Futurizonte Editor’s Note: We are now at a time of “exponential growth and interest in the commercial space industry”
Original author and publication date: Aimee Chanthadavong – October 30, 2019
Summary: Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough explains how the new sector will create job opportunities for existing roles and have positive knock-on effects on other industries.
While Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough admits designing and building a new sector such as commercial space is “really hard”, he is optimistic that the new industry will deliver tremendous benefits to other sectors.
“We’ve always known there’s huge potential in space — whether we create industrial zones in space, whether we get solar power in space, whether we start to mine asteroids, and that we can actually do science research in space,” he told ZDNet.
Attenborough acknowledged the exponential growth and interest in the commercial space industry in recent years has been underpinned by a joint international effort.
“When we started back in 2004, the idea of private companies — let alone people — in space was an idea. The matters have changed so much during this period. If you look at NASA and all the other big space agencies, they’re really relying on the private sector to do quite a lot of that work for them,” he said.
“Space remains hard. It needs to be collaborative, and it needs to be international.
“The interesting thing about space is that we seem to be able to cooperate on space relations much better than what we do on earth, and that’s fantastic. Hopefully that means the pace of change will be far greater than sometimes in cases where you’re trying to collaborate on other things.”
When asked about what roles would be necessary to support the future space sector, Attenborough said the space sector would create opportunities for those with existing skills from engineering to operations, as well as sales and marketing.