Barking mad! Sending dog DNA to the moon a possibility

Khurram Hussain, Operations Manager at AmbaSat

Anniversary meet up to discuss prospect of audacious projects

A SPECIAL edition of one of the longest-running online space networking meet-ups is set to discuss the prospect of sending dog DNA to the moon.

The SpaceBar is an online networking webinar set up by a space marketing firm to discuss innovative trends and upcoming events within the space community.

In its third anniversary show, space enthusiasts will hear from documentary filmmaker, Torsten Hoffmann, whose latest feature ‘Fortitude’ will explore the story of how a few individuals with utopian ideas and vast fortunes are set to transform the sector.

Following on from his Amazon Prime hit ‘Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet’, Torsten will uncover the economic viability of some of these audacious projects – which includes sending dog DNA to the moon.

Hosted by renowned science broadcaster Dallas Campbell and British planetary scientist Dr Suzie Imber, the online meet up was established by Edinburgh headquartered commercial space experts AstroAgency during lockdown to help the sector stay connected. It has since grown an international audience, with participants as far as Canada, the US and New Zealand tuning in monthly.

Dallas said: “We’re excited to celebrate SpaceBar’s third birthday with AstroAgency and the community, as well as covering another three fascinating discussion topics.”

Alongside Torsten Hoffman, the SpaceBar will welcome founder and CEO of Telescope Live & Spaceflux, Marco Rochetto, who will talk about the role his companies are playing in furthering our understanding of events occurring near Earth’s orbit. Spaceflux recently graduated from the prestigious Creative Destruction Lab programme based on its plans to support space situational awareness – which has an important role in tracking space debris and junk in orbit to ensure the safety of the vast number of satellites supporting life on Earth.

Founder and CEO of Canadian space data firm Deploy Solutions, Nick Kellett, will also join the panel to discuss the importance of earth observation in tackling climate change. Nick has attended every single episode – 63 – of the online meet up since its inception.

Dr Imber said: “As SpaceBar moves into its third year, we’re looking to reach new audiences. As part of that we’re exploring ideas around the format and platform, so it’s going to be fun to watch it evolve in the coming months.

“We’re hoping the anniversary attracts people who are interested in the space sector but haven’t attended a meet up before, as it’s a great way to learn and make connections.”

While the SpaceBar has been dubbed by British astronaut Tim Peake as the place “where astronauts hang out”; the platform has been heralded as a stepping stone for people to get involved in the fast-growing space industry.

Khurram Hussain, Operations Manager at AmbaSat Ltd – a space satellite kit builder – is one individual who has found the meet ups to be extremely useful in building relationships with other industry leaders.

Khurram said: “Every session I’ve joined has been incredibly informative and I always leave with a sense of drive to continue pushing the space industry forward, and it has allowed me develop positive relationships with others in the sector as well as growing confidence in my own abilities.

“SpaceBar acts as a bridge to bring us together and have discussions that will help shape the future of the space industry.”

The online meet up is now being sponsored by internet services and communications giant Viasat, while delivery partners include leading sector news platform Spacewatch Global and student space community UKSEDS. AstroAgency’s SpaceBar explores a variety of topics across the space value chain, covering everything from launch to satellite data insights and supply chain opportunities for non-space companies.

Recent discussions have focused on space law and ethics to career paths into the sector, with episodes featuring photographer Max Alexander – who provided Tim Peake with photography advice via email during his six-month mission on the International Space Station – as well as the first Brit in space Helen Sharman and Dr Kevin Fong, who has worked with NASA’s Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Office and founded the Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at UCL.

SpaceBar has also become a place where government officials can update the sector on strategic plans, with UK Science Minister George Freeman attending the last anniversary alongside representatives from the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency.

The third anniversary show will take place on Thursday 27 April at 7pm. SpaceBar is a free of charge event in line with AstroAgency’s brand values around inclusivity, diversity and educational outreach.

AstroAgency offers organisations a unique combination of strategic marketing support, brand building techniques, space media coverage, detailed technical knowledge and all-important market intelligence, working with the likes of the UK Space Agency, European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre UK, Scottish Government, Australian government and a variety of local council authorities, together with private space firms including Spire Global, Euroconsult, Clear Space, Astraius, Alpha Data and Trade in Space.

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