise money for space, because people don't think that it is ESG related. People don't think that it is related to climate change. They hear the trillion dollars in 2050. They don't think about it, what it is, how much of this investment do we have to make right now in order to actually be successful in 2050? Right? And the truth is that, look, if we don't start today, we are not going to get there in 2050. Right. So this is going to take several years to build. We started I say back in 2012. It took us 10 years to develop everything that was necessary. Those things don't really happen from one day to another right. So I I think if there is a call for action, I think, you know, we do have to link in our minds space with sustainable development goals. And if we do want to support the SDGs, then we have to start thinking of investing into space.
Christina Korp 24:37
The thing I would like to add to is that, you know, what you are able to do it's commercial companies, though to is more flexible, then a lot of the government like if it was government funded or it was a government grant, so I mean, it's a huge opportunity for investors to work with a more agile companies who have the ability Ready to move quickly. I mean, we're seeing like with Ukraine, what happened, which was really interesting. For the first time ever Mac's are one of the companies that does or the observation, were taking real time photos of the Russian convoy. And in the past, only governments had access to those images. And, you know, Ukraine would have had to try to apply to get those photos. maxar was literally putting on social media, hey, here's the convoy, like on Twitter, showing them in real time, and that's the power of the commercial companies is the ability to do so stuff much quicker now. So I think it's an exciting time, actually, for investors to get in with you guys. You know, if they, I think there's so many opportunities, and that's what I hope to do is just draw attention to what you're doing, and hopefully help you guys get the support that you need.
Farah Nanji 25:49
Definitely. And so Dr.Sian, could you share perhaps one personal takeaway from your mission that inspired you to make the shift towards a sustainable astronaut? I know you've been a professor and really passionate about that, but how did it feel when you're up there? And what did you observe?
Dr. Sian Proctor 26:03
Yeah, going to space is awesome. I recommend it. You know, so anyway, Who here wants to go to space? All right, I'm going to tell you three days isn't enough, go for at least five or more. So make sure you negotiate that. But the biggest thing for me, you know, being a geoscientists. I know, you know a lot about our planet. And I know about the overview of fact, which is when astronauts go to space, they get transformed, and then they come back more environmentally focused. And so, as I saw, I was prepared in many ways, but what I wasn't prepared for was experiencing Earth light. And what Earth light is, is it's, it's very similar to moonlight. You know, Moonlight is the light that's reflected off the moon and been back to us so we can see it. But I want you to think about as you're walking outside, and it's nighttime, and the full moon is rising, and think about how that makes you feel, being bathed in moonlight. You know, think about our history as humans with Moon and being in moonlight. All the myth in the lore and the poems and the songs and love all around moonlight. Well, earthlite is 1000 times more beautiful, more brilliant, more spectacular. And when we opened up our Ford hatch that allowed us to go into this beautiful domed cupola, we just I got flooded with earth light, the light reflecting off of our planet onto me. And and you know, before going into space, I had been to see multiple times as a newer teacher at sea and on the DOJ, this resolution for climate science and doing all of those kinds of things. But it was apparent to me while I was in space, and getting all of this earth light hitting me about how we are united by one sky and one ocean. And so when I came back, I was like, that's gonna be my focus, I'm gonna focus on, you know, what is happening with, you know, our atmosphere, up into the stars and beyond. And then what's happening with our oceans. But thinking about, you know, this is from a sustainability model, our oceans and our atmosphere, they're driving everything. And we really need to understand what's happening in this complex system, and in particularly our role as humans in that system. And the only way that we can do that really is through real time data analysis, in the sky and in the satellite technology, so that we can be better stewards of Afro Gaia, if a guy is what I call Mother Earth, you know, we're all out of Africa. So Afro Gaia, and and I like to think as an artist and a poet that she's watching and we're are we going to be good stewards of our planet? And so Earth light helped me kind of get that new perspective of one sky and one ocean.
Farah Nanji 29:03
So how can we ensure that when activities and space do become more mainstream, that they remain accessible? For everyone?
Dr. Sian Proctor 29:23
Well, you know, I, one of the things I say is that we need to strive for a Jedi space, a just equitable, diverse and inclusive space as we pushed you know, humanity to moon Mars and beyond. And you know, that Star Trek generation, but with a Star Wars twist, right, a Jedi space. And the thing about it is that when we think about how we can be equitable, we have to hold accountable the people who are making the selection and the choices they're making when going to space it and we think that, you know, we don't have any of the power it's all in the hands of the billionaires in the space techs doing that, but a In reality, collectively, if we put our voice together, and we, you know, we hold them accountable and track what they're doing and get them to pledge, get them to pledge that they're going to create a Jedi space. That's equitable for all of us. But when we're talking about a Jedi space, it's not just up in space, we're talking about here, the space that you control your space to inspire. And how are you making it a Jedi space, just equitable, diverse and inclusive, and it needs to be a part of everybody's thinking in their mentality. And when you think about the SDGs, and you're thinking about solving them? Well, you know, if we can get that platform of just creating a Jedi space as a foundation for everything we do as a human, think about what the world would look like.
Christina Korp 30:47
Yeah, I was gonna say we just did a gala in London for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 16. But I was really trying to position it about what has transpired since. And so I had 11 astronauts on stage, and six of them were women. It's probably the first time we've had more female astronauts on stage than men. And that was very intentional, diverse as well with Sian but we also had Naoki Yamazaki from Japan, and Soo Young, the first and only Korean ever to go to space who is a woman? So I mean, that's the other part of it the representation thing, which of course, we do have a bit appear right now with women, but you know, it's it's more people making a conscious decision, I made a conscious decision to have more women than men on stage. And and to bring a diverse group of women on stage so and people notice they were really excited about it. So you know, it has to be in a public way, I think, where people have the power to do that.
Fatema Hamdani 31:45
I think there's aspects of it that are very glorified. But there's other aspects to it, for example, stem, right stem programmes and how we're actually bringing folks to work on the hard problems to solve for whether that be payloads or sensors of miniaturisation power and energy are key components to be able to fly persistently nonstop. That key there is power and energy. That means a lot of the investments that are happening across the board and how do we, in STEM programme promote equality across? What happens is I was just watching a documentary that talked about the MIT PhD classes, and women get trickled out because of the inequalities that they face during the PhD programme. So we're losing pipeline there. And that across the board is where we have to go in and instil that love and promote equality so that we're creating solutions for an equal space, right?
Dr. Sian Proctor 32:44
You know, when you say that, that's one of the things a lot of companies talk about having a DI programme and stuff. But if you don't have that, J, if you're not striving for just equitable diversity inclusive space, then you're sure you can recruit minority and women of colour, but you're not going to keep them because they're entering into a workforce that is not just or they're entering into a higher education system. That's not just and you have to have that Jedi that just component, if you're going to keep them and develop them, they drop out. And we have the data that shows it. But yet, we haven't been able to switch with, you know, getting that that just component has been really a struggle. I mean, when we have whistleblowers when you know, the me too, you know, even Black Lives Matters. People will have they it makes them feel uncomfortable when we're trying to establish this just society. But it's such a key component, and really is the basis for building the rest of the DI on top of
Rafal Modrzewski 33:55