18 May 2022, Quito, Ecuador – The second day of the IAF Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries – GLEC 2022 navigated in the important and challenging topic to establish a space ecosystem in emerging countries. The first panel focused on one of the fundamental aspects that need to be addressed: space law & policy. As Sergio MARCHISIO, Full Professor of International Law, Sapienza University of Rome, explained “international space law helps create and foster a sustainable legal ecosystem in emerging space countries”.

The plenary was followed by the IAF GNF session on governance risk and compliance in the emerging space ecosystem, a very valid topic as “emerging countries need to focus not only on risks that can threaten value, but also on the risks an enterprise has to take to create value” declared Christopher GEIGER, Internal Audit Director at Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Subsequently, another IAF GNF Session took place focusing on developing a space exploration ecosystem based on international collaboration. “Space technologies play an important role in accelerating sustainable development and international research collaboration has many benefits to develop a space exploration ecosystem” affirmedPierre-Alexis JOUMEL, Director International & New Business, Space Systems, Airbus Defence and Space GmbH.

During the lunch break, the IAF and the Sideralis Foundation presented the results of the “Postcards to Space” initiative. In the weeks leading up to the GLEC 2022 conference, 800 children in 9 schools and organizations in the rural and urban areas of Ecuador have been invited to draw what they imagine future of life in space will look like on postcards. These postcards have been collected by the IAF and will be inserted into payload boxes onboard the Blue Origin’s New Shepard, and then sent to space. After flying 100 kilometers above Earth the capsule returns to Earth and the postcards, including the original “Flown to Space” stamps, are mailed back to the children. “In line with IAF’s mission of promoting the public appreciation of space activities worldwide, this initiative will inspire these children and their friends to become scientists, engineers, or astronauts and hopefully, in some ten-twenty years, they will become the space workforce of the future” proclaimed IAF Incoming President, Clay MOWRY.

The conversation in the afternoon then focused on how to build a space ecosystem and the moderator Peter MARTINEZ Executive Director, Secure World Foundation, summarized the plenary by stating that “to develop a space ecosystem it is paramount to take well-informed decisions so that interdisciplinary stakeholders can support safe, economically productive, and sustainable space infrastructure and provide transformative science advancements”. Subsequently the debate expanded on how space ecosystems should be evolving “because while the space industry workforce continues to increase, industries are struggling to attract new people to the field” noted Masami ONODA, Director, Washington D.C. Office, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The day ended with a panel of nine women to investigate the gender gap and what can be done to increase gender equality in space sector.

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