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Better Satellite World: Mind the Gap

This podcast series focuses on the gaps in our society – economic, social, digital – and how satellite can and is already working to fill them.

Episode 1: Mind the Gap - A Conversation with SES Networks' Stewart Sanders

In this three-part interview, we hear from Stewart Sanders, Executive Vice President of Technology at SES Networks. In his current role at SES Networks, Stewart is responsible for O3b mPOWER program development, ensuring that all technical and commercial aspects are aligned and running smoothly. His responsibilities also include ground and space engineering, procurement, and technical innovation and product development. Prior to SES Networks, Stewart was CTO of O3b Networks, which has now merged with SES’s data business to form SES Networks.

In his previous role at SES, Stewart was Senior Vice President of Planning & Procurement, making him responsible for satellite and launch vehicle procurement activities, satellite fleet technical planning and innovation program management. His team also performed technical risk analysis as well as support of fleet launch and in-orbit insurance placement activities. In a prior role as Senior Vice President of Customer Service Delivery at SES, Stewart also supported O3b activities. Throughout his career, Stewart has served in various satellite and payload operations roles for BTI, Intelsat, ICO, NEW SKIES SATELLITES and SES. One of the highlights of his career before SES Networks was as a team member of the Intelsat/NASA satellite re-boost mission in 1992. Stewart was instrumental in forming the Space Data Association for which he was the founding Chairman; the unique industry data-sharing organization won both SSPI and World Space Risk Forum innovation awards in 2012. 

In a three-part conversation with SSPI’s Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla, Stewart talks about how a lack of broadband connectivity in remote areas leaves many out of the modern economy and how SES Networks’ mPOWER aims to provide the solution - connectivity for even the hardest-to-reach areas of the world via the most powerful and flexible satellite network in the world.

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Episode 2: Mind the Gap - A Conversation with STS Global's David Hershberg

David Hershberg is a serial entrepreneur in the satellite industry who founded Globecomm Systems Inc. in 1994 and served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors from its inception until 2014. He was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of NetSat Express, Inc, a Globecomm subsidiary that specializes in IP satellite connectivity. In 1976, Mr. Hershberg founded Satellite Transmission, Inc. (STS), a provider of satellite ground segment systems and networks. He served as its President until 1994, four years after the 1990 acquisition of STS by California Microwave, Inc. (CMI), now a subsidiary of L3 Communications Corporation.

In 1998, Mr. Hershberg was presented with the Long Island Entrepreneur of the Year award for Emerging Technology. He founded his latest venture, STS Global, in 2014 and has served as Chairman and CEO for the past five years. Mr. Hershberg was inducted into the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2003 for his achievements. Read more

In a conversation with SSPI’s Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla, Mr. Hershberg gives us highlights from his long and impressive career, including the all-important gap he helped to close during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Episode 3: Mind the Gap - A Conversation with Author and Space Philosopher Frank White

Frank White has authored or coauthored numerous books on topics ranging from space exploration to climate change to artificial intelligence. His best-known work, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, is considered by many to be a seminal work in the field of space exploration. The book is now part of the Overview Trilogy, which also includes The New Camelot and Frank’s latest work, The Cosma Hypothesis.

Since the first edition of his book on the subject was published in 1987, “the Overview Effect” has become a standard term for describing the spaceflight experience. His work is the inspiration for many creative works, including NASA’s “Down to Earth” series, which was nominated for a Webby Award. A film called “Overview,” based largely on his work, has had nearly 8 million plays on Vimeo.

Frank is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a Rhodes Scholar. You can learn more about him and his works at

In a conversation with SSPI’s Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla, Frank talks about his new book, The Cosma Hypothesis, which asks the question: “What is the purpose of human space exploration? Why has humanity evolved to the brink of become a spacefaring species?”