SSA: An intersection of government and commercial capabilities

Since 2018, the number of payloads deployed into orbit has more than quadrupled. As these numbers continue to increase, space situation awareness (SSA) is an increasingly crucial element of successful orbital operations. This panel discussion at the 39th annual Space Symposium examines how SSA can assist nations and businesses in space superiority and efficiency.

The discussion is moderated by Col. John D. Patrick, director of the NATO Space Centre, who leads a team from 13 nations in integrating space across 33 nations and 11 national operations centers.

This panel comprises Jim Cooper, senior system engineer at SSA Solutions; Todd Gosset, vice president of Space and National Security Initiatives at SES Space & Defense; and Michel Friedling, a former general in the French air and space force and current CEO of Look Up Space.

“When we created the space command, we previously had one year of astrologic review between 2018 and 2019,” Friedling said. “One of the outcomes of their review was precisely to rely much more on commercial companies to integrate their capabilities with the government’s capabilities that we already had, and of course to improve the government capabilities as well.”

Space situation awareness also plays a crucial role in national defense. It provides information on other nations’ activities in orbit, leading to a more level playing field. It can also help prevent accidents with unintended consequences.