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Safe Space

The greater the value of space, the greater the risks. The rise of the space economy is accelerating the business, operational and human risks. Are we prepared to handle them? The Safe Space podcast series – part of the Reducing the Risks of Space campaign – explores policy, law, technology and operations in development now to manage the challenging space environment of the future.

Episode 1: Children of the Challenger

Elizabeth Evans is a partner at the New York office of K&L Gates. She is a member of the asset and corporate finance practice group and heads the airfinance practice in the Americas. She concentrates her practice in structured asset-based finance, and focuses on aviation finance (both fixed wing and rotary), satellite finance, transportation finance, and project finance. She also engages in related transactional, regulatory and policy work for aviation, aerospace and space industries. Her practice includes private placements of debt and equity, leveraged equipment leasing and all aspects of the law relating to outer space (both domestic and international).

Prior to joining the firm, Elizabeth served as a partner in the financial institutions group at an international law firm, where she focused her practice on aviation and other asset-based finance, (including satellite, railcars, trucks and heavy equipment finance transactions), as well as space law policy work. Elizabeth has represented banks, financial institutions, credit capital corporations, private equity investors, governmental agencies, export credit agencies and leasing companies in complex structured financings, including air traffic control system financings, airport and terminal development projects and aviation, rail car and truck financings. She has spent many years working on restructurings (both in court and out-of-court) during economic downturns. She has done both debtor side and lender/lessor side work in numerous aviation restructurings, and has represented private equity funds in the purchase of distressed equity positions in equipment finance. She helped arrange and conduct unique foreclosures and auctions of satellites orbiting in space. She has also played an instrumental role in drafting legislation relating to the laws of outer space.

For nearly thirty years, Kathryn Lueders has played an indispensable role in bringing the capabilities of the commercial space and satellite industry to NASA; serving human space exploration missions though new technology, practices of cost savings, and opening valuable opportunities for the industry. Kathryn began her career at NASA in 1992 as the Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System and Reaction Control Systems Depot Manager for the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, after completing two Bachelor’s degrees in Science and Business Administration and a Masters of Science degree. Kathy moved to the International Space Station (ISS) Program next and served in a variety of managerial roles covering space station Logistics and Maintenance, Vehicle Systems Integration and Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Integration.

In November 2007, Kathryn became responsible for expanding the range of launch vehicles providing access to the International Space Station. She established the Program’s Transportation Integration where she oversaw international partner vehicles, including the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), the Japanese Space Agency’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), and the Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. In that role, she also managed the development and execution of the Commercial Resupply services contracts which began delivery of cargo to the ISS in 2012 and now have now delivered over 100,000 lbs of cargo to the International Space Station. She was inducted into the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2021. Read more about Kathryn.

This podcast series is sponsored by

Reducing the Risks of Space is underwritten by

Space Shuttle Children’s Trust Fund

Episode 2: Our Worst Fears

Before co-founding Frontier Foundry Corporation, Nick Reese most recently served as the first ever Director of Emerging Technology Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he advised the White House and senior Cabinet officials on national security implications of emerging technologies. He is the author of the DHS AI Strategy, DHS’s Post-Quantum Cryptographic Transition Roadmap, and the 2022 DHS Space Policy. He was also the lead DHS representative for the development of Space Policy Directive-5, National Security Memorandum-10, the National Space Policy, and Executive Order 13960. A noted expert in cybersecurity, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and outer space, he currently holds faculty positions at New York University and George Washington University teaching graduate courses related to emerging technology and geopolitics. Mr. Reese has a 20+ year career in the US Military, Intelligence Community & Homeland security with a focus on operations and bringing technical solutions to high stakes national security challenges. From the front lines of the War on Terror to building Quantum Computing Policy he has been an instrumental actor in protecting our nation with eye both on today and the future.

Mr. Reese is a graduate of Saint Leo University and Old Dominion University. He lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and their dog.

Tory Bruno came to United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2014 after a long career managing programs for some of the most advanced and powerful weapons systems in the American arsenal. As general manager of Lockheed Martin Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, he led a team of men and women responsible for the Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, the Air Force’s ICBM Reentry Systems and the Terminal High Area Altitude Defense System (THAAD). He managed a joint venture responsible for producing and safely maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons and has engineered control systems for rockets and hypersonic weapons, for which he holds numerous patents. No words describe him better than Tom Wolfe’s famous phrase, “a steely-eyed missile man.”

When he was tapped to lead ULA, the company was at a crossroads. What had been an effective monopoly on national security and NASA missions had turned competitive as new commercial competitors entered the business. The company needed to adapt to survive. This veteran of military space and missile programs might not have seemed the obvious choice of leader, but he was soon to prove doubters wrong. Tory was inducted into the Space & Satellite Hall of Fame in 2020. Learn more about Tory.

Episode 3: Things that Go Bump in the Night

Rob Schwarz is the Chief Technology Officer at Momentus and is responsible for the vision and technical direction of the full line of Momentus products. Under his technical leadership, Momentus is commercializing its pioneering and sustainable Microwave Electrothermal Thruster, a new kind of in-space engine that uses water as a propellant.

Rob’s background is in spacecraft systems engineering and management, product management and innovation. Prior to joining Momentus, he spent 20 years at Space Systems Loral (now part of Maxar) and Orbital Sciences (now part of Northrop Grumman) working on various commercial and government space projects. Rob was Executive Director of Systems Engineering at SSL from 2010-2015 and then moved to Product Management before becoming CTO of the Maxar Space Division in 2018. He joined Momentus in early 2020 as CTO.

Rob has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.

Episode 4: Services - Catching Asteroids, Cleaning Debris & Data Mining

What services are needed to ensure that we succeed in space once there? What services and innovations will they bring to market that enables the launch sector to become more specialized and less costly? And how do we achieve a circular economy and a safer one in space? This episode, based on the May edition of the New York Space Business Roundtable, delves into all of these questions and more.

Speakers include Alex Fielding, Co-Founder and CEO of Privateer, Jack Deasy, VP of Business Development & Advanced Systems at Astroscale and Dr. Chiara Manfletti, Director and COO of Neuraspace.

Episode 5: Sex with Robots? Preempting Sexual Harassment in Space

Maria Santaguida is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University, where she conducts research on human sexuality, sexual technology and substance-related sexual behavior. Her doctoral work investigates the associations between alcohol consumption on risky sexual decision-making and behavior. She also explores Space Sexology, and how sex research can be integrated into space programs to promote greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her doctoral work was funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture (FRQSC).

In late 2021, they collaborated on a position paper titled The Case for Space Sexology, which was published in the Journal of Sex Research. Their work represents a crucial step toward a comprehensive scientific study of human sexuality and intimacy in space.


Simon Dubé, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Kinsey Institute specializing in human sexuality, sextech, and Erobotics, the study of human-machine erotic interaction and co-evolution. His work also explores Space Sexology, and how we can integrate sex research into space programs. He received his doctorate in Psychology from Concordia University. He is the communication representative of the International Academy of Sex Research and a co-Chair of the International Congress on Love & Sex with Robots. His work is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Episode 6: Lost in Space

In the sixth and final episode, SSPI Engagement Director Tamara Bond-Williams pays tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives in the history of human space exploration. This special podcast is also available in video format: