Online Journal of Space Communication

Commercialization of Space (Winter 2008)

From the Editor


The year 2007 saw enhanced press coverage and numerous celebrations focusing on satellite achievements and the many applications of space technologies.

Among these celebrations was the Reach to Space Conference on Space Commercialization: A Celebration of 50 Years in Space held at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Nov. 12-13, 2007. This conference was sponsored by GWU, Auburn University, George Mason University and Ohio University, with high-level participation from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Air Force and NASA, largely funded by the international space industry and associations.

The Online Journal of Space Communication was on-hand to witness and capture the essence of this event. In Issue No. 13, the Journal reports in audio and video format (with an occasional power point and session summary thrown in for clarification) on the presentations, panels and discussions that took place at this conference.

Hardly anyone will doubt the contributions of commercial space to the global economy and the importance space-based businesses have played in society. Examples include the delivery of digital high-definition television (HDTV) to stations and to homes, the providing of digital audio radio (DARS) services and mobile satellite services (MSS) to automobiles and persons on the move, the enabling of geo-positioning (GPS) services for use on land, in the air and at sea, the making of broadband (IP-Sat) Internet services available to under-served regions, the collection of environmental data and weather information (GIS), the rapid facilitation of emergency communication and recovery, the gathering, relay and exchange of international news, business conferencing and voice and data networking via platforms in space.

Other initiatives are in the offing, such as the enabling of handheld earth terminals and devices for facilitating distant work via space networks, the designing of space elevators and tethers to reduce the cost of access to space, and the advent of personal flight and the pioneering of a new space tourism industry. The agenda of this conference, and the discussion reported here, frames space communication and space commercialization in terms of the important "peaceful uses of outer space." Readers will not fail to notice a presumption of the framers of this discussion that the "commercialization of space" is an ongoing force that runs directly counter to "the militarization of space," since the goal of commerce is a global market in which citizens of all nations have access.

Editorial Staff

Don Flournoy (bio)
Editor and Professor
School of Media Arts & Studies
Ohio University, Athens, OH

Jose David Lainez Kafati
M.A. Student
Communication and Development Program
Ohio University, Athens, OH

Animesh Rathore
Ph.D. Student
School of Media Arts & Studies
Ohio University, Athens, OH

Ziad I. Akir, Ph.D.
Director of Distance Learning
Washington State Community College
Marietta, OH

Front Matter


Conference Program
D. Flournoy




(Session 2) Questions and Answers with the Presenters
Joseph N. Pelton and Douglas Heydon


(Session 3) Intelsat
Phillip L. Spector


(Session 4) Questions and Answers with the Presenters
Del Smith, Jones Day, and Leonard David