Minister Roban On National Space Strategy

June 5, 2020

[Ministerial statement from Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban]

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to update this Honourable House about the introduction of the Bermuda National Space Strategy.

Mr. Speaker, Space has never been more exciting and promising, for Bermuda and for the world. The space industry is undergoing a revolution. Once the exclusive domain of national governments, space is increasingly accessible to private companies with capital and big ideas. Today, technology is sufficiently advanced to enable new commercial activities in space which seemed like science fiction only a short time ago. Entrepreneurs are building rockets to take humans to Mars, preparing to launch hundreds – and in some cases, thousands – of small satellites into orbit to provide ubiquitous Internet on Earth, and taking high-resolution photos of our planet with increasing frequency.

Mr. Speaker, this Government continues to pursue activities related to the space industry as part of its broader effort to grow and diversify our economy. In June 2018, I established a Space and Satellite Policy Advisory Panel.

Mr. Speaker, the advisory panel was tasked with producing a draft ‘Bermuda National Space Strategy 2020-2025’. The strategy, which was completed in December 2019, includes the establishment of a ‘space ecosystem’ by 2025 and has the following strategic goals:

  • 1] Build Bermuda’s reputation as a responsible, leading jurisdiction for space and satellite-related business;
  • 2] Enhance domestic space and satellite-related capabilities;
  • 3] Further integrate Bermuda with the international space community; and
  • 4] Generate revenue from national orbital allotments, of which Bermuda has four.

Mr. Speaker, coupled with the strategic goals, the Bermuda National Space Strategy identifies priority industry areas for Bermuda based on anticipated benefits namely:

  • Satellite communications;
  • Remote sensing/ earth observation;
  • Space insurance;
  • Space situational awareness and debris monitoring;
  • New space [e.g. on-orbit servicing, asteroid mining]

The aforementioned benefits will be a byproduct of the Government’s partnership efforts to:

  • develop policies and regulation for the sector;
  • build domestic capacity;
  • engage with international partners; and
  • fully utilize Bermuda’s national orbital resources.

Mr. Speaker, the advisory panel comprises of consultants, Access Partnership, who act in the capacity of secretariat of the Panel – while membership includes public sector and private sector partners, both local and international. The current membership, excluding Ministry and Department personnel, is as follows:

  • Adam Sturmer, Senior Vice President at Marsh Space Projects;
  • Bruce Kraselsky, Managing Director at Space Partnership International;
  • Chuck Schumann, Vice President and Founder at Pacific Dataport, Inc.;
  • Danielle Wood, Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and Director of Space Enabled at MIT Media Lab;
  • Jennifer A. Manner, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at EchoStar;
  • Kyle James, Business Development Manager at Bermuda Business Development Agency;
  • Ray Duffy, Senior Vice President at Marsh Space Projects;
  • Ryan Henry, Senior Manager at SES Satellites; and
  • Scott Gibson, Vice President of Legal Services at SES Video.

Mr. Speaker, the Ministry is pleased to report on this initiative and highlight the technological advances that enable such new commercial activities in space, which seemed like science fiction only a short time ago.

The strategy sets out a vision of developing a space industry as a vital part of Bermuda’s efforts to grow and diversify its economy, noting that expected growth of the global industry from a present value of $350 billion to over a trillion dollars by 2040. We intend to position Bermuda to participate in that trillion-dollar industry by offering services over a broad range of areas.

As evidence of the benefits of the space strategy, Bermuda was acknowledged for its role in successfully supporting a historic high- profile launch on Saturday May 30, 2020 of two NASA astronauts into orbit onboard a SpaceX rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. This successful mission, which cost 1.5 billion dollars, would not have been possible without Bermuda’s launch tracking support from Cooper’s island and speaks to Bermuda’s credibility as a leading space jurisdiction. We are aware of further launches planned in the near future.

Mr. Speaker, as the governmental body with primary responsibility for space and satellite matters in Bermuda, the Ministry of Home Affairs will lead the implementation of this strategy, with support from other governmental bodies, including the Ministry of Education and Department of Workforce Development, as well as the Regulatory Authority and non-governmental partners, namely the Bermuda Business Development Agency.

Mr. Speaker, the document titled: Bermuda National Space Strategy, 2020 to 2025 will be made available for public scrutiny on and on our website:

Thank You, Mr. Speaker.

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