As we’ve mentioned in previous episodes, there is always an inherent risk when doing anything in space. That said, a handful of space sustainability-minded companies are working hard to minimize those risks and prevent self-inflicted catastrophes. In this episode, we’ll learn about the true scope of the threat posed by space debris, congestion and the lack of situational awareness and about the technologies and solutions being deployed to keep space clean. We’ll also explore the value of space sustainability economy itself, and how government and private investment in green space tech will pay off in the future.

60-minute webinar
Jeffrey Hill
Executive Editor, Via Satellite
Patricia Cooper
President & Founder, Constellation Advisory, LLC
Patricia Cooper is a leading expert on satellite communications, regulation and space policy, and is the founder of the space consultancy, Constellation Advisory, LLC.

For six years, Cooper led Government Affairs for the Starlink satellite broadband constellation project at Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX). As Vice President, Patricia secured Federal Communications Commission authorization for a record 12,000 satellites, and market access to offer high-speed broadband services in more than 20 countries. She also advocated for sensible updates to spectrum, telecom competition and space safety regulations in the US and internationally, in order to support the new generation of satellite networks. Today, Starlink serves over a million users worldwide with a constellation of over 4,000 satellites

Prior to SpaceX, Patricia was Intelsat’s Vice President of Government Affairs & Policy, heading up U.S. and international policy and U.S. Congressional lobbying activities for the world’s second largest geostationary satellite fleet. Before that, Patricia led the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), the leading trade organization representing U.S. satellite operators, manufacturers and service providers. As SIA President, Patricia advocated for the industry in regulatory and national security arenas, fair trade and competition rules internationally, and spearheaded a successful bipartisan, bi-cameral legislative initiative to reform export controls for satellites.

Patricia previously served at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s International Bureau, both as Senior Satellite Competition Advisor and Branch Chief for Regional & Bilateral Affairs. Before that, Patricia directed international market access for two start-ups – CoreExpress, an Internet fiber infrastructure company, and PanAmSat Corporation, a disruptor in the early geostationary satellite services market that gained global prominence and eventually merged with Intelsat. She began her career at the U.S. Department of Commerce as an International Trade Specialist for the satellite industry and telecom markets in Latin America.

Cooper is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space, the Hague Institute of Justice’s Off World Council, and the advisory committee for the International Astronomical Union’s Centre for the Protection of Dark & Quiet Skies. She previously served on expert advisory committees for the FCC, U.S. Departments of State, Commerce and Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the International Telecommunications Union. She has testified often before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament, and participates regularly in United Nations and International Telecommunications Union fora on spectrum, space and economic development.

Patricia holds a Master’s Degree with Distinction in International Economics from the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and German from Kansas State University (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa).
Audrey Schaffer
VP, Strategy & Policy, Slingshot Aerospace
Audrey M. Schaffer is the Vice President of Strategy and Policy at Slingshot Aerospace, a company whose vision is to accelerate space sustainability to create a safer, more connected world.

Ms. Schaffer most recently served as the Director for Space Policy at the National Security Council. As the lead for national security space policy matters within the Executive Office of the President and lead for space policy on the National Security Council staff, she advised the President, Vice President, and National Security Advisor of the United States on military, intelligence, civil, and commercial space policies and strategies. While at the White House, Ms. Schaffer established the U.S. policy to refrain from conducting destructive, direct-ascent
anti-satellite missile testing; developed a new space security policy approved by President Biden; and wrote the U.S. Space Priorities Framework which defined the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision for space activities.

Ms. Schaffer previously served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for over a decade, including as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. While serving in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, she developed the legislative proposal that established the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces; led the U.S. team that negotiated the United Nations Guidelines on the Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities; drafted two national security space strategies; and planned and executed several Cabinet-level space tabletop exercises.

Ms. Schaffer also has served in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the Department of State, where she established and led the Bureau’s first cyber international security policy team and cross-Bureau cyber security working group. Ms. Schaffer began her government career as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of the Air Force, with assignments in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and at the Space and Missile Systems Center.

Ms. Schaffer holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy from the George Washington University. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.
Kristin Shahady
Business Development Manager, Astroscale U.S. Inc
Kristin Shahady is a Business Development Manager at Astroscale U.S.’s Denver office. She engages with government customers and partnerships across the space sectors and serves as the principal capture lead for government efforts. Before Astroscale, Kristin spent six years as a Systems Engineer at Ball Aerospace where she worked on data processing software for the Weather System Follow On - Microwave Satellite. Prior to that she worked as a systems engineer for 1.5 years on stereoscopic imaging software at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. She led Space Generation Fusion Forum as Manager in August, 2021. She served as an Educator at the Kennedy Space Center from 2012-2015. She was an Intern at Space Telescope Science Institute locating and classifying supernovae in Hubble archive data using artificial neural networks. Her research also included identifying the statistical probability of identifying exoplanets around circumbinary planetary systems.

Kristin holds a B.S. in Astrophysics from the Florida Institute of Technology and is pursuing her Master of Science in Space Studies; Space Law and Policy, from the University of North Dakota. Her specialties include public speaking, customer engagement, systems engineering, orbital mechanics, global space sustainability policy & law, and STEM outreach and mentoring.
Rachel Jewett
Senior Managing Editor, Via Satellite
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