top of page
Search

NorthStar Earth & Space with Stewart Bain

Join Tim & Stewart on a relaxed chat about all things NorthStar and the path to working in the space industry.


Stewart is a seasoned executive of the aerospace industry. Since 1989, Stewart has been at the nexus of creating, developing, and commercializing leading edge technologies for aerospace applications. With a foundation in aerospace engineering and extensive experience in advanced composite materials and optical systems for satellite applications, Stewart has envisioned and transformed many ideas and concepts into product reality. Stewart has participated in numerous aerospace missions internationally as a lead engineer, project manager, business development executive, and expert consultant to a host of clients around the globe from Japan, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, United States, and Canada. Stewart has extensive experience as a board member for private industry and associations.











Full Transcript:



Hello, and welcome to another edition of Podcast for the Future. I'm your host. Tim Chrisman. I am excited to be joined to Day by Stewart Bain of NorthStar. 1s Stewart is a seasoned executive in the aerospace industry. Since 1989, Stewart has been at the nexus of creating, developing, and commercializing cutting edge technologies for aerospace applications. He's got a foundation in aerospace engineering and a lot of experience in advanced composite applications. 2s So we can jump right in. 1s Love to hear. 1s What is it that got you into the space world? 2s That's maybe a very philosophical question, but I don't think I had a lot of choice, 1s meaning it was so influential at the time. I was born in the early 60s, so I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I watched 1s Apollo 13 make its way back to Earth safely. I was deeply moved by the promise of space, and I think that had a lasting impact on me. I built rockets out of Lego. I built rockets out of spare parts. We all built gokarts that had pictures of rockets on the side of them, and we all dreamed of being astronauts and going into outer space. So I think the biggest thing for me was space was literally philosophically and physically all around me. And I think I was sufficiently impressed and decided to embark on a career there. Yeah, I mean, that makes sense. And philosophically. How much choice do any of us have today? 1s We can go real deep on that, but maybe all right 1s for an hour and a half. 1s Exactly. Yeah, but no, and I mean, I think 1s growing up at that time was the perfect time to see this mix of optimism and hope that really came to embody the space sector and to some degree still persist. 1s What? You know? 2s We've we've gotten we're now a little ways away from that. And it's it's not the same for kids these days. It's not there's not the same sort of promise of space. 2s Yeah, and 1s I'm not 100% sure why, other than maybe we just are more cynical about a lot of things. No, I'm wondering if I'm sharing my screen with you because I think you're reading my notes. 3s Why did I get involved in North Star? Why did I become a founder of this company, a co founder of this company? What was it about this Enterprise, to coin a Star Trek phrase, that 2s spend my life or invest a large part of my life creating it. And you just talked about that when I was a kid? Space was 1s infinite. Space was full of hope, full of promise, full of challenge, full of excitement, full of new things and. 1s Anybody who looks at it now will see it differently. They'll see a lot of good things that are happening, they'll see a lot of opportunities that are being created, but they'll also see a lot more challenges than what I saw when I was a kid. And one of the main reasons I got involved with North Star is because, philosophically, as an environmentalist, I wanted to make sure that this environment would be there for future generations. So it was all about, if you like, the next generation, to coin another Star Trek phrase. But it is all about the next generation. It's all about them having the same excitement, the same enthusiasm, the same promise of space that I think we have over the years. Tarnished a bit, but not to the point where we can't do something about it, because it wasn't looking so good for Apollo 13 until they figured out how to solve the problem. So I think we find ourselves in a similar situation now. There's challenges there. There's significant challenges, but 1s in the big picture, space offers a whole lot of opportunity for future generations to do some very exciting things. Yeah, no, I think you're right, and we can get to the environmental piece in just a second. But when people talk about the Industrial Revolution and relate that to the space Revolution, one benefit of the Industrial Revolution is that so many more people got to see and touch and be a part of technological change. No longer was this just artisans off the equivalent of a PhD in a lab tinkering with things. Everybody got to touch it. Henry Ford in the assembly line, thousands of people are now touching cars. And that seems like a real opportunity with the space sector, that it's not going to be just billionaires and PhDs. It's everybody from a welder through. Somebody to fix the WiFi on Jeff Bezos, his private space station. 4s I know I sound like maybe I'm waxing too philosophical every time, but it wasn't really. 2s I would argue constructively that the Industrial revolution was a product of our curiosity and our sense of wanting to explore. We were destined to do these things. It's like we didn't stay inside our cave and wonder what's going on out there. We went out there and we've continued to do that. It and we have different names for it. The space race, the Industrial Revolution transforming society. But our DNA somehow seems to be very curious and very innovative and wants to explore new things and that gives us great opportunities but also great challenges because you always have that balance between when I start going out there and start doing stuff. I have an impact on the environment around me, I have an impact on the ecosystem, I have an impact on other people. How am I balancing that so that it's sustainable? And I think that's an important question to ask when you're talking about generational experiences. Yeah no speaking of reading screens, like you know one of the documents I have online is about this. 2s Basically thesis sounds too academic. But this idea that humans were just fancy monkeys that wander and we have to explore and get out there and try new things and do new things and it's an anathema for us to look away from that next challenge. 1s Yeah. 1s We're the only species that has the capacity to have such an impact on our environment. Whether it's a positive or a negative one. Unfortunately it typically ends up as a negative one. But we have demonstrated historically and currently that we do have the capacity to do things that make it more sustainable, to make our activity more sustainable instead of just but make our activity more sustainable so we have that capacity to find that balance. And I think, 2s I guess for me that's what gives us the hope. I mean, that's that's the principle that that this Enterprise North Star was based on was striking that balance and using innovation, using information as an extremely powerful tool to help others make decisions, navigate, explore, 1s do whatever we want to do to make space a normal economy. I think we tend to look at space like 1s how do you feel about the space economy? And I'm like the space economy is like the economy. Everything we do in our economy runs through a satellite. Every financial transaction, communications, everything runs through satellites. Monitoring the earth's environment, monitoring the oceans, not all of it, but space is a huge contributor on environmental monitoring and certainly on our economic aspect. And financial transactions, all the financial transactions running through the atomic clocks and being timestamped we really are integrated with space. So I like the idea that I think your space concept that you've created in the US. I like the idea that space needs to be just a normal economy where we just go into business like everywhere else. Yeah. No, nobody asks like how's the sea economy doing these days? Like no, that's like a kind of absurd thing to say. Yeah. How's your earth business doing? My Earth businesses doing great. Porn one or the derivatives. Exactly. 2s Yeah. This whole holding the space sector as like this precious entity, I think holds it back. 2s Yeah. I think what it does or what we're so rooted. 1s For good reason in the fact that 1s we haven't had hundreds of years of industrial revolution in space. We've had not even 100 years of evolution and innovation in space and it's gone extremely quickly and taking big leaps and bounds. But we don't have that much experience under our belts to have too much reference beyond what we've done in the last 50 years. And we're really a little bit playing catch up with the fact that we've kind of exploded recently 1s in the sense that we're putting a lot more stuff into space now, a lot more quickly, thanks to a lot of good innovation and a lot of very smart capabilities that are making space much more accessible. But for me, it always begs the question do I do something just because I can or do I do something because it's going to make a profound difference and make a significant contribution? And I think sometimes not to really try to point fingers, but where I think we could use more awareness is to think about 1s how much impact positive am I going to have with this next launch versus how much space am I just going to be occupying and potentially creating some congestion. Because it's not really either the business plan or the con ops or the whole process that I've gone through to launch this into space hasn't really been fully thought through. So I'm really just occupying space rather than leveraging its tremendous benefits. 1s And I feel that it's innovative. But on the other hand, it can be perceived from a business perspective as being lazy. Launching a satellite into space takes up a valuable piece of an orbit that other folks might be able to use more effectively. So it's a little bit like think before you launch and make sure you've got a good business plan and make sure you've got a good 1s client base and you're going to generate a lot of value from what you do to launch something into space because even just the launch itself has such a huge environmental impact, right? You think about all the steps, 2s you're not going to stop them or prevent them. You're still going to launch. You're going to be judicious about that. I think that's an important aspect of making the space environment sustainable and making people aware of how important it is just to think ahead. No, I think you're exactly right. And we've seen over the past 100, 200 years these sorts of things, the tragedy of the commons play out whether it's overfishing or deforestation and we know how this movie ends like we've done this and so the earlier in the cycle we can head it off, the better. And imagine that's part of the why behind North Star. Yeah, I mean, the thinking with North Star was in the beginning, what's the best way to monitor space? Meaning all the near Earth orbits. Low Earth orbit, which is between, let's say 252,000 km, that's low Earth orbit. Relatively low Earth orbit. That's where the International Space Station is. That's where 1s a lot of the constellations that are being launched now are occupying because it's close to the Earth. You have a low latency is the technical term, but you have less delay in delivering a signal then beyond low Earth orbit you've got medium Earth orbit where a lot of the geo GPS 1s positioning satellites are located and that's between. 2s 2000, and let's say all the way out to Geostationary, which is the orbit that Arthur C. Clark had a significant hand in discovering. It's the place where the force that wants to send you away into outer space is equaled by the gravitational pull that brings you back. So you end up just hanging out in space and it's far off the surface of the Earth, so 35,000 km off the surface of 1s the equator. So there's a lot of traffic that goes back and forth through there, there's a lot of things flying around there. And what a lot of people don't know is that 1s when a rocket is done, other than the first stage of a lot of rockets, and that's a very amazing innovation that SpaceX managed to do to make their first. Stages fully reusable like that is that the stages that go out into these orbits go up there, and then they float around, according to 1s newton's laws of physics, for a long time. 1s Some of them are out there for hundreds of years, some of them are out there for a few decades. It depends on the orbit they're in, right? And they're moving around at. Well, in metric, it would be between eight and 16, which is like between maybe five and 10 miles/second. So you don't have a lot of time to get out of the way of something when it's coming towards you at 10 miles a second because you don't even see it until it's on top of you. And then you have to react and you just don't. 2s Want to have that building up in space. You want to have this perspective of, how could I predict these orbits? Because they're all following the laws of physics, so they all become very predictable in their pattern. And the best way to see them, like when you send your kids to the swimming pool, you're hoping that the lifeguard is going to be at the pool, not staying at home and watching him from a camera in his basement. You want to be out there in space watching the objects from space and having multiple views as it makes one orbital pass. It's hard when you're fixed on the ground, even if you've got multiple locations to pick up multiple views of an object as it's flying around, either in a circular or a highly elliptical 1s orbit multiple times. But you can do it much more efficiently from space. It just creates a different set of, I would say, mathematical and 1s mathematically relativistic challenges, including Einstein's theory of relativity. Because measuring a moving object from a moving object was what Einstein talked about when he was talking about relativity. It's very difficult to measure the velocity of an object from a moving object. So that's part of the problem that we had to solve. 2s Solving that aspect through algorithms and then building that into a set of software is an innovation that try and turn the corner away from so much science that I'm talking about right now that you would expect from a commercial enterprise, not necessarily a government. So the governments, they do mega infrastructure programs like they do on Earth, but they don't necessarily come up with quick ways to get around or navigational systems or apps or services that comes from the commercial enterprise. So it's that private public exchange that I think makes the whole world go round in a space economy. No are right. Like, governments are not making the radar guns and the stoplights. They may say where they need to go, they may use them. But yeah, the tools of the traffic management are not being made by governments. And so it ends up being weird when governments try to say, well, 1s we need to make it all. We need to own it all. That's weird. Yeah, I think governments do best what governments do best, they take their time to build big infrastructure, and the innovation comes from the enterprise, the private enterprise, and the ideas. And I think it helps for me complement 1s the role of government in that. If you've got, for example, North Star, you've got high fidelity, be good, high quality information about the location of everything in space where 1s you accurately can predict and know where all the objects are going to be. Now, you can set much more precise, maybe much more realistic, much more manageable rules and rules of the road and regulatory and policy aspects. Because, again, like 1s the Earth analogy, it's the government gives you a license to drive your car, who gives you the insurance or regulates the insurance companies to say whether you get to have insurance or not, et cetera, et cetera. They set the speed limits. They set the rules of the road. 1s And the better information they have to see where the dangers are and how we can mitigate them, the more useful those rules and policies will be. Which makes space much more accessible, right? Exactly. 1s Yeah. Well, you've alluded to a number of times what North Star does, but let's spell it out. What exactly 3s what would it say you do? Well, North Star uses, 1s again, you're putting things into space. Put trucks on the road to paint lines on the road, and that creates a potential hazard. We put satellites into space using a telescope, looking out towards space. So we put it in what we call we put each satellite in what we call a low Earth orbit. We put it at around 550 km. We run sun synchronous, meaning the sun is always at the same location at our back 1s as we fly around the Earth. And as the Earth turns, we stay in sync with that time. So it's called local time at ascending node. So we tend to go in the early mornings, like the middle of the night, early morning. So the sun is always at our back and illuminates objects in space. So the sun becomes our spotlight. You get the spotlight on all the objects for free. And we take images of that reflection of those objects and then we use our algorithms to say, okay, I see that object. And we call it cataloging. You essentially catalog an object and then you predict where it's going to be in the future. And if it's not exactly where it was supposed to be, the next time you pick it up, then you just iterate and refine your model till your error. That's associated with where the object is, like this coffee mug, which is about four inches tall or 10 CM. An object like that in space, the knowledge, believe it or not, we predict things in space mathematically. You don't just look at it and say it's exactly there because it's moving so quickly and it's so far away. The error associated with this object in space would be like the size of the island of Manhattan. So I know this coffee mug is somewhere on the island of Manhattan. Okay, so how useful is that to me? I need to know where it is probably within the size of the room I'm sitting in, which is like 20ft by 20ft. Where is this object? Because if there's 128,000,000. 2s Objects flying around in space, and that's roughly the amount of both operational and non operational debris, everything flying around in space. 128,000,000 if everything is roughly taking up a mathematical space to predict where it is, the size of the island of Manhattan, everything's bumping into everything all the time, right? So it really becomes chaotic, but the more precision you have, the more you say, well, it's not a problem, and you don't really need to jump out of the way here. It's really going to miss you by a lot. So that kind of precision, I think, helps people get some stability, get some security, 1s and again, sustainability. You feel safer about flying in space, and we don't want an accident to happen and essentially see a real life version of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock's film Gravity. In real life, you don't want to see that. 1s That would be really disastrous to go negative. Unfortunately, it's not like. 1s You know, when? Years ago, 1s enbridge here in Canada, because we also work on Earth, observation products as well, 1s polluted the Kalamazoo River, and it cost them a lot of money, like a billion dollars, to clean it up. But the Kalamazoo River was already polluted. But it was a good news story for the Kalamazoo River because they brought it up almost to the level of drinking water by the time they finish cleaning it. But 1s the environmental impact could be reversed with technology here on the ground. The problem with space is once you pulled off a gravity event, which we called the Kessler effect, after the scientist Kessler that talked about it, and you have this congestion in space 1s that doesn't get cleaned up for the foreseeable future, that really is what gets me out of bed in the morning. 3s I am running a company that's running against its own natural race of generate clients, generate revenue, build a business, get more people on board, et cetera. But the real race that I'm running is the race against time, of how quickly we are impacting our environment in space and how much time do we have before we have an unfortunate event. And you really want to prevent that because the reversing of it, unlike the Kalamazoo River, is not really an option. That's the hard question. So I think that's what's driving me, really? Yeah. One for people who may not know the like. 2s Technical details of the Kessler effect. Essentially, it is when there's so much debris in orbit that you can't even launch something into space without it being destroyed during launch. Which, to your point, it's hard to clean something up. When anything you send to clean it up is making more of a mess. Well, I heard something. 2s I don't think you'll mind. I heard it from peter B to Sell ##ing 3s the eminent journalist in Space news and now he runs his own space reporting. But Peter said to me he was in a conference, I think in Indonesia, in the mid ninety s, and he was watching a panel 1s of very strong candidates, including Arthur c. Clark. And so, in the mid 90s, Arthur c. Clark, who envisioned a lot of things, including, as I said earlier, the geostationary orbit, said within 30 years, we risk losing access to space. So that would be 2026. Wow. So this kind of thing is the record that plays over and over in my head. 2s He wasn't right about all his predictions and certainly don't want him to be right about this one. We do not want to lose access to space, because that would be like a day without sunshine. 2s That would be really bad. So we really are driven 1s to help, at least for now. I look at it like the first step is to use North Star satellites, 24 of them, moving around in space. I have a video that I could show if you want if you want me to throw it up on the screen. But you're essentially monitoring. 1s You're sweeping through space, waiting for objects to pass one of your fields of view, and each time you pick it up, you get a more precise prediction of where it's going to be in the future. And then you have this great catalog, and now you can tell people when it's a good time to move and when it's not a good time to move, because we're still hoping and anticipating, I would say, for sufficient technology to really do a cleanup of space. Because cleaning up space, in general 1s is not something that we really have the technology to do right now. What we need to do is, like in Formula One, before the tow trucks come out, we need to navigate around the debris. The unfortunate thing about space is 1s when you throw up the yellow flag in space, thanks to physics, nothing slows down. It just keeps company. 2s Best case, they move faster. 2s Imagine you're driving on a highway that, you know, imagine you're driving on a highway that kind of goes around your city, and imagine that every accident that's ever happened on that highway. 1s The debris is still there and it's moving around as if it was just happening in that moment. That's what it's like to fly around in space when there's garbage flying around nearby you. All the garbage is still there, and you've got to navigate around this debris to make your way around. So it becomes a little bit more challenging because, 1s well, nature, as I said to my kids when I camp with them across Canada and all around Scotland and all over, nature 1s must be respected because nature doesn't respect you back. Nature just keeps going, and you got to respect the fact that it's not going to accommodate you. Right? No, for sure. Well, and I would imagine you get asked some variation of this question a lot, and that is like, okay, so your analogy of the road makes sense, but there's no people up there, so why does it matter to me on the ground here? Who cares? Well, not to hang on the specific point, there are people in the space station, there are people in space, there are folks traveling to and from back and forth. They're important, certainly. But back to my previous comment. If your communication systems, if your banking systems, if your financial transactions, if your climate change technology for monitoring the Earth, more than 50% of it is coming from space and you knock that out, I think it's a very important point for everybody to know. We didn't do a lot of work on backwards compatibility when Jethro Tall invented the apple seed planting machine at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. We didn't keep hanging onto them as we built 1s massive tractors and machinery that can go out and plant hectares and hectares or hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and thousands of acres of land very quickly. We don't have instant access to backward compatibility. So if we lose the space infrastructure because of the Kessler effect, we're going back in time. 1s In terms of our technological advancement back in time. We don't have land networks set up the way they were before. We don't have 1s dialogue. We rely on a space infrastructure to be in place for us to have the comforts that you and I are sharing right now that this podcast is benefiting from high speed communication through satellite. 2s You really do want to know that every person will be affected by the fact that space is affected, and I think that only makes sense to me. 2s An ecological system, we're all connected to it. We're all connected through our own and through the environment, through our ecosystem. The space environment is connected to the Earth's environment. There's an inextricable link between the two, and it would be 1s naive to think about them differently or separately, because they both impact one. One impacts the other. The movement of the planets, the movement of the moon affects the tides in the ocean. So it's all interrelated. You don't want to lose sight of the fact that we really do need those satellites to be operating, and we need to do everything we can to protect them. No. Yeah. And I think that that picture of it being an integrated system is really a good way of looking at it, that in this case, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody's around to hear it, and it falls on your cell phone tower, you notice 1s you may not hear it, but you care. 1s So I just want to credit you for quoting a famous Canadian songwriter, Bruce Coburn, because that's his song. What if he falls in the forest? Does anybody hear? So that's a Bruce Coburn song. And that point is exactly right. 2s When the satellites, even though you won't hear them, or, like they say, an alien, if you scream in space, will anybody hear you? When the satellites get knocked out, we'll all feel it. We'll all feel it. Felt around the world. Yes, exactly. 3s Well, it sounds like what you're doing with North Star is really cool and an exciting time to be doing it. What's the real benefit of North Star compared to what else is being done for situational awareness? 2s Yeah. 2s Comparatively, having a perspective from space is really important, but I've never really tried to or we as an enterprise, the co founders, we never really tried to think about it as us to the exclusion of all else. It's complementary. It might be a really contribution to the complement, but it's still complementary. I know you have a background 1s in sort of military or CIA intelligence related activities. It's never just one source of information that gives you the answer. It's a really good source. Tells you you need to go and look inside that building on the third floor in office 307 between the hour of 630 and 635, no one will be there. But you still got to go in there and look for the document. In the space industry, or maybe in other industries, we call tipping and queuing. So there's systems on the ground and there's also systems in space that don't swath through space the way North Star does. They're moving through space, but they're focused on one object. It. 1s There's a really great value in tipping and queuing other systems to say, stare here because in 36 hours something here is really going to happen that's going to be important and you're going to want to be pointing at that. So that complement makes a lot of sense for the overall picture. So you have an overall operational picture, realize you don't do it alone, you do it with others. And we have, I would like to say at least from our side, good working relationship with ground based systems, ground based telescopes, ground based radar, space based systems, space based telescopes that were, in some cases, not even designed to do space situational awareness, but we managed to apply our algorithms to their sensors to be able to use it. But again, we've designed our system to optimally perform, to do the task, but that doesn't mean it's the only piece of information you want. And a lot of times 1s other systems will pick up stuff that no one else can see and then you'll want to particularly pay attention to that in reverse. So I think it's very much a community of the willing, or a coalition of the willing, as some people call it, that works together in this industry because we're not that many that work in this area. And I'd like to recognize all the folks that do this, and I'd hate to start naming them in case I leave somebody out. But we have done work with excellent analytics solutions. We have done work with slingshot and Numerica and Leo Labs and others in this area. And the United States government has been, I think, really proactive in a very positive way since 219 with what they call Sac T. It's an acronym, as you can expect coming from the government, but it's Sprint advanced Concept Training. So it's a sprint. It happens over the course of a week, happens four times a year. And people bring their technology to this advanced concept and we run scenarios or we do real life, real life 1s activity and we demonstrate our capabilities and we communicate with each other through the Internet, obviously, that we have a Meridian Cell in Europe, we have a Pacific cell in Japan. It starts at the Pacific Cell, it goes to the Meridian cell, and then it ends up in the North American US. Cell, where you've got folks in Boulder, Colorado and elsewhere that are running these essentially demonstrations of capability so that we can improve our skills. So these exercises involving commercial so was set up by the Department of Commerce and the Department of Defense. I think there are. 1s That's the kind of thing that government can do, that industry can't, and the industry comes in and plays, and we all benefit what's good, what's bad. Some really impressive government people running that program and really cracking the whip and making sure that it's delivering value. Really impressive. I remember back in November 21, we were doing a sack tea. We were hosting the Meridian cell. And if memory serves, november 15 was the Monday of the first day of the sack tea. And that was the day the Russians decided to conduct an anti satellite test and shoot down one of their own satellites. At the same time, the Chinese were were demonstrating their ability to pull up next to a satellite in geostationary orbit and disrupt its satellite with a grapple. There was a lot of stuff happening that week, and we got to monitor all of it and process the information and share the information. And so it was a really good learning experience. 3s You can't make that kind of stuff up. Scenarios that ended up presenting themselves were as beneficial to the process as anything else. We we certainly benefited from from that. And not that you you want to have that happen again, but you benefit from the exposure to these hopefully extreme and rare cases where there's bad stuff happening in space that you want to be able to react to and monitor in real time. Yeah. No, and I mean, the attitude of those groups and what you're talking about, 2s this isn't like a software world where it feels like winner take all. I've got to make the killer app that gets critical mass and everybody dies. It is more of the like, well, it takes all of us to succeed, and you have something, I have something, they have something. And, I mean, that's part of what is so great about the space sector in general. Yeah. And we used to share that much more. 2s I would say positively internationally, but recent events don't allow it to be as positive. But space, we used to have such a great international space relationship, 2s and hopefully we can return to that. But that's above my pay grade right now. Let's just focus on what we can do and what we can influence. But that whole concept of takes all of us to win, really, I think, for me, 3s encapsulates my philosophy of working with other companies and working internationally. 1s I was at a dinner a few weeks ago, and there was a delegation there, and I won't give anybody away, so I'll just keep it neutral. And the person sitting next to me, who was very high up in the government, not not in Canada or in the United States, turned to me and said, so how's space in Canada? And I turned to them and I said, space isn't only in Canada. 3s And the person was really taken aback, like they'd said, a major football. And I was really just having fun. Yeah. But I wasn't really just having fun. 3s It's all for just Canada or all for just one country. It's all for we all use it. Right. Let's make sure we don't abuse it, because whatever I abuse, you're going to have to live within about I don't know if it's in lower Earth orbit, in about 40 minutes, it's going to be over your house, because it's over my house right now. So we're all kind of swimming in the same swimming pool. As I said once at Amos, having a no debris zone in space is like trying to have a no peeing section in a swimming pool. It's like, once it's there, it's there, it's too late in the pool. So we're living in that, and we got to really be careful about how we affect each other, whether we're allies or not. 3s If we pollute a lake in Canada, I guess in the big picture, it affects people on the other side of the world, but not the same way as it does when you create a collision or a debris cloud in space. That affects everybody. Right. Again, in 40 minutes or less. That's the part that I like to keep track of. Yeah. No, I mean and I think the no peen zone in a swimming pool is a great way of talking about that because it's very visceral image that immediately comes to mind, and you realize this really is a hopeless situation to try to do. 2s Yeah. You just don't know if you want to get in the pool. Right. 1s Which wouldn't be a bad thing, because then the chlorine eventually will take care of it, but it'll work itself out. 3s It's. 1s Um, yeah, no. And I know we're getting fairly close on time here, so I want to be respectful. Is there anything that we missed that you want to make sure we hit on? Well, I think what I'd like to say because you and I think have had a great focus on the here and the now of sustainability and the crisis that we're in. But what I like about your previous podcasts and what you're doing with your space consortium, 1s what I like about that is foundation for the future, 1s look into the future. It's not about just solving this crisis. 1s The headline 25 years ago was, there's a hole in the ozone there, and we did a good job of fixing it. And it may not be totally gone, but we've gone a great way to use technology to repair that. So when somebody asked me, what would you like to be the headline for North Star 2s in 30 years? I said, I'd like to be the COVID of National Geographic, to say, 1s congestion in space and climate change, 1s things of the past. How will we explain these to the next generation? Because they won't have any idea about what they were. It's like history study. And when you've done that now, what is Space and what is North Star? It's a huge data play. It's a huge information, data mining useful tool that goes way beyond anything we've got here on Earth. And all of this artificial intelligence that's sort of feeding in on itself on Earth, being made to good use to explore the infinity. I mean, there's just in near Earth orbit, there's 73 trillion cubic kilometers of volume to monitor. That's just between us and geostationary. How much is there to explore beyond that? And how much do we want to use artificial intelligence and information tools and apps and everything, using North Star as part of that ecosystem of technology to do great things in space, to do space mining, to do space exploration, to do interplanetary. Now, it's a huge data play. Now, we're not turning in on ourselves. We're turning out. We're focusing out. And and it's a much more. 2s Positive relief. It's like walking around with a nuclear missile and looking down the shaft going, wow, what does this thing do? It's, like, pointed in a different direction. Looks like it's not meant to be pointed at your head. 1s Maybe not a good analogy, but you don't want to be looking down the pipeline of super powerful technology too long until you figured out, where can we make use of it for maximum benefit, not just to turn in on ourselves and allow that natural flow of technology find its place. 1s Like I would have said earlier, if we'd handed Jethro Tall 2s a $2 million combine, he would have said, what the hell do I do with this? It's like, it's too much. I'm not ready for it. So we're a little bit like that, I think, with AI and all this stuff, and we're getting ourselves maybe more scared than we need to be, because if we find the right focus for it and the right applications, I'd like to remain optimistic that humanity will will do the right thing like we did with Apollo 13. In the face of a cris, humanity will do the right thing, and we'll do the right thing with these technologies, and we'll turn them to good use, and we'll explore and do great things with them. So I think in the future, it's all about the big data play. It's all about private space stations using our system to deliver relays and networks in the space economy, where the data actually never actually has to come back to earth until maybe the final step. And then there it is. But there's a whole lot of economy and activity going up in space thanks to the precision and the tools and the innovation that we've developed. And it's not just about cleaning up the road because it was dirty. 1s Right. And, I mean, I think having that eye towards, hey, we're trying to solve not only the near term problem, but be postured for what's next really changes how systems are designed, how you're thinking about where investment needs to be made in ways. And this is part of the beauty of privately held companies is they can do. If you're listed on a stock exchange, it's like, cool, but what about next quarter? 3s You're like, I've got several more quarters. What have you done for me in the last 90 days? Exactly. And that's if the investors are patient. 3s It's an exciting way of looking at what the potential of the company is. And I'm personally very excited to see that National Geographic cover because I'm thinking of it like rotary phones. I try to explain to my kids what a rotary phone is, and they're like, Cool. Why are you still talking to me like this? Yeah. 3s The next generation just really needs something to focus on and to latch onto rather than just hearing bad news all the time. Right. We really need to get out of that funk. We really need to get out of that funk. 2s Let's move on to bigger and better things and give them an opportunity to do that. 1s We'll be outgrown real fast, and they'll figure out good stuff to do with it. So just pass that baton. 1s I love it. That's a great way of putting it. Yeah, that's cool. Well, thank you for your time today, Stuart. This was great. Yeah, it's been a real pleasure. Yeah, I really appreciate this opportunity to chat with you, and I've enjoyed previous sessions that you put up and speakers that you've had on, so it's been a real privilege to me to be part of that, and I really wish you all the success with your foundation for the future of space and your space consortium. Good luck with all of that. Thank you. Thank you. And we're going to be following North Star. Excited to see what's next and where you go. Thank you. Thanks a lot. Take care. Bye.

57 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page