TerraWatch Space Podcast

#72: Why Space Sustainability Matters for Earth Observation - Krystal Azelton, Secure World Foundation

Episode Summary

Today, we are discussing space sustainability and its importance for Earth observation with Krystal Azelton, Director of Application Programs at the Secure World Foundation.

Episode Notes

Today, we are zooming out from Earth observation a little bit and going to focus on a subject that I think is very important for the future of EO: space sustainability.

We are launching more Earth observation satellites than ever before, and the progress in space tech has meant that any individual, organisation or country can put up an instrument in space to collect data for scientific, commercial, environmental or strategic purposes. But how sustainable is that? 

To discuss this I had Krystal Azelton, Director of Application Programs at the Secure World Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose aim is to develop and promote ideas and actions to achieve the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space benefiting Earth.

In this episode, Krystal and I discuss the state of the space environment, the threats and worst-case scenarios, what regulations exist and how effective they are, the similarities with climate policies, why every stakeholder in the Earth observation sector should care about this topic and more.


01:23: Intro

02:59: An overview of the Secure World Foundation

06:35: The state of the space environment today

09:56: Status quo of regulations and similarities with climate policies

16:38: The worst-case scenario

19:41: What are the solutions?

22:19: Why this matters for the EO sector

33:43: Are there risks to the adoption of EO because of the state of the space environment?

37:54: How can we balance spreading awareness in the world of alarmist headlines?

41:28: State of EO and why EO is not mainstream yet

49:14: What don't we talk about enough in EO?

52:11: Wrap-up