On March 3, Moscow hosted the major event dedicated to Russian commercial space industry – INSPACE FORUM 2017.
At the forum platform, participants discussed strategically significant industry development issues and prospects of cooperation between government and private space companies.
A business part of the forum program was conducted in a panel discussion format. Within six sessions, participant discussed various ways of space technology commercialization.
At the ‘Russian cosmonautics: choosing the way into the future!’ session, participants discussed prospects of government and private partnership. At the beginning of the session, Igor Burenkov, Director of Communications at Roscosmos, informed about the recent meeting between Igor Komarov, the head of the agency, and representatives of large businesses where he offered private companies to work collaboratively on the development of Russian space programs. Such a meeting means changes for the better in the government and private partnership that is one of key issues for many Russian private space companies.
Dauria Aerospace, the private Russian space company, is going to launch two space vehicles, created within the government contract, on orbit this year. It was revealed by Sergey Ivanov, the head of the company. He has also stressed that space companies can exist within current conditions and without Roscosmos support if they will focus on foreign customers.
At the ‘Aviation and space: how market players and startups will work together and stop rivalry’ session, participants discussed relevancy of association of the aviation and space sector.
“Global experience attests to the fact that all major aviation corporations have the quite powerful space segment: Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed,” Mikhail Pogosyan, rector at Moscow Aviation Institute, recalled. He noticed that Buran space program was created under the protection of the Ministry of Aircraft Production and that they equipped modern combat aircrafts with complexes developed by enterprises of Roscosmos State Corporation. According to rector, the establishment of the aerospace corporation is just an organizational issue. It has been solved by Boeing long ago.
Valery Aksamentov, Director of Space Programs at Boeing, told about the aviation giant’s project focused on the delivery of people on Mars by 2030. It is actively developed and has already brought certain results. By 2030, the company is going to work out moon space exploration technologies as well as the possibility to accommodate colonies on the natural satellite of the Earth.
According to him, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will be used as a manual craft. Currently, one is developing a new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and solar transfer facility system for this vehicle.
Alexander Zhiganov, Deputy chief of the rocket and space technology use department at TSNIIMASH, said that aviation and space sectors were very different. However, he acknowledged the urgency of their association on the spatial data and product and service aerospace market.
Special attention at the ‘Commercial experiments on the ISS - the way to production on orbit?’ session was paid to the development of 3D printing technology. Yusef Hesuani from 3D Printing Solutions told about the unique experiment conducted by the company along with Roscosmos: biofabrication of textile and organ constructs on the ISS. For the first time, tissue spheroids instead of cells will be used as a material for bioprinting on orbit.
Another Russian space company called Sputnix is going to assemble a micro satellite using 3D printing on the International Space Station (ISS), said Veronika Shteyngardt, the representative of the company.
The key topic of the ‘Space colonization: from fantasies and theory to programs and praxis’ panel discussion was Mars colonization. While some scientists told about prospects of this process, others discussed its economic inexpediency and offered to use Mars as an experimental planet for solving Earth issues.
At the ‘Projects of launch vehicles: return stages’ session, such companies as CosmoCourse, ISON, Molniya Scientific Production Association, NPO Energomash and The Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky presented their re-usable launch vehicle developments.
The conference was finished with ‘Risks and safety for citizens and business: what space can offer?’ panel discussion. Participants discussed the most prospective products and services based on space data that could appear within the next 5 years and areas of their application.
Roman Skoryi, Deputy Head at RussiaTourism, told about prospective services for implementation in the tourism sector.
Demo zone and show room
Along with the main forum program, the exhibition zone also included a show room. Its platform provided the following activities:
INSPACE FORUM demo zone presented products of Rubicon-Innovation, NSTR Rocket Technologies LLC, Astroorientir R&D, “Astronomikon” laboratory, The Russian Quantum Center, “Space Food” laboratory and ERA 3D. Such companies as VR Concept, Chingis.VR and Space 360 project offered to appreciate opportunities of virtual reality application in the space industry. And 360АРТ allows participants to enjoy views of the only digital spherical planetarium in Russia.
INSPACE FORUM 2017 has shown that each year more and more Russian investors are ready to significantly invest in space startups. And this trend will exist. One also can’t help but recognize a certain progress in the government and private partnership issue.
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