As a quarterly magazine, it is rare that we get to announce actual news for our space and satellite industry. In this issue, we get to do just that! I interviewed David Mitlyng, CEO of Speqtral Quantum Technologies and COO of Singapore-based parent company SpeQtral, about SpeQtral’s satellite that is currently on orbit testing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) in space (and doing quite well)! They are the first commercial company doing so in the world, though the government of China has been using quantum technologies in space for several years. Read our interview with David here and listen to the podcast here.
Breaking news also came from blockchain company ConsenSys during the 70th International Astronautical Congress in October. The reason that they acquired asteroid mining company Planetary Resources a year ago is now clear: The company has launched a new branch called ConsenSys Space, as well as its first platform-led initiative – TruSat, an app-based system that makes use of crowdsourcing and Ethereum blockchain technology to monitor and provide a trusted record of satellite orbital positions.
Blockchain technology (best known as a software-based foundation for cryptocurrencies) will provide transparency about the source of orbital data. It’s an open source answer to space debris, working ultimately toward space sustainability. Given that, it’s no surprise that Secure World Foundation, a long-time partner of Apogeo Spatial, is involved. Watch for coverage of ConsenSys Space and their innovations in upcoming issues.
The Mamoní Valley Preserve (MVP) in Panama is a land conservancy nonprofit dedicated to conservation and education. It’s featured here, with its sophisticated maps of land cover, watersheds and carbon sequestration, each created in partnership with University of Redlands Center for Spatial Studies. The article is an excerpt from the book, GIS for Science: Applying Mapping and A Spatial Analytics, originally published by Esri Press.
MVP is part of the umbrella organization of Geoversity, which is an ecosystem of leaders and organizations collaborating in the pursuit of breakthroughs in human design, enterprise, and creative expression, inspired by nature. Geoversity’s main campus is Centro Mamoní, a rainforest science, research, retreat and training center in the Preserve that was established by Fundación Geoversity. This center is strategically located in forested land on the continental divide, which is also the southern border of Gunayala, an autonomous territory of the indigenous Guna people. Geoversity works closely with the Guna, and leads expeditions across the continental divide, immersing people in nature for life-changing experiences.
Dylan Taylor’s column, Spatial Capital, is about investing in space companies. He shares the importance of companies that are manipulating satellites in orbit, such as Tesseract, Accion Systems and Momentus, here.
In our ongoing partnership with NASA and the International Space Station, we continue to publish photos from the ISS on here. In our next issue, we’ll share how instruments on the ISS are used to monitor plastics in the ocean.
I attended two events that expanded beyond our usual geospatial world this summer: Earth’s Call in Aspen in May, and The NOVUS Summit in NYC in July. Both included people and sessions committed to making sure that Earth is inhabitable in the future. For example, at the NOVUS Summit, Marc Collins Chen, CEO of Oceanix, shared their planned communities that will float in the sea; as the sea rises and takes over more land, these will be needed in the future.
I’m grateful that Ray Williamson is still our editor, being mostly retired in beautiful Cortez, Colorado these days, and for his commitment to our industry. His missive about climate change is here.
I will be moderating panels about NewSpace companies at next year’s GeoBuiz Summit in Monterey, California, in January as well as at Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam in April. See pages 6 and 21 for more info. I hope you’ll join us!
– Myrna James Yoo