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ASPI Masterclass: Space and National Security

ASPI Masterclass: Space and National Security

Speakers Dr Paul Scully-Power, AM, LTGEN Nina M. Armagno, Brigadier-General G. Michael Adamson, Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan CSC, Janice Starzyk, Jeffrey Becker, Douglas Loverro, Carley Scott OAM, Dr Namrata Goswami, AVM (Ret'd) Mark Skidmore AM, Adam Gilmour, Dr Jason Held, Dr Mark Hilborne, Professor Melissa de Zwart, Kevin Pollpeter, Kaitlyn Johnson, Annie Handmer, David Waterhouse, Justin Bassi, Bec Shrimpton, Malcolm Davis and Ulas Yildirim

On November 28, the 'ASPI Masterclass: Space and National Security' will explore space as an increasingly competitive, congested and contested domain.

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The emergence of ‘newSpace’ has seen a growing commercial space sector that has fundamentally challenged - and in many respects, overturned - the traditional role of government-run, taxpayer-funded space programs. It has transformed our ability to access space.

The new space age is qualitatively and quantitively different to the previous era. We are witnessing the rise of commercial ‘mega-constellations’ comprising thousands of small satellites. Launch prices – always a key inhibitor to opening up space – have been dragged down by innovations from the commercial sector, particularly SpaceX. The space domain is more accessible than ever before, with the new space actors, including small and middle powers, as well as the private sector.

Commercial space is having a significant impact on the global space economy, anticipated to grow from US$424bn in 2020 to a more than US$1 trillion sector by 2040, or earlier. A return to the Moon opens the potential for commercial activities there, and there are serious efforts going into the prospect of human activity on Mars. Entire in-space economies offer benefits for Earth, for humanity, for prosperity and security.

With such significant and rapid progress comes challenges. Competitors and malign actors are using space to compete in the diplomatic, economic, information, social and military sectors.

With these fundamental changes in mind, it is imperative that like-minded nations consider how they can best work together, and with industry, to enhance their respective national efforts, build stronger collective capabilities and compete effectively in the space domain.

Speakers include:

  • Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno, Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force
  • Brigadier-General G. Michael Adamson, Commander, 3 Canadian Space Division
  • Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan CSC, Director General, Space Capability, Defence Space Command
  • Douglas Loverro, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense - Policy, US Department of Defense 
  • Janice Starzyk, Vice President, Government Operations, Virgin Orbit
  • Jeffrey Becker, President and Principal Analyst, Context LLC; Futures Subject Matter Expert, Joint Concepts Division, Joint Staff J-7 
  • Dr Paul Scully-Power AM DSM, Australia’s first astronaut; Special Envoy for Space & Defence, NSW Smart Sensing Network
  • James Brown, CEO, Space Industry Association of Australia
  • Professor Melissa DeZwart, Professor (Digital Technology, Security & Governance) Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security & Governance, Flinders University 
  • Adam Gilmour, Co-founder and CEO, Gilmour Space Technologies
  • Dr Namrata Goswami, Co-Author ‘Scramble for the Skies: The Great Power Competition to Control the Resources of Outer Space’
  • Dr Annie Handmer, Senior Manager Innovation and Policy, HEO Robotics
  • Dr Jason Held, CEO, Saber Astronautics
  • Kevin Pollpeter, Senior Research Scientist, CNA 
  • AVM (Ret’d) Mark Skidmore AM, Chairman, Skykraft
  • Carley Scott, Defence Council Victoria Member
  • Dr Mark Hilborne, Lecturer, Defence Studies Department and War Studies, Kings College London
  • Kaitlyn Johnson, Deputy Director and Fellow, Aerospace Security Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Dr Sandy Tirtey, Director, Global Commercial Launch Services, Rocket Lab
  • David Waterhouse, Managing Director, Hypersonix Launch Systems
  • Justin Bassi, Executive Director, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Bec Shrimpton, Director – The Sydney Dialogue, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Dr Malcolm Davis, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Additional speakers to be confirmed.


Dr Paul Scully-Power, AM

Dr Paul Scully-Power is an integrator, strategist and orthogonal thinker and is Australia’s first astronaut.

LTGEN Nina M. Armagno

Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno is the Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia.

Brigadier-General G. Michael Adamson

Brigadier-General G. Michael Adamson is the Commander of 3 Canadian Space Division.

Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan CSC

Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan is the Director General Space Capability where he is responsible for the delivery of space capability to assure Australia's access to space.

Janice Starzyk

Janice Starzyk is the Vice President of Government Operations for Virgin Orbit, a position she has held since 2021.

Jeffrey Becker

Jeff Becker is a defense consultant based in Chesapeake, Virginia and is currently the senior futurist at the Futures and Concepts Division of the Joint Staff J7.

Douglas Loverro

Douglas Loverro is a highly regarded national space thinker and leader who current serves as President, Loverro Consulting, LLC.

Carley Scott OAM

Carley is a sought-after commercial space and strategy expert.

Dr Namrata Goswami

Dr Namrata Goswami is an independent scholar on space policy and Great Power Politics.

AVM (Ret'd) Mark Skidmore AM

Air Vice Marshal (retd) Mark Skidmore AM is Chairman of the Board of Skykraft, Chairman of Seitec, non-executive Director of QinetiQ Australia, Director of Swift Aerospace Consulting and provides s

Adam Gilmour

Adam Gilmour is the Founder and CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies, a Queensland-owned SME that is leading the development of sovereign space capabilities in launch vehicles, satellites,

Dr Jason Held

Dr Jason Held is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Saber Astronautics.

Dr Mark Hilborne

Dr Mark Hilborne joined King’s Defence Studies Department at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in September 2004.

Professor Melissa de Zwart

Professor Melissa de Zwart is Professor (Digital Technology, Security & Governance) Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security & Governance.

Kevin Pollpeter

Kevin Pollpeter, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at CNA.

Kaitlyn Johnson

Kaitlyn Johnson is deputy director and fellow of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Annie Handmer

Annie works at HEO Robotics as a Senior Manager in Innovation and Policy.

David Waterhouse

David has more than 30 years experience working in the Space and TMT (Technology, Media, Telecom) sector and is co-founder of Hypersonix Launch Systems, an Australian engineering, design and build

Justin Bassi

Justin Bassi is the Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Bec Shrimpton

Bec is Director Defence Strategy and National Security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, having previously been responsible for convening The Sydney Dialogue, Australia’s premier policy

Malcolm Davis

Dr. Malcolm Davis joined ASPI as a Senior Analyst in Defence Strategy and Capability in January 2016.

Ulas Yildirim

Wing Commander Ulas ('Ulie') Yildirim is the Air and Space Power Centre’s Air Force Visiting Fellow at ASPI.