Plenary Programme

PLENARY 1: Space Operations during COVID-19 pandemic

Monday, 3 May 2021
Time: 12:30 -13:30 UTC

The objective of this plenary session is to highlight and discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic within the space operations and space industry. The plenary session will tackle the questions such as:

  • Initially reactive due to pandemic
  • What pre-cautions were taken?
  • What did the contingency plans look like?
  • What changes were implemented (i.e. remote terminals etc.)
  • Concerns about cybersecurity during remote work.
  • Pro-active going forward: What changes will we retain?
  • Specifically like to hear from the large operations centers i.e. GSOC/ESOC/GSFC etc.
  • How did we deal with human spaceflight and critical support?
  • How did we manage maintenance actions?

Moderator: Yunus Bhayat,
Operations Manager (SANSA)

Plenary Speakers

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PLENARY 2: Commercial Ground stations: New Space and Traditional Space

Tuesday, May 2021
Time: 12:00 -13:00 UTC

Traditionally Space Operations have been the domain of public entities using networks of ground-stations from a collective of space agencies and national facilities. The domain of geostationary communication has been dealt with by the respective satellite owners. The nature of satellite operations has changed however, and many public entities are constrained by decreasing budgets and changes in resources. Added to this we have a proliferation of private space initiatives, the so called ‘newspace’. There are new mega constellations being deployed for telecommunications and earth observation, private human spaceflight and new countries entering the space operations domain. The challenges have changed and there is a big move towards ‘outsourcing’ ground operations to commercial entities with space operations becoming a ‘service’. This plenary will engage both public and private space operators to highlight their changes in operating paradigm including the challenges and opportunities in this sphere. (40sec)

Moderator: Mr. Raoul Hodges,
Managing Director – Space Operations (SANSA)

Plenary Speakers

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PLENARY 3: Human spaceflight operations: Space Stations the Moon and MARS

Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Time: 16:10 -17:00 UTC

Humans last travelled to the moon in the 1970’s. There has however been a constant presence of humans in low earth orbit with the Salyut, Spacelab, MIR, ISS and SienYhou orbiting capsules and laboratories. The International Space Station has been the crowning achievement during this period with 20 years of continuous occupation and the collaboration of many nations. This orbiting laboratory has been allowing for research in a microgravity environment and launchpad for many small satellites and hosting privately sponsored experiments. Now in the next decade nations and even private entities has expressed their interest to return to the moon and continue towards Mars. Some of these programs are already in advanced stages of planning with early execution already happening. This plenary seeks to engage the human spaceflight community, with specific focus on the operations requirements for these programs. We will understand the learning from the long operations of the ISS and the plans from those wanting to return to the moon and go beyond. An important focus for this discussion will be international cooperation and standards developed for these missions.(Artemisaccord)

Moderator: Mr. Eugene Avenant,
Chief Engineer (SANSA)

Plenary Speakers

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PLENARY 4: Space situational awareness: Protecting our assets in space

Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Time: 12:00 -13:00 UTC

Space is a hostile environment. It is a resource that humans exploit for their needs in telecommunication, position navigation timing, earth sciences, astronomy, and many others. As all resources the environment need to be understood and managed to utilise to everyone’s benefit. Space situational awareness is thus crucial for successful use of this resource. Two aspects are of growing importance in this domain: Space Weather and Orbital management.

Space weather plays very important part in the design of space craft as spacecraft needs to be protected against the harsh radiation environment. This plenary will look at the aspects required in spacecraft design. With our global reliance on spacecraft, nations have setup dedicated units to monitor the space environment for threats and the required actions related to different threat levels. We will listen to how they approach this task and the level of coordination between both public sector and private sector space.

Coordination is also vital in the management of separation of spacecraft in orbit and collision avoidance. This issue is now crucial as there are now many more players in the space arena from more nations and more sectors.

We have the mega–constellationsbeingdeployedfromcommercialentitieswithfastturnaroundandautomatedoperations. What precautions are being taken for collision avoidance and specifically for coordination between operating entities.

Moderator: Dr. Lee-Anne McKinnell,
Managing Director Space Science (SANSA)

Plenary Speakers

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