State and Response of the Global Space Sector during COVID-19

Day: Monday 12 October
Time: 16:00-16:40

We are in the midst of an unprecedented COVID-19 crisis that has shook our world. Never before have we experienced a “lockdown” that has brought the whole world to a standstill and affected our livelihoods. Global leaders are challenged in the midst of the crisis because of a lack of preparedness and appropriate information to inform decision making. Economies around the world have been hit hard and we are thrown into the midst of an unprecedent financial recession. Jobs have been lost and funding has been cut across many industrial sectors, and the space sector has certainly not been spared.

Experts agree that the pandemic will be with us for a while yet and that our collective success will be determined on how we respond in delicately balancing our emphasis between public health & safety and economic recovery. Coincidently, governments around the world are battling to counterbalance social and economic policies and the critical factors that sits at the nexus of these decisions are (i) timely access to empirical data and (ii) leveraging our scientific and engineering prowess to provide impactful solutions on the ground. In this regard, it is important to remember that a significant part of the global space sector is premised on leveraging the benefits of space products and services for sustainable socio-economic-environmental development.

This Session will focus on understanding the effects the pandemic has had on various segments of the global space sector, and in addition how the sector has assisted governments and key decision makers in responding to this pandemic. The discussion will also lead into how we can better prepare for future such pandemics through the lessons we have learnt during COVID-19 and our role in defining and responding to the “new normal”.


Valanathan MUNSAMI

Deputy CEO, Saudi Space Agency (SSA)

Saudi Arabia



Senior Associate, Teaching Science and Technology, Inc (TSTI)

United States


President, International Space University (ISU)


Simonetta DI PIPPO

Director, SEE Lab (Space Economy Evolution Laboratory) SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan (Italy)



President, President of Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)



Managing Director of Nanoracks Europe, Nanoracks