Christian Maender serves as the Director of In-Space Manufacturing and Research at Axiom Space, which is focused on building the world’s first commercial space station and fostering humanity’s expansion off the planet. Christian has over 21 years of human spaceflight experience with past leadership roles in planning, design, technical integration and execution of microgravity research and technology demonstrations on the International Space Station (ISS). He has extensive history working with a variety of in-space research and manufacturing customers implementing diverse strategies to expand commercial markets in low Earth orbit. Christian earned his B.S.E and M.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University.
Eytan Stibbe is a leading entrepreneur and global impact investment pioneer. He invested in, initiated, and financed businesses that have improved the quality of life for large, marginalised populations worldwide. He is a retired colonel who received the distinguished service medal as a fighter pilot in IDF air forces. Eytan holds a master's degree in business and is a member of the World Economic Forum.
Over the past months, Eytan has been training for the upcoming 'AX-1' mission launch for 10 days to the International Space Station. The scientific and educational work plan ‘Rakia’, is spearheaded by the Ramon Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Innovation Science and Technology.
The objectives of 'Rakia' are to inspire the younger generation while advancing and expanding the Israel space industry.
Moderator: Dr. Shimrit Maman
Senior Research Associate and Director for the Earth and Planetary Faculty; Head of Israel's UN-SPIRDER RSO
Dr. Maman is a senior research associate in the Homeland Security Institute and director of the Earth and Planetary Image Facility (EPIF), both at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her research deals with the application of satellite technologies (remote sensing, GIS, OSINT) to environmental challenges and climate change. She is an integral part of the research team leading BGUSAT, Israel's first research nanosatellite.
She also serves as a UN-SPIDER expert, and heads the Israeli Regional Support Office of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
Previously she served as the board director of D-mars, and is a founding board member of WiSpace, a women’s association promoting gender equity among Israeli STEAM professionals and was appointed by UNOOSA as a mentor in the SPACE4WOMEN Network.
Maman leads diverse education and outreach programs promoting Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), using hands-on research activities, at both the national and international scales, including the unique, all-girl, international remote sensing science program: She Space.
Paul H. Chung MD
Associate Professor of Urology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Paul H. Chung is an Associate Professor and Director of Reconstructive Urology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, USA. He graduated with a BS in electrical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He obtained his medical degree at Thomas Jefferson University and subsequently completed general surgery and urology residency training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He completed a research fellowship at the Urologic Oncology Branch of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and a clinical fellowship in urologic trauma, reconstruction, and prosthetics at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Chung has an active clinical practice in urethral stricture disease, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, prosthetic surgery, Peyronie’s disease, open and robotic urinary tract reconstruction, buried penis repair, and genitourinary trauma. He is a member of the American Urologic Association, Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons, Société Internationale d'Urologie, Sexual Medicine Society of North America, International Society for Sexual Medicine, Society of Urologic Prosthetic Surgeons, and American College of Surgeons. His research focuses predominantly on genitourinary prosthesis infection and applications of novel ultrasound modalities in urology.
Moderator: Dr. Deganit Paikowsky
Researcher and Lecturer at the Department of International Relations, Hebrew University
Dr. Deganit Paikowsky is a Researcher and Lecturer at the Department of International Relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Space Policy Institute of the Elliott School for Foreign Affairs, George Washington University. She also serves as a Vice President at the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) on behalf of the Israel Space Agency. Her book "The Power of the Space Club," published by Cambridge University Press is considered by many as fundamental reading for global space policy researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers.
An expert in the fields of nanosatellites and algorithms with over two decades of experience,
Raz has managed multiple satellite programs, integrating various satellites and sub-systems
on Israeli satellites. Before opening NSLComm, Raz established the nanosatellite department of Israel Aerospace
Industries, a global leader in developing aerospace technology. There, he was responsible for the initiation of multiple nanosatellite programs. Raz was also the CEO of INSA, the Israeli NanoSatellite Association.
Raz is married and is a father of two daughters.
Over the course of his career, Dan has served in senior leadership roles across a
wide range of aerospace programs, spanning human spaceflight, satellite
development, launch, and missile defense, and running through all phases of the
aerospace product life cycle, from research and development through design,
production, and spaceflight operations.
Dan currently serves as CEO for Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s pioneering
commercial space firm, which launches small satellites into space from a rocket
carried under the wing of a modified Boeing 747. It is Virgin’s contribution to the
massive transformation going on in space technology, and has the clear goal of
opening access to space to improve life on Earth.
Dan joined Virgin Orbit after more than three decades of aerospace leadership at the
Boeing Company, where he most recently served as Vice President of Government
Satellite Systems. In that position, he oversaw Boeing's government satellite
programs, developing and managing missions for the U.S. Department of Defense,
NASA, NOAA, and other national programs. Dan’s portfolio included marquee
programs such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Wideband Global SATCOM, the
Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) system, and the X-37 spaceplane.
Outside of Virgin Orbit, Dan serves on the U.S. Investment Advisory Council (IAC),
which advices the Secretary of Commerce on the development and implementation of
strategies and programs to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI) in the
United States. Additionally, in early 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom selected
Dan to join the Governor's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, which works
to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover
from the COVID-19 induced recession.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the State University of New
York at Albany and attended the Harvard Business School Advanced Management
Program. He is a passionate and committed advocate for STEM education, and
serves on the Executive Board of the California Science Center, as well as the Dean’s
Advisory Council for California State University, Long Beach’s College of Engineering.
Co Founder and CEO of Helios, developing technologies to extract oxygen and metals on the lunar and Martian surfaces to refuel spacecrafts and establish extraterrestrial infrastructure. Helios is currently onboard three missions to the moon in the coming years to develop and demonstrate its capabilities. Jonathan has spent nearly a decade in the Israeli armed forces in combatant positions, and later established two companies in the realms of product design, manufacturing and logistics in Israel, Europe and the USA. In the last five years he has been working to develop Helios to enable humanity's expansion beyond earth.
Frank Maximilian Salzgeber
Head of Innovation and Ventures Office, European Space Agency
Frank has built the largest space entrepreneurship network in the world. His team has initiated over 370 industry transfers and aided over 1,200 start-ups. He promotes the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications of the European Space Agency (ESA), which has additionally supported over 1,000 downstream business cases. His team supports Industry to work with ESA, venture capitalists to connect to start-ups and helps new space companies into orbit and to the Moon. Before joining ESA, Frank held the position of Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO and CFO) for an IT start-up, headquartered in Munich, Germany. Frank also spent seven years at Apple Computer, now Apple Inc., as an account and sales manager, responsible for Central Europe. Frank believes: “We all need more Space”. ESA Space Solutions is present in over 70 locations across Europe with partners world-wide.
Prof. Eyal Ben Dor
Professor at the Department of Geography, Faculty of Exact Science, Tel Aviv University
Eyal Ben-Dor is a full professor at the Tel Aviv University (TAU). Currently he is serving as the head of the remote sensing laboratory (RSL) within this department. He has more than 28 years experience in remote sensing of the Earth, with special emphasis on the Hyperspectral Remote Sensing technology (HRS) for environmental monitoring . He developed many applications using the HSR technology for civil engineering, medicine, veterinary, environmental science, water management, vegetation monitoring, atmosphere assessment and soil monitoring. His studies focus on both quantitative and qualitative analyses of field and laboratory reflectance and emittance data across the VNIR-SWIR- LWIR spectral regions and on processing of airborne and orbital hyper spectroscopy data for precise and unique surface and atmosphere characterization. He has a strong background in spectroscopy using remote sensing means and is an author of more than 200 papers, book chapters, patents and technical reports. He is the founder of the soil spectroscopy discipline began 30 years ago and now implementing it into precision agriculture, food, homeland securities and Agritec. He is an advisor for the SHALOM ASI-ISA mission to space and is a member of the advisory board of the Sentitnal-10 mission on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA, CHAIM mission). In addition he is a member of the science team of EMIT- NASA mission to mount an hyperspectral sensor onboard the Intentional Space Station I 2022. He is a chair of the IEEE SA P4005 WG and a chair of the GLOSOLAN-Spec WG within FAO -UN.
Moderator: Dr. Reut Sorek Abramovich
Researcher at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Reut Sorek Abramovich, PhD, is a researcher at the Dead Sea and Arava Science Centre, under the auspices of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Her interests include extremeophiles from arid environemnts, cross contamination issues in space missions, and most recently sustainable use of hydrazine and other rocket fuels using algae and bacteria from the Dead Sea. Reut has co-founded 2 space related NGOs in Israel (the Israeli Mars Society and Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station), managed the Young Astronaut Academy Program, and also worked for the Israel National Covid-19 Consortium, at Shamir Medical Center, employing advanced biological and technological tools to monitor the spread of the pandemic in Israel. Reut has been an International Space University core lecturer for the Space Studies Program on Astrobiology and in 2020 Reut was invited to participate in the US department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Tomorrow.io
Rei Goffer is the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Tomorrow.io. His portfolio of activities include company’s Space and Government business units. Rei also serves on the Board of TomorrowNow.org, the independently operated non-profit founded by Tomorrow.io focusing on climate security for underserved communities. Prior to Tomorrow.io, Rei served for 10 years in the Israeli Air Force as an F16 navigator, and division head in the R&D command. Rei holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Opher has been CEO of EVR Motors, an Israeli startup, since November 2019. He leads a team developing advanced electric motors for electric vehicles, designed to be smaller and more cost effective than traditional designs. From 2011 Opher was VP and General Manager of the Space Division at Israel Aerospace Industries. In this capacity he led development, construction, launch and operation of observation and communication satellites for Israeli and foreign users. Opher led IAI’s team in the design and build of SpaceIl’s Beresheet lunar lander, and during Israel’s breakthrough mission to the moon. During his tenure at IAI he revamped the satellite lineup to include a variety of small and sophisticated satellites, upgraded operating and QA processes and widened the customer base. Previously Opher managed the Tactical Systems Division at Ness TSG, where he led software teams in developing and delivering tactical Command and Control Systems. Opher was also director of marketing at IAI Missile division, where he led global marketing activities leading to several large programs. Until 2002 Opher served in the Israel Navy in a variety of operational and staff positions. He commanded 3 missile boats, a Saar 5 corvette and the Saar 5 squadron. He held several positions in the operational requirements department, including head of operational requirements. Opher still serves in reserve duty and holds the rank of Rear Admiral.
Dr. Meir Ariel
Director of the Tel Aviv University NanoSatellite Center
Meir Ariel received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering with honors and a Ph.D. in the
field of Algebraic Group Theory (all from Tel Aviv University). He has over 30 years of experience in
research and development in the fields of signal processing, wireless communication and space
technologies, and in the management of scientific institutions and companies, both in industry and in the
public sector. Between 1999 and 2012, Dr. Ariel served as CEO of CUTe Systems Inc. (Computerized
Vision) and TMPG Inc. (FinTech). Since 2013, Dr. Ariel has served as the Director General of the
Herzliya Science Center. He is currently the Director of the Nano-Satellite Center at Tel Aviv University.
Since 2014, thirteen scientific nano-satellites have been built and launched under its management. Dr.
Ariel is a member of a number of public commissions in the areas of defense, science and education,
among them the National Infrastructure Committee, the Steering Committee for Education at the Ministry
of Science and Technology, and the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). He is the recipient of the
“Marco Polo Society Award for Cultural, Technological and Civic Achievements” (2018) and was
selected as one of the 60 Israeli pioneering inventors of all time by the Ministry of Science and
Technology (2016). He holds 14 patents in the field of signal processing.
Director, Advanced Space Systems Space Division, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI)
Meir established and leads the IAI light satellites and constellation operations, and
deep space missions. Meir's group is responsible for several mid-size state of the art
LEO satellites, the Ultrasat UV observation mission, LSAS lunar access service, the
Beresheet2 Orbiter and more.
Prior to that Meir had lead IAI's Satellite Command and Control systems and all
Meir's past work includes remote sensing research and leading several R&D
programs in image processing & visualization.
Meir studied Physics and Mathematics and majored in Applied Physics.