The Abu Dhabi Space Debate, a space policy and strategy forum, hosted a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum. The panel was held under the theme The Future of Earth: LEO Politics of the 21st Century, on January 17, at the UAE Pavilion. Leading experts in the field came together to discuss the issue of low earth orbit (LEO) clutter, and the challenges and opportunities presented by LEO, which is currently the most valuable part of space for humanity.
Speaking at the forum, Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairperson of UAE Space Agency, said: “This panel, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Space Debate, reflects the UAE’s leading and strategic international position. Our participation at World Economic Forum offers us the ideal platform to share future visions and plans and develop solutions to ensure the sustainability of the space sector, while promoting collaboration between industry-leading global stakeholders and cementing the UAE’s position as a key player in international decision-making.”
The panel was moderated by Jesse Klempner, a Partner at McKinsey & Company, and hosted thought leaders and industry experts, including Dylan Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Voyager Space, William Marshall, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Planet Labs, and Dan Tenney, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Space.
Home to many satellite devices, including communications, GPS, and earth observation, the low earth orbit also houses the International Space Station. However, the increasing space debris clutter is posing an existential threat and a potential for international conflict. The panel discussed the process to develop new regulations to protect access to this finite resource for existing and new stakeholders, from emerging space nations to private sector players, and avoid the threat of further collisions and conflict.
The Abu Dhabi Space Debate is committed to fostering discussion and dialogue on the global space community’s most pressing issues, including this panel discussion on LEO clutter and many events organised at the World Economic Forum, which is being held in Davos from January 16-20, 2023.