The SATCON2 workshop addressed a watershed moment in the transformation of space. In 2018, a few thousand operational satellites orbited the Earth. By 2030, there may be more than 100,000. A massive cloud of satellites presents significant to existential impacts on ground-based astronomy, and further impacts that extend to the environment, astro-tourism, and human health. While space offers many new frontiers and benefits to humanity, the sudden advance of spacefaring technology to the private sector comes with many side effects that should be carefully considered.
SATCON2 brought together members of many communities: astronomy, satellite operators, environmental and dark-sky advocates, and representatives from diverse and underrepresented communities. The distilled outcome of their deliberations can be found in the Executive Summary linked below. The details of their comprehensive work are presented in the working group reports.
The SATCON2 Scientific Organizing Committee and the many members of our working groups have prepared these reports in the hope that they will provide a roadmap for addressing the impact of the industrialization of space on all of us. We look forward to the collaborative work that awaits as a result of our recommendations.
The website of the SATCON2 workshop is here.
Jeffrey Hall (Lowell Observatory)
Connie Walker (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Meredith L. Rawls (University of Washington/Vera C. Rubin Observatory)
Jonathan McDowell (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian)
Robert Seaman (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory)
Aparna Venkatesan (University of San Francisco)
James Lowenthal (Smith College)
Richard Green (Steward Observatory/University of Arizona)
Kelsie Krafton (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Joel Parriott (American Astronomical Society)
Edited by: Connie Walker (NSF’s NOIRLab) and Jeffrey Hall (Lowell Observatory)
Print production: NSF’s NOIRLab (Communications, Education & Engagement division)
Copy-editing & Proofreading: Peter Grimley
Print layout: Joy Pollard
BAAS publication: Peter K. G. Williams
Coordination: Lars Lindberg Christensen