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Next Giant Leap

Listen: Space might be a big place but the United Nations regards it as ‘congested, contested and competitive’.

This latest episode of Next Giant Leap, a podcast produced by GZERO Media in partnership with the space company MDA, explores the threats and tensions as space becomes busier and of greater strategic importance for an increasing number of countries.

“We have to avoid, by all means, that it becomes a Wild West,” says Tanja Masson-Zwaan, a space law expert at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She adds, “We have regulations, laws and treaties that have been in place for the last fifty years, but we need more to govern this new frontier of space utilization, because the rules that we have are basic principles and do not go into the details.”

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Transcript

Listen: In the last twenty-five years, the number of active satellites orbiting the Earth has increased from about 500 to 8,000. “In the first quarter of this year, we deployed nearly 1,000”, says space industry analyst Carissa Bryce Christensen. She adds, “Instead of a smaller number of very large satellites mostly far away, we are seeing many, many small satellites very close in.”

The latest episode of Next Giant Leap, a podcast produced in partnership between GZERO and the Canadian space company MDA, explores the exponential increase in satellites that are being launched into Low Earth orbit (LEO). This is the zone of space between about 100 and 1200 miles above the Earth.

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Listen: There is a big difference between NASA’s current Artemis program and its Apollo program of five decades ago. This time, there is a long-term plan for humans on the moon. “We don't want to just touch it and come back and say we're done. We want to go there and stay there,” says NASA astronaut Raja Chari. He adds, “To do that, we need to go where there's resources.”

In the latest episode of Next Giant Leap, a podcast produced in partnership between GZERO and Canadian space company MDA, Raja Chari tells host Kevin Fong that the most valuable known resource on the moon is water ice, which could be used to sustain life in lunar bases. Water ice is most abundant in craters around the moon’s south pole. NASA is enlisting commercial companies such as SpaceX, Astrobotic Technology, and MDA to help get its astronauts to the polar region and in a position to ‘live off the land’ there.

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Transcript

Listen: In November 2024, astronaut Jeremy Hansen will take one giant leap for both space exploration and his country, Canada. He will be the first non-American to fly to the moon. Hansen has been selected as one of the four crew members of Artemis II - the NASA-led mission to send humans to and around the moon for the first time in more than fifty years.

In the first episode of Next Giant Leap, a podcast produced in partnership between GZERO Media and the space company MDA, Jeremy Hansen tells host Kevin Fong why he believes humanity needs to return to the moon, and how a successful Artemis 2 flight will pave the way for the first attempt to land two people on the lunar surface since the Apollo era.

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The new Space Age is here, and it’s driving innovation and economic growth on Earth. Next Giant Leap is a four-part podcast series from GZERO Media brought to you by the Canadian space company MDA.

Today’s space race has an importance that extends far beyond the well-known billionaires making headlines. In 2024, a four-person crew of NASA’s Artemis II will return to the moon in the first human mission there in half a century. On Next Giant Leap, you’ll hear from one of the astronauts preparing to take that critical journey and why it matters. Our program also dives into the economics and geopolitics of space—from low Earth orbit satellites to the ways the business of space is transforming communication, defense, AI, and climate action.

As a companion to the GZERO North newsletter, Next Giant Leap is a must-listen for anyone fascinated by space exploration and the next phase of development in this fast-moving sector.

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