Walter Roban on space
Roban wants to explore space industry
Bermuda is to launch a bid to make money out of its first live satellite, the Minister of Transport told MPs on Friday.
Walter Roban said Bermuda’s current role in the industry was small. “In line with the Government’s commitment to diversify our economy and seek out new opportunities, these meetings afforded us a chance to renew our relationships with existing partners and introduce ourselves to prospective new associates,” he added.
BermudaSat-1 — Bermuda’s only live satellite network — is a joint venture between SES and EchoStar.
Mr Roban said that partners planned to take “proactive steps” to commercialise the network.
He added: “We came away from the meeting with SES and EchoStar encouraged about the future of Bermuda’s satellite network but mindful of the need for further progress.
“The Government will continue to drive SES and EchoStar hard to do more with our asset and return more of our investment of time and effort.”
Mr Roban said a meeting of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was “reassuring”, and that shared benefits with the mobile tracking station at Cooper’s Island would continue.
He added: “Nasa benefits from being able to offer the full complement of range assets for expendable launch vehicle operations and Bermuda has access to data collected at the station to track shoreline erosion.”
Mr Roban said that new space trends and activities being explored required “some regulatory framework”.
He added: “Bermuda is already a hub of international business, and the potential synergy with our vibrant property and casualty insurance sector present further exciting possibilities for the island.”
Mr Roban said the Government would consider the creation of a working group of satellite operators.
He added: “The space industry presents real economic opportunities for forward-thinking, business-friendly jurisdictions.
“We should strive to become one of the most enabling economic jurisdictions for space-oriented business in the world.
Mr Roban said the meetings demonstrated the potential for “immediate and long-term benefits” open to Bermuda businesses.
• To read Mr Roban’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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