Newsletter – Third Quarter 2019 Edition


Third Quarter 2019


From the Desk of the Executive Director

On behalf of CONFERS I am pleased to invite you to attend the 2019 Global Satellite Servicing Forum (GSSF), being held October 1-2, 2019, in Washington DC. We are excited to offer an expanded program building upon the success of the 2018 GSSF. As satellite servicing activities move from development work to flying of test and demonstration missions in 2019 and 2020, it is a critical and exciting time for the industry. The 2019 GSSF is designed to provide updates and discussion of technology, market, and policy developments in this critical area of space activities. We are pleased to announce our initial agenda for the 2019 GSSF. In this edition of the CONFERS newsletter we will describe the main themes and topics that will be discussed at the conference.

For detail on registration, agenda information, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit our website at The 2019 GSSF is sponsored by SpaceLogistics, LLC and Advanced Technology International (ATI).

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

Dr. Brian Weeden
Executive Director, CONFERS

Main Themes and Topics for the 2019 Global Satellite Servicing Forum

 On-orbit satellite servicing and maintenance capabilities (including manufacturing and assembly) are emerging as the cornerstone of future commercial and civil space activities. The second annual GSSF is the premier annual event for discussing industry-led operational standards, technology, market, and policy developments in this key area of space activities. The agenda has been designed to explore these developments by focusing on three thematic elements:

  1. The Market and Economic Challenges and Opportunities of Satellite Servicing
  2. Policy and Regulatory Factors to Enable Satellite Servicing
  3. Satellite Servicing in the Broader Context of Space Activities, Including Exploration and Sustainability

Each of these three themes will be explored through a half-day discussion at the Forum.

The GSSF will begin on Oct 1, 2019 with a morning of panel discussions and presentations focused on The Market and Economic Challenges and Opportunities of Satellite Servicing. The Forum will begin with a “Commercial Servicing Pitch Session.” Companies active in the satellite servicing ecosystem will deliver short pitches to highlight the value proposition of commercial satellite servicing – including LEO satellite servicing, GEO satellite servicing, active debris removal, and satellite end of life services – to the GSSF audience and a panel of representative customers. These pitches will be followed by reaction from a discussant panel. The Pitch Session will be followed by a “Panel Discussion on the Economics of On-Orbit Servicing.” This panel, with a mix of market and technology analysts, will explore the emerging market opportunities and technical and economic drivers supporting the emergence of satellite servicing and related activities.

The afternoon of Oct 1, 2019 will focus on Policy and Regulatory Factors to Enable Satellite Servicing. A Panel Discussion on Government-Industry Partnerships to Enable Commercial Satellite Servicing featuring a mix of U.S government representatives and U.S. and international companies, will explore how governments and industry can partner to enable commercial satellite servicing activities. This panel will discuss the role of government in providing the infrastructure and services necessary to enable the OOS industry. This panel will be followed by a panel on Regulatory & Licensing Considerations for Satellite Servicing, composed of U.S. and international regulators & industry representatives for discussion of the emerging questions and regulatory approaches related to this developing field.

Day 2 of the GSSF, a half-day on the morning of October 2, 2019 will focus on the role of Satellite Servicing in the Broader Context of Space Activities, Including Exploration and Sustainability. A Panel Discussion on Moon, Mars and Beyond: The Servicing Industry’s Role in Future Exploration will examine the role commercial satellite servicing capabilities will play in partnering with governments in bringing future plans for human space exploration to reality. This panel will be followed by a discussion of Sustainability and Commercial On-Orbit Servicing. This session will explore how commercial servicing capabilities provide important civil and commercial benefits that are distinct from space-based military capabilities and weapons, and the role of responsible operations practices in enabling those benefits and making that distinction.

Throughout the GSSF agenda a variety of discussion formats will be used, including individual company presentations, keynote addresses, formal panel presentations, and moderated interactive discussions. Audience member question and answer will be a key part of most GSSF sessions.

CONFERS Updates at the 2019 Global Satellite Servicing Forum

The Forum will provide updates on the ongoing work of the Consortium to develop best practices and standards to enable and support the emerging commercial satellite servicing industry.

A Panel Discussion on the Role of Standards in Promoting Safety and Enabling Growth will examine the state of play related to standards in the satellite servicing industry and the how is CONFERS is contributing to it, including a discussion of the role standards play in opening up markets and informing regulation.

The GSSF will conclude with a CONFERS Town Hall Session. The session will be a moderated town hall style discussion with all GSSF participants and the CONFERS Industry Executive Committee to allow for Q&A and discussion of policy, economic, and technical factors related to development of commercial satellite servicing capabilities. CONFERS Members and the audience will engage in a discussion of the key takeaways and outcomes of the GSSF.

Confirmed Speakers for GSSF 2019

Confirmed speakers include the following organizations. Additional speakers – including two high-level keynote addresses – will be announced in the coming weeks.

Aerospace Corp
Breaking Defense
Effective Space Solutions
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Federal Communications Commission
Lockheed Martin
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Orbit Fab
Space Logistics LLC
SpaceTec Partners
U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Space Commerce
United Kingdom Space


The Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) is an industry-led initiative with initial seed funding provided by DARPA that aims to leverage best practices from government and industry to research, develop, and publish non-binding, consensus-derived technical and operations standards for OOS and RPO. These standards would provide the foundation for a new commercial repertoire of robust space-based capabilities and a future in-space economy. To find out more about CONFERS, visit: