Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) has appointed Thomas Van den Driessche, Chief Executive Officer of Newtec as President of the board of directors by vote of its members. With a large number of people working in member companies, the organisation represented a $400b market in 2018. Founded in 1983, the SSPI ranks as the largest space and satellite industry association in the world with approximately 3,700 members in 40 nations.
Van den Driessche will work closely with board Chairman David Myers, President of the communications sector for Peraton, to extend the growth of SSPI’s membership beyond traditional GEO communications into LEO, MEO, earth observation, optical communications and into a new era of the space economy, with a more global footprint. Other current board members represent Blue Origin, Boeing, CBS, Ericsson, Eutelsat, Globalstar, Hughes Network Systems, Kymeta, OneWeb, Planet, SES, SpaceX, Speedcast, SSL, the Spaceconnection, Viacom and Viasat.
“SSPI represents the business of space; the commercial space industry that, every day, takes bold risks in launching capital-intensive missions to create a big return. Not because it is easy to do, but because it is hard and disruptive. The ambitious visions of SSPI’s member companies are creating a new future for humanity. Planet-wide wireless solutions that connect every single inch of our world. Mapping and understanding all of earth’s surface and atmosphere, to make humanity’s footprint on earth as efficient as it can be. Building the commercial space economy that will ultimately employ a million people in space. Every day, they are making a better world from outside the atmosphere,” said Van den Driessche.
Van den Driessche has played an active role in the broadcast and satellite markets for the past 20 years. He has dedicated 12 years at Newtec, where he started as Director of sales and business development. At the end of 2016, he was made CEO. As a pioneer in the industry, Newtec seeks to create new possibilities for the broadcast, consumer and enterprise VSAT, government and defense, cellular back haul and trunking and mobility, offshore and maritime markets. Its products and technologies can be applied in a wide range of single and multi-service applications from DTH broadcasting, video contribution, distribution and disaster recovery and backbones for cellular back hauling, to small and medium enterprises, SCADA and oil and gas networks, aircraft and vessels.
The ambitious state of the industry was reflected by $7b new capital injections in 2018 and is forecast to grow to a $1.1t industry in the next 20 years.