Decommissioning in the Satellite Industry

Thursday 23 July 2020
11am – 12pm

delivered by
Harriet Brettle, Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale and Chris Newman, Professor of Space Law at the University of Northumbria will deliver a presentation covering:

Space debris poses a direct threat to satellites in orbit and can be considered as an environmental challenge with terrestrial parallels. As space debris in orbit continues to increase, coupled with the substantial growth in the number of satellites to be launched in the near future, the development of decommissioning practices becomes ever more important.

This presentation will explore the current state of decommissioning within the satellite industry, explain the potential of debris removal services for future decommissioning, and present the parallels identified from decommissioning in other sectors. This webinar aims to introduce the space sector to the concept of decommissioning as well as identify opportunities for collaboration with other industries.


Harriet Brettle is Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale where she is working to develop commercial solutions to the threat of space debris. She is a co-founder of the London Space Network and co-chair of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) – a global non-profit that supports students and young professionals to connect to the wider space industry. Harriet has a master's in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology and previously worked in finance at the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Harriet has a keen interest in public engagement with space science, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the future of the new space economy.

Northumbria University

Professor Christopher Newman, BA(Hons), PhD. Christopher is Professor of Space Law and policy at Northumbria University in Newcastle. He has been active in the teaching and research of space law for over two decades. He has published numerous articles on space law, in particular the intersection of regulation, ethics, law and policy in the space industry. He has co-written the book “Frontiers of Risk in Space" on the variety of risks involved in human space activity. Chris is currently working with a variety of industrial partners including Astroscale on various space law projects. He is Visiting Professor of Space Law at the Open University and works within the AstrobiologyOU project.