The next generation of space stations in LEO

By the end of this decade, the International Space Station is scheduled to deorbit and be replaced by one — or multiple — commercial space stations. This panel discussion at the 39th annual Space Symposium covers the intricacies and opportunities of this transition, including what increased commercialization means for science, security and humanity’s future in low Earth orbit.

“Any sort of time of transition can be kind of exciting with all these new opportunities, and can also be a little scary too, wondering what you may be losing in the process,” said panel moderator Jeff Foust, senior staff writer for SpaceNews.

The panel consists of Redwire chairman & CEO Pete Cannito; NASA Commercial LEO Development program manager Angela Hart; PJT Partners Strategic Advisory Group managing director Akshay Patel; and European Space Agency director of Commercialization, Industry & Competitiveness Geraldine Naja.

“We aim to have a profitable and competitive service to bring cargo to LEO and back, and this is a very difference process from the ones we have used,” Naja said. “But LEO is not about only space stations, be it the ISS or commercial space stations… We used to see LEO as the orbit for space stations / Earth observation, and we see now it is the orbit for constellations and connectivity.”