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Introducing the Chief AI Officer.

Terran Orbital releases Q1 report and news of a new contract. Voyager is partnering with NASA on a new airlock system. NASA appoints a CAIO. And more.




Terran Orbital releases Q1 financial results and news of a new subcontract with Lockheed Martin to produce 18 satellite buses for the Space Development Agency Tranche 2 Tracking Layer. Voyager is partnering with NASA on the joint development of an airlock for the Mars Transit Vehicle. NASA appoints a new Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO), and more.

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T-Minus Guest

Our guest today is Uma Bruegman, Executive Director of the Space Safety Institute at The Aerospace Corporation.

You can connect with Uma on LinkedIn, and learn more about the Aerospace Corporation on their website.

Selected Reading

Terran Orbital Reports First Quarter 2024 Financial Results- Business Wire

Terran Orbital is Awarded Subcontract by Lockheed Martin for SDA’s Tranche 2 Tracking Layer- Business Wire

Voyager Space Awarded by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to Develop New Airlock Concept

NASA Names First Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

ispace EUROPE and CDS Sign Payload Service Agreement to Transport Precise Location Measurement Technology to the Moon

£9 million funding for satellite instruments to monitor climate - GOV.UK

Kingston University Rocket Engineering team building the most powerful 3D-printed rocket by students in the UK - News

News- Marble Imaging

Life360 Partners with Hubble Network to Build Global Location Tracking Network Aiming to Leapfrog Apple and Google

ULA could fly dummy payload on next Vulcan launch if Dream Chaser is delayed - SpaceNews

ESA - A cosmic chronicle 

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Today's Intel Briefing has something in it that's both brand new and completely unsurprising. In what's new to me anyway, it's the very first time that I've seen the title Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. And I'm sure this intro will sound very dated in no time at all, but go figure that the first organization I've heard of anyway rolling this title out is none other than NASA. In the astounding pace of innovation and adoption of AI, not just in space, but really everywhere, I don't think I'm going on much of a limb here to say that I bet we'll be hearing a lot more folks with this title very soon. "T-minus, 20 seconds to ALOS, we're at 4 for the floor." Today is May 14th, 2024. I'm Maria Varmasus and this is T-minus. Taren Orbital releases, Q1 report, and news of a new contract. Voyager is partnering with NASA on a new airlock. NASA appoints a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. And our guest today is Uma Brugman, Executive Director of the Space Safety Institute at the Aerospace Corporation. Happy Tuesday everybody. Let's take a look at our Intel briefing for today. New Q1 financial reports are out today and this time we're looking at Taren Orbitals, which gives us a little peek into what macro issues are also affecting individual corporations. Taren Orbital reports a slight dip in revenue year over year, as well as increased cost of sales and increased gross loss. Their Q1 2024 revenue is $27.2 million, which is down 3% compared to $28.2 million Q1 2023. The company says the smaller revenue was due to a ripple effect from supply chain issues with a subcontractor. And in further comment, by Taren Orbital's co-founder, chairman, and CEO Mark Bell, he added that "We expect the delayed revenue from this single program to be recognized by the end of the third quarter of 2024. This supply chain disruption underscores the importance of our vertical integration strategy. By bringing more aspects of the manufacturing process in-house, we can become less reliant on external factors and ensure on-time delivery for our valued customers." And as part of the financial update, Taren Orbital also announced that they have been selected by Lockheed Martin to produce 18 satellite buses for their recent space development agency Tronche 2 tracking layer contract. As the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin will provide the SDA with 16 wide field-of-view missile warning, missile tracking space vehicles with infrared sensors, and two vehicles with missile defense infrared sensors that can generate fire control quality tracks to provide preliminary missile defense mission capabilities. Each Lockheed Martin-built T2 tracking layer satellite will incorporate a Taren Orbital bus. Voyager Space has been awarded a collaborative announcement notice by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center for the joint development of an airlock for the Mars transit vehicle, also referred to as the Deep Space Transport. This cost-sharing cooperative agreement with NASA is intended to complement the technology development interests of NASA's Marshall, while also supporting the advancement of Voyager's technology and critical infrastructure capabilities. The 12-month study will begin this month, and will use resources from both Voyager and the habitation team at Marshall to evaluate the extensibility of Voyager's Bishop airlock design to the Mars transit vehicle architecture. The new airlock design will be based on the Bishop airlock, which Voyager developed for the International Space Station. And as we mentioned at the very top of the show, NASA has named David Selvignini as the US Space Agency's new Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, effective immediately. The role is an expansion of Selvignini's current role as Chief Data Officer. NASA says the role change is in accordance with President Biden's executive order on the safe, secure, and trustworthy development and use of artificial intelligence. Selvignini now is responsible for aligning the strategic vision and planning for AI usage across the US Space Agency. AI Space's European subsidiary has signed a payload services agreement to transport precise location measurement equipment to the Moon with control data systems, SRL. The agreement between the two companies marks the first joint step towards significant contributions to the scientific understanding of the Moon for potential future commercial purposes. It also represents the first Romanian payload to be delivered to the lunar surface. The UK Space Agency has released new funding opportunities to aid in their plans to monitor climate change. UKSA is offering £9 million to support 12 projects that will enhance the ability to monitor Earth's atmosphere and measure critical emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen dioxide. This doubles the program's previous largest funding round. UKSA has pledged £314 million to Earth Observation Programs as part of a record £1.8 billion investment in the European Space Agency. And staying in the UK for a moment, Kingston University's rocket engineering team is building the most powerful 3D-printed rocket engine ever produced by students in the UK. The build is part of the National Propulsion Competition, which takes place in July. The competition sees student teams from across the UK compete to see who can build the most successful rocket engine. The competition is part of the Race to Space Initiative, held by the University of Sheffield, which aims to provide the UK space sector with the better-trained, better-prepared graduates it needs to continue its growth. Germany-based Marble Imaging has announced a new partnership with satellite manufacturing company Reflex Aerospace. The partners plan to develop a new Earth Observation constellation with up to 200 small satellites. The company's hope that the data, analytics, and insight will cater to the needs of real-world applications and people. These include government organizations as well as commercial companies involved in environmental monitoring, implementation of sustainability and climate adaptation policies, ensuring food security, and providing humanitarian aid. The first satellite will be built for marble imaging by Reflex Aerospace, with the funding coming via the German Space Agency at DLR in the form of an award to marble imaging, who have won the agency's small satellite payload competition. And Life360 has signed a letter of intent with the Hubble Network to use their satellite Bluetooth technology. Life360 plans to leverage Hubble's global satellite infrastructure and Life360's global network of over 66 million smartphones to introduce a global location tracking network. The Find with Life360 tracking will be designed to make any item findable without the need for cellular connectivity. And that concludes our briefing for today. Head to the selected reading section of our show notes to find more on all the stories that we've mentioned. And also, we've added a piece in on the ULA potentially flying a dummy payload later this year. Hey, T-Minus Crew, if you're just joining us, welcome and be sure to follow T-Minus Space Daily in your favorite podcast app. Also do us a favor, share the intel with your friends and coworkers. So here's a little challenge for you. By Friday, please show three friends or coworkers this podcast. That's because a growing audience is the most important thing for us, and honestly, we would love your help as part of the T-Minus Crew. So if you find T-Minus useful, which of course we always hope you do, please share the show so other professionals like you can find it and join the crew. Thank you so much, everybody. It means a lot to me and all of us here at T-Minus. . Our guest today is Uma Brugman, Executive Director of the Space Safety Institute at the Aerospace Corporation. And I ask her to tell us more about her work. So the Space Safety Institute is an internal aerospace organization that studies and promotes ways to make space safer and then brings that to the space community. And we started this about four years ago, and the whole rationale behind that was, you know, the industry is changing, the space industry is changing, the space environment, and enterprises changing rather rapidly. We've seen a tremendous growth in the commercial industry, and this is all wonderful, new and exciting things that are happening. We have commercial applications that are about exciting things like mining asteroids, developing pharmaceuticals. You've already seen suborbital flights, human flights. So you've seen a lot of change. We've also seen a movement away from government-led missions to commercially-led missions. So looking at this environment, we came to examine that and say, okay, while these things are wonderful, more traffic brings the possibility of more issues and challenges. So Aerospace decided to take a look at, you know, what happens to space safety. And space safety has so many aspects. There's launch and reentry, there's space situation awareness, there's human space flight safety. What happens if somebody has an issue in space? Is there a rescue capability? We looked at things like cyber and spectrum. If there is a cyber issue in space, what happens then? What's the impact? How do we prevent that? How do we mitigate that? So there's different aspects to safety, and so Aerospace decided to establish the Space Safety Institute. It's fantastic. And, you know, talking about all these different, we would say in the cyber world, the threat landscape, the different kinds of risk mitigations, it can be scary thinking about this stuff, but it's also very important. And I'm so glad that there are really great minds thinking about these things. And because the last thing you want, of course, is should a crisis occur to go, I have no idea what we're supposed to do. I mean, obviously, that would be the absolute worst case scenario. So it is such a multifaceted world. I mean, my mind is going, how do you get your hands around such a multifaceted space, for lack of a better term, but also such a complicated space where there's so many different things that can go wrong rather infamously? I mean, it just feels like such an overwhelming challenge to take on. It can be. And one thing I need to mention is that we need to approach this in a holistic way, right? It's a whole of space approach. Space is international. So it's not just the United States, but we've got international governments and we have international commercial players. There's so many different stakeholders in this. So there's a lot of things to work out. And I think we have to approach that in a collaborative manner, working together as a team. And it cannot be just one group or one single country trying to come up with safety mitigations. It's got to be something that everybody collaborates on. Absolutely. And I feel like this is a beautiful segue into what I got to be a bit of a fly on the wall for at Space Symposium, which was the tabletop exercise. So can you introduce us to what this was? We had a tabletop exercise where we invited key stakeholders from the government. We had about 11 companies in there. We had industry organizations that are interested in sustainability and safety. And so the plan was to bring everybody together and have a scenario, which was fairly contrived. A disaster scenario, a safety scenario, where one company was from country A is servicing a satellite from country B. And there's a cyber issue. There's some sort of a software issue. And it creates a problem. And you have an explosion. So there's debris being created. And the satellite that was serviced goes into a free fall and then starts impinging on a satellite from country C. And of course, in all of this, there is a human who is in distress on a commercial space station and requires rescue. So complicated situation. Contrived, but extremely complicated. My goodness, yes. It was a very bad day in space. Yeah, that's a great way of putting it. So what we did was we gave people a choice of role to play. So they could be a spectrum coordinator. They could be a regulator. They could be a PR. They could be the CEO, firm A, firm B, firm C. So there were different roles to play. And it was exciting to see people take on roles that they are not normally taken on. So this wasn't their everyday job. I saw government leaders take a PR role. I saw industry leaders take a government regulator role. I saw other folks take on the CEO role. How do you communicate? So they all had to work together to solve this horrible issue that was happening. And you saw folks going native, taking on the role of the CEO, not sharing information as much as they should, being cagey, and yet understanding that there is a bigger mitigation, bigger problem to solve. So it was very interesting. The energy in the room was exciting. And the thing was that everybody got to walk in somebody else's shoes for the day and understand their issues and challenges. I love that that was the approach here. Because sometimes in tabletops, you're doing your own role in a disaster scenario. But I love the idea also of learning someone else's challenges, as you said, and appreciating how different that role is and what they have to deal with, which can also help you anticipate such things when you're doing your own job. But anything surprise you from during the tabletop? I mean, I know we can't get into too much detail, but was anything surprising that happened? What was surprising is how much energy everybody put into it, how much they engaged. There was not a single person that was not fighting for their position in there. So that was exciting. There were some outcomes from there, too. What we realized is that the soul work from this tabletop exercise, what's next for the stakeholders? And the biggest learning, of course, is that we all need to collaborate. And so that was one of the things that came out. Yeah, and it's interesting when during the debrief, that was often the feedback was this clearly demonstrated the need for a coordination, which was encouraging to hear that people recognize that nobody can fly solo in a crisis situation like this, that collaboration is so key. And having a sense of who owns what, who you can turn to, that's what's so great about these tabletops is you can clearly define that and also figure out what those gaps may have been that you didn't realize until you go through something like this, which is what's so fascinating about doing them. I love them. My own personal advice, I think they're really cool. Right. I mean, there were learnings like communications. We need to have an infrastructure for communications. It's not enough to remove barriers to communication. The other thing that I feel passionately about and brought up was that we likely need a consortium for space safety. There's many consortia out there, but we need one that takes an enterprise-wide approach to space safety and integrates across the enterprise. That's something that was brought up and we also brought up a statement of collaboration. Everybody needs to collaborate. We need to agree to share information as much as we can so that we're more aware of things that go wrong as they happen. And we're not waiting for days to find out that something has gone wrong. Yeah. And that's a point of truth for lack of better terms of what is actually happening, not the rumor mill or heard secondhand. Where is this information coming from? And how is it getting disseminated in a timely manner? It's a huge challenge. It really is. And especially when we're talking about not just governmental bodies, but also commercial bodies, and then it's international, I imagine sometimes even things like language barriers could even become an issue in some cases. So, I mean, this is not a simple issue at all to be trying to tackle. That's a great point. It's actually even having a common lexicon. We don't even have that right now. What we might call regulation might be something else in another country. You know, what we call standards is not necessarily what they would accept. So we need a space safety lexicon. This is one of the things that I'm talking about when it comes to our consortium. Having physics and engineering based analysis and making it available to everybody. Having tools and models, but actually developing a space safety lexicon that everybody agrees upon. And so that we are all speaking the same language as far as the terms are concerned. And then, of course, there's the complication of different languages as well. So it becomes fairly complex. And you're working on a very macro scale in this case, and you've shared some fantastic takeaways. And of course, but I'm also wondering on the micro scale for someone who's listening going, you know, what can I do in my own organization? What can what can a takeaway be for me in terms of how I could maybe better collaborate or be of, you know, better use or more responsive should a crisis like this arise? Anything that somebody could implement on a micro scale here? Absolutely. First, I would encourage them to reach out to us. We are our mailboxes, SSI@ero.org, and they can reach out to us and we can help them. We have held numerous workshops for new actors in space so they can just get started and be aware of what safety issues and challenges are there, even as a startup, even as a new company. Or if you're a large company, you know, where where are the things that you might overlook? So I would encourage them to reach out to us. I'm thinking of something for my cybersecurity days. Sometimes at small cybersecurity companies, they there would be if there was an issue found, we would we found during a crisis situation, it was sometimes very hard to get in touch with teams because there wasn't sort of an easy way to communicate someone like, hey, there's a very urgent vulnerability that's been found. Who is the person that we can directly speak to who can actually help us figure out how to mitigate this? I don't know if there's an analog in the space world on this front, but I'm just thinking like there was a tip. We sometimes gave cybersecurity companies like, hey, have a direct contact for this specific situation. Should we need that fast response? Is there any advice that we can give that's maybe for small space companies if they can implement internally? Yeah, it's good to have somebody dedicated to safety, right? And then they in small companies, they probably wear dual hats. But what we're seeing is some of the larger companies are designating somebody as the director of space safety, which is very heartening to see. But for small companies, it would be good to identify somebody and say, you know, there's an issue, you are in charge of space safety, go get more knowledgeable about it. And we are happy to help. But there are many, many resources available in the industry for space safety. And I would encourage them to become smart on it. We have a draft space safety compendium. And this is a collection of recommendations and technical issues and policies that we talked about. And we really like industry feedback and input. And so if anybody's interested in taking a look at it and contributing or giving us feedback, please reach out to us at that mailbox and we'd be so happy to have that input. We'll be right back. Welcome back. You might have noticed we're an English speaking podcast. Shocker, I know. But we know not all our listeners are solely Anglophones. For all our Francophone listeners, écoutez bien. ESA is marking the recent publication of Space Odyssey, which is a brand new graphic novel or a band de ciné, that tells the history of space from the origins of the universe all the way to today's ESA. In 192 pages, artist Eric Lambert and writer Arnaud de la Lande weave the epic tale of how and why ESA does what it's been doing and what it's up to now. And it also takes a global view of what's happening in space beyond just the global West. And for our European space hipsters, please rest assured that the creative team worked with a number of both ESA experts as well as the Société Astronomique de France, and that would be the French Astronomical Society, to ensure scientific and historical accuracy. I do love seeing space communications using the amazing medium of comics to tell these important stories. Only downside for our Anglophone listeners is that this comic book is, for now anyway, only in French. But if you can read French or have a very patient friend who can translate for you, or perhaps know a budding space nerd who's also studying French in school, there are dozens of us, the book Space Odyssey is available from the Les Arans website. And the artwork is quite beautiful, I've got to say. So if you're interested in seeing this book for yourself, the link is in the show notes for you. [Music] That's it for T-minus for May 14th, 2024, brought to you by N2K Cyberwire. Traditional resources from today's report, check out our show notes at space.n2k.com. We're privileged that N2K and podcasts like T-minus are part of the daily routine of many of the most influential leaders and operators in the public and private sector, from the Fortune 500 to many of the world's preeminent intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This episode was produced by Alice Carruth. Our associate producer is Liz Stokes. We're mixed by Elliot Peltzman and Trey Hester, with original music by Elliot Peltzman. Our executive producer is Jennifer Iben. Our executive editor is Brandon Karp. Simone Petrella is our president. Peter Kilpey is our publisher. And I'm your host, Maria Varmasas. Thanks for listening. We'll see you tomorrow. [Music] T-minus. [Music] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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