Lecture “Newspace” – Thomas E. Markusic

Técnico - Alameda campus

Thomas E. Markusic (CEO and one of the founders of Firefly Space) will give a lecture entitled “Newspace”, on July 16, at 5 p.m., within American Corners*, a partnership between Técnico and the USA embassy in Portugal.

Venue: Abreu Faro amphitheatre (Interdisciplinary building).


The current generation of young people will be the first generation in human history to have space strongly influence their daily lives. In the next 50 years, humans will permanently occupy the moon and all of the space in between, and the first human missions to other planets will take place. On earth, space will serve as the next frontier of the information revolution. Swarms of small satellites in low earth orbit will bring transformative new capabilities such as internet access and real-time high-resolution imaging anytime, anywhere on earth.
Transformation of space to become part of our daily lives will be led by “newspace”. In the past space was only accessible to big governments and big companies. Newspace is a movement that aims to make space more accessible to everyone by dramatically lowering the cost to get to space and creating new products to commercialize (that is, make money from) space.
The development of space will have profound social implications. All people will become more connected, with governments no longer able to interfere with the free exchange of ideas and information; in space there are no borders – you cannot stop the signal from the sky. For example, newspace will soon double the number of people on earth that have access to the internet.
The development of space will have profound economic implications. Incredible new business opportunities will arise from space creating greater and more widespread wealth. Worldwide digital connectedness will greatly expand worldwide commerce. Resources will be harvested from space (for example, helium 3 from the moon), that can be sold for extraordinary profit on earth. It is estimated that space-related businesses will generate $2.7 billion dollars in annual revenue by 2045, making space business the largest business sector on earth.
In summary, Newspace usher in more material resources, more prosperity, more security, more democracy… and more adventure for the next generation.
Dr. Thomas Markusic will describe the core elements of newspace:

• The promise of newspace – the missions, businesses and how they will affect our lives for good on earth.
• The technology of newspace – rocket science 101, and how newspace will lower the cost and increase the accessibility to space.
• The peril of newspace – opportunities, challenges and potential dangers that lie ahead for the first truly spacefaring generation.

*American Corner at Técnico