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Travelling with SpaceX

When Elon Musk unveiled the first tourist for SpaceX, the world stopped to listen.

Online fashion tycoon, CEO of Zozotown, Yusaku Maezawa, announced, “I choose to go to the Moon” and this mission planned for 2023 is going to hail the first of many firsts.





Regardless of what people think, there is something that CEO Maezawa has achieved that I think not to be underestimated.   He has positioned himself uniquely where one no longer has to be an astronaut or Government backed  – in order to go to Space.  Ordinary, well, in this case, a far wealthier individual can make that choice to go somewhere where they had always dreamed of.


source: Fortune

The idea of going to space and taking 8 artists with his, is as much as art, science and pushing the boundaries of human imagination.

With an intention to invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and creative people on the weeklong journey in 2023 one can envisage the true ingenuity in this idea.  It is art, business and human inspiration all mixed in.

Art, because clearly his target audience are artists.

Art, because they are more than likely draw, paint, photograph.

Art, because as these art works get brought back to earth, they are going to have an impact on the fine art market no doubt.

Art and business, because can you imagine how much these art works would be auctioned for?

Business because, he may well be creating a new sector for art, where collectors, or be it a new kind of collector may arise?

space x 1.jpg


The term ‘Space Art’ may take on a whole new meaning, and yes whilst initially it would most likely be expensive, but the idea is that eventually, like in Moore’s law, the cost would go down and be accessible to everyone.

“They will be asked to create something after they return to Earth,” he said. “These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us,” says Maezawa san.

Since the Apollo landing, only 24 humans have visited the Moon.

When you watch the youtube of the announcement, what do you see?

It is not about power or about showing off, as some may suggest.  I see a child, a dreamer who has finally come to a point where they can realise that dream.

All entrepreneurs that I have engaged with start with a dream.

Their initial ideas were written on a napkin across lunch.  Sometimes, it was on the train, other times it was at a mountain top.

For some, a serious pain point, motivated them, for others tragic and real.

What took us so long?

What stopped us for so long?

NewSpace serves more than just business, it is about human progression.



The Universe is larger than the eye could see, and if humanity joint forces we will be exploring the Universe much faster.  Space travel is only the starting point, and the sooner we normalise the notion of space travel, like air travel it would open the skies, as it were to the whole of humanity.

Previous generations, may have never imaged how we would travel today.  Not to say that there aren’t concerns of Global south and poverty gap issues – they are serious concerns that ought to be taken into account and mitigated against.  However, society has a second chance when you come to think of it.

I will do a blog on maritime vs space comparison.  In the meantime, the dreamers and entrepreneurs need all the support we can get and everyone has a crucial role to that end.



What are your thoughts about travelling to space?

What do you think makes a successful NewSpace entrepreneur?

Tweet, like, comment @newspace2060

#newspace2060  @EUJapanCentre



business development Culture Design Disaster Management Earth Funding Ground Service IAF Insurance International Japan NewSpace newspace ecosystem Risk Management Space Space Applications Space debris space food space traffic management

Keio University Space Law Symposium I – Space Traffic Management


source: Keio University


The Keio University Space Law Symposium jointly organised with JAXA was held at Keio University on 25 February 2019.  There was a breadth of topics and speakers as follows:

モデレータ:小塚 荘一郎(学習院大学法学部教授)
Dr. Alexander Soucek(欧州宇宙機関 法務官、欧州宇宙法研究センター 研究員)
Mr. Niklas Hedman(国連宇宙部 政策・法務・委員会課長)
Professor Saadia Pekkanen(米国ワシントン大学教授)
佐藤 雅彦(JAXA 評価・監査部長)
新谷 美保子(TMI 法律事務所 弁護士)
高屋 友里(東京大学政策ビジョン研究センター 客員研究員)
増田 史子(岡山大学大学院 社会文化科学研究科教授)

The topic of space debris was an important topic of interest.  Not least because of environmental concerns, in accordance with Sustainable Develop goals and also because of space security concerns.

There was a concise summary of not just interpreting current laws, but also in relation to current practical policies and also on ITAR.  The audience was primarily from academia, students and practitioners and it is clear that more practitioners and even businesses need to be engaged in such discussions.

Some of the points also raised concerns about current space law policies, areas in which were worked on in the year, and one speaker summarised research areas of interest as follows:

  • ITU on international frequencies and orbital positions in ITU
  • Workings of COPUOS
  • Issues on guidelines for long term sustainability of outer space
  • issues on Space Traffic Management
  • PAROS – Prevention of an arms race in outer space
  • Issues on MILAOS

scientific america.png

source: Scientific American

Issues such as definitions and revisiting the topic of ‘Peaceful uses of Outerspace’ was a topic of great interest.  One of the speakers raised the issue of how some of the international treaties marry up with the Japanese Constitution where some of the challenges including definition of the scope and breadth of terms.

For example, for the term of active debris removal, current legislation may not be adequate.  Moreover, space debris could be considered a weapon, of course pending circumstances and judgement.

One of the representatives spoke from the floor from the Space Policy Department and mentioned the number of policies that they had in place in relation to Space debris removal.



Space Traffic Management

Mr. Yu Takeuchi of JAXA spoke on the Space Traffic Management system.  There is a crucial role for Space Situational Awareness.  Currently, there is a space surveillance network which is run by USSTRATCOM Combed Space OPeration Center (CSpOC) and via, they provide TLE through their website and allows for alerts through email to analyse data from satellite operators around the world.

Through SSA Sharing Agreements in which 12 nations, 2 international organisations and 20 commercial operators are engaged in, this military, governmental and commercial satellite operators provides for greater information sharing.

Mega constellations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO)  and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) could pose potential issues in relation to space traffic management.  As it is envisaged that there are increasing interests of companies in launching smallsats including OneWeb and SpaceX the observation systems on earth ought to be upgraded.  One would think that the earth observation systems would be updated.  One aspect that would be upgraded first would be the space fence, and currently being constructed in the Cayman Islands and are radar facilities that could detect smaller satellites.

The US Airforce currently tracks approximately 20,000 space objects.  The Space force will enable us to see 10x that amount with better accuracy, precision and timeliness.  Mr. Yu seems to suggest, however, whilst there is more precision in detecting debris, there could also be greater increases in false alerts.

dlr v1.jpeg

source: DLR

It is envisaged that spacial density after mega constellations and space fence would increase in concentration primarily in the 600-1000 altitude (km).  The argument for Space Traffic Management is necessary because of concerns of collision or reversely a desire for collision avoidance.  Satellites would need to go up or down in altitude otherwise, constellations may not work.  An example would be OneWeb’s vision.

STM is a concept of managing space activities as traffic.  Parallel with Air Traffic Management (ATM) or Maritime Traffic Management (MTM).



There appear to be varying definitions.  What are the elements of an STM?

There are primarily 3 elements:

  1.  The transition of services to civil operators from military to civil authority- it is foreseen that there would be a transition 
  2. There are issues of regulation of Newspace
  3. Space debris

Of these three main issues, there are some theoretical aspects of STM.  How does it look like?  How can it be legally analysed?

STM started with a Draft International Code of Conduct, there was a GGE on Space TCMB Report (2013 UNGA) and also GGE regarding PAROS.

Whilst there was a COPUOS Long-Term Sustainability of Space Activities draft guidelines, it was incomplete in 2018.  There is an IADC Megaconstllation statement, with ISO debris standards revision.

spacenews 1


In relation to STM there are a number of studies including:

  • IAA Cosmic study
  • ISU Studies
  • Authorised research in NASA Authorisation Act
  • STM Conference (ERAU) US Space ACt of 2015
  • GSTMW (UK)

In terms of events:

  • Chinese ASAT
  • Cosmos- Iridium Collision
  • US Space Strategy


asd europe

source: asd Europe


There are many legal issues in relation to STM

Areas include:

  • Jurisdiction to vehicle
  • jurisdiction to area
  • vehicle registration
  • sanction to registration
  • failure
  • traffic management rules
  • traffic management authority

In relation to ground concerns include:

  • territorial state, territorial jurisdiction, vehicle registration, denial of travel, road traffic rules and traffic police

In relation to maritime, there are concerns in relation to:

flag state, territorial sea, vessel registration, subject to capture by authority; denial of entry to ports, seaway, collision avoidance rules, maritime safety authority or military.

iata 1

source: IATA

In relation to aviation:

  • state of registry, territorial air jurisdiction, aircraft registration, denial of traffic navigation/landing passage, aerial route, aviation rules and civilian aviation authority.

In space however:

there is no jurisdiction.  For instance state of registration, space object registration and likely rules of traffic management rules would most likely be developed over time as likely common practices.

There appears to be no incentive to register or exercise power in relation to STM in outerspace.  The conclusion hence seems to be that we ought not to leave it to the states as it would not happen.  Rather it may well be the industry that could take the lead.

For instance the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS).  It is well known that Astroscale is working on debris removal and hence they and many other companies are actively engaging on guidelines.  Furthermore, such discussions are also held a the World Economic Forum.

What are the major challenges?

  1. Providing civil STM services – for instance how do businesses gather data from operators and how is the cost allocated?
  2. International sharing of SSA data – how can national security concerns be addressed?
  • how can data be neutralised
  • standardising of data, format would be necessary
  • data differentiation would be needed to identify what is neutral and what is classified data

3. Common rules for operators

  • What are the regulations for data sharing?


Hence the STM Study group aims to achieve the following:

  • Applies principles include a Chatham House rule-based;
  • no individuals goals, accepted diversity, allow repeated discusses
  • the purposes are to foster understanding on the issues of STM through diverse discussion
  • understanding why and what is difficult to realise STM


The message is clear, the industry ought to take the lead in relation to STM as States do not have incentives to move things forward.




(26-27 February @Austin, Texas).



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NewSpace events in 2019



The first few months of 2019 has just gone by at a speed of light.  Those involved in NewSpace would be aware that it is a busy year and that there are many events, so many that it is impossible to go to them all.  If you are a NewSpace entrepreneur which ones would you go to?

The answer is as much of an opt out than a definitive one – it really depends on what you are truly to do, achieve and what field you are in.  For instance, if you work in or with smallsats then clearly those are the ones you would want to focus on.

If you are more into the scientific field as a technical engineer then the technical ones work for you.  What if you are true and through a NewSpace entrepreneur?  Here is my take on the ones to look out for in 2019 and beyond:



1. NewSpace Europe

NewSpace Europe is Europe’s largest annual space conference to focus solely on the NewSpace industry and the economic opportunity of space.  Organized by the Luxembourg Space Agency, the conference centres on the theme of “Driving Momentum”, discussing ways to stimulate growth in communications, remote sensing, investment, Earth-orbit economy, and lunar economy.  Held 13-14 November 2019.

Having attended in the past and in receiving previous ESA prize, it is an ideal conference for the New and seasoned to get a feel of the latest technologies, latest trends and what the scene is like in Luxembourg and in Europe.

The energy is great there and a good comparator particularly from those outside of Europe.  Luxembourg has played a large part in the space mining movement.  Having been to Luxembourg before and after the passing of the asteroid mining legislation I would say that despite its size, Luxembourg punches above her weight when it comes to influencing in the NewSpace scene.  In fact, they are one of the leading countries in that sense.




source: Paris Space Week

2. Paris Space Week

Paris Space Week was over 2-3 April 2019 and runs annually.  The tradeshow with business meetings and conferences dedicated to the Space Industry in Paris.

They have a lively Newspace startup scene and over the 2 days sees over 1000 participants, 400 exhibitions, arranges 9000 meetings and has over 25 speakers.  One could arguably say that this is for serious NewSpace businesses that are there to do just that. In 2019, Paris Space Week primarily had CEOs of various NewSpace startups speaking and also panels with SMEs and major aerospace companies too.


spaceforum v1

source: spaceforum


3. Space Forum

Space Forum is a conference based on the impact of space technologies on the earth’s businesses (mobility, IoT, connectivity, security, climate, media, earth observation…)

It brings together the most important players from the data sector of the NewSpace industry, specifically upstream satellite companies in Earth Observation and Telecoms, European Space Clusters & Tech Valley representatives, Space business angels, satellites operators, satellite industry suppliers etc. Participants will also have an opportunity to connect with ICT executives and customers, from Banking, Transportation, Government & Defense and other sectors.

2019 topic: Leveraging Data from Space

Services to benefit Defense & Security
> Business in China and Europe
> Services to benefit Agriculture, Transport & IoT
> Big Data & the business of data from space




source: GSTC

4. Global Space and Technology Convention 

Organised by the Singapore Space and Technology Association, the 11th Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC2019) was hosted at St Regis, Singapore on the 14th to 15th February 2019. With the theme “Pushing The Innovation Frontier”, GSTC 2019 focused on emerging satellite technologies, along with new applications and paradigms in the NewSpace arena. Over 600 delegates, 60 speakers and 200 companies from more than 30 nations around the world attended GSTC 2019.




source: Space Symposium

5.  Space Symposium

Arguably one of the most impact events to go to for all aspiring space businesses.  The 35th Space Symposium will be held over April 8-11 2019.

Space Symposium attendees consistently represent all sectors of the space community from multiple spacefaring nations: space agencies; commercial space businesses and associated subcontractors; military, national security and intelligence organizations; cyber security organizations; federal and state government agencies and organizations; research and development facilities; think tanks; educational institutions; space entrepreneurs and private space travel providers; businesses engaged in adapting, manufacturing or selling space technologies for commercial use; and media that inspire and educate the general public about space.

Bringing all these groups together in one place provides a unique opportunity to examine space issues from multiple perspectives, to promote dialog and to focus attention to critical space issues.



source: IAC2019

6.  International Astronautical Congress

The IAC is an annual conference that is held globally bringing the space community together.  In 2019, the IAC will be held in Washington DC.

In 2019 humanity will celebrate the 50th anniversary of a feat once thought impossible: humans walking on the moon.

In the organisers words:

`In the past half-century, the United States has contributed to humanity’s quest to explore the unknown and expand the boundaries of our terrestrial existence. Through domestic investments and international partnerships, the United States has worked to satisfy humanity’s innate curiosity and yearning to explore.

As a nation we invite the world to commemorate that “one giant leap for mankind” and celebrate the international accomplishments and partnerships that have become the hallmarks of space exploration.

Today the broader space community stands at a pivotal juncture in the course of future human space exploration. To succeed we must come together to create a unified vision that can be realized through the effective use of our collective assets and resources. It is in that spirit of collaboration that we would host the global space community in Washington, D.C., to envision what the next “giant leap” will be.`



source: WSW

7. World Space Week

World Space Week, October 4-10 annually, is the largest space event on Earth. More than 5,000 events in over 80 countries celebrated the theme “Space Unites the World” in 2018.  The 2019 theme is “The Moon:  Gateway to the Stars.”

World Space Week is more about participation and community engagement than anything else.  Anyone, organisation or institution could organise an event leading up to the week of World Space Week.  Having previously organised events for this week, it is a great way to meet like-minded people and organisations that share the same passion in space exploration and a wonderful way to meet new people too.

“The General Assembly declares 4 to 10 October World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition”

UN General Assembly resolution, 6 December 1999



asteroid day

source: Asteroid Day

8.  Asteroid Day

Asteroid Day is a dynamic awareness and educational program to inspire  the world about asteroids – their role in the formation of our universe, how we can use their resources, how asteroids can pave the way for future exploration and finally how we can protect our planet from asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day events are held on 30 June each year to mark the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska impact. Asteroid Day events are largely independently organized around the world for people of all ages and are mostly free-of-charge. Asteroid Day is a program run by the Asteroid Foundation, a Luxembourg nonprofit organization.

Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014, by Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist of QUEEN, together with Danica Remy, President of B612 Foundation, Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 Astronaut, and filmmaker Grig Richters. In 2016, the United Nations officially designated Asteroid Day as the international day of awareness and education about asteroids. Together with the United Nations, space agencies, schools and universities Asteroid Day is organized by networks of supporters who host events worldwide on 30, June and any other day of the year that the independent groups determine.

To initially launch the Asteroid Day education programs in 2014, members of the asteroid community drafted and released a petition to gather public support for asteroid education and called on governments to accelerate the funding of asteroid discovery programs. Today, this petition, the 100X Asteroid Declaration, has been signed by hundreds of prominent individuals around the world, including leaders in science, technology, and business, and more than 125 astronauts.

There are hundreds if not thousands of events through the year celebrating space.  The above is only a selection of NewSpace events which I find engaging and rewarding and it is only my personal view.  Many share a similar mission which is primarily outreach and awareness.  For others they are more business focused or academically focused.  Having attended a few of the above, one general observation is that many agree that the conversations and topics need to reach outwards and beyond the space community.  That non-traditional space players ought to have engagement and this fits well with the notion of NewSpace engagement – with non-traditional space players in non-traditional fields.



source: Kennedy Space Centre


Which Newspace conferences or events have you attended recently?

Which ones do you recommend?

What do you think of EU-Japan Newspace collaboration?


Share your thoughts at or send a Tweet to #newspace2060


#newspace2060 @EUJapanCentre