[SatNews] The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) has announced SpaceX and the Satellite Industry Association as recipients of its 2014 Industry Innovator Awards.
Introduced in 1993, the SSPI Industry Innovator Awards recognize outstanding new contributions to the satellite industry by private-sector, public-sector, or non-profit organizations. Honorees are chosen by a committee of industry experts for accomplishments ranging across a broad spectrum of advanced satellite technology and business applications.
The 2014 Industry Innovator Awards will be presented during the SSPI’s annual Gala on March 11, the opening night of the SATELLITE conference. For the second year in a row, the SSPI Awards at the Gala are sponsored by Arianespace. Prior to the Gala, SSPI will also honor the 2014 Stellar Award recipients, USAF Major General Martin Whelan and DOD Assistant Secretary Madelyn Creedon, during the Stellar Reception.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX has become the world’s fastest-growing launch company. In December 2010, it became the only private company ever to launch a spacecraft and return it from low-Earth orbit, and in May 2012, successfully docked its Dragon spacecraft with the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth—a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. Since then Dragon has twice delivered cargo to and from the space station. Under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, SpaceX will fly at least 10 more cargo resupply missions to the ISS, for a total of at least 12 —and in the near future, SpaceX will carry crew as well under a $440 million agreement with NASA for upgrade of the Dragon spacecraft. Most recently SpaceX successfully launched both its upgraded Falcon 9 launch vehicle and its first mission to GTO with the successful launch of SES-8.
Profitable and cash-flow positive, the company has nearly 50 launches on its manifest, representing close to $5 billion in contracts for commercial and foreign government satellite launches, as well as NASA missions. The company’s long-term goal is to make it possible for people to live on other planets. Currently under development is the Falcon Heavy, which will be the world’s most powerful rocket. All the while, SpaceX continues to work toward one of its key goals—developing reusable rockets—a feat that will transform space commerce and exploration by delivering highly reliable vehicles at radically reduced costs.
Satellite Industry Association
In January 2013, the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) accomplished a goal that it had pursued for nearly fifteen years: substantial reform of the export control provisions instituted in the Fiscal Year 1999 Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act, which required that all U.S. satellite exports be regulated as munitions under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, signed in January 2013 by President Barack Obama, repealed the 1999 provisions and enabled the Executive Branch to implement necessary reforms to export control rules for satellites. The 13 years of ITAR controls have cost the U.S. space industry $21 billion in lost sales and more than 4,000 jobs in satellite manufacturing alone, according to estimates by the Aerospace Industries Association.
To accomplish this legislative goal, SIA led a long-term, comprehensive effort involving nearly every satellite company and space association in the Washington metro area and nationwide. SIA continues to engage actively with the Administration to ensure timely and effective implementation of the ITAR satellite reforms it advocated for over the past decade.
The reform of ITAR was the fulfillment of SIA’s original mission when it was formed in 1995 – to serve as the voice of the U.S. satellite industry and to seek regulation and policies that help the industry thrive. SIA represents and advocates industry positions with key policy makers on Capitol Hill and with the White House, the Federal Communication Commission, the Defense Department and other Executive Branch departments and agencies. In addition to promoting and advocating for export control reform, SIA is an active advocate for the satellite industry on spectrum and regulatory policy, national security, public safety and emergency communications, and international trade issues.
The SSPI Gala
Held on the opening night of the SATELLITE conference and exhibition, the Gala is SSPI’s major fundraiser and a must-attend social networking event attracting over 1,000 guests to a reception and dinner. Those wishing to attend the SSPI Gala can learn more and purchase tickets at http://www.sspigala.com/.