Space & Satellite Professionals International

The Orbiter: Untangling the Supply Chain
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Untangling the Supply Chain

Untangling the Supply Chain

This May and June, SSPI has been engaged in the Untangling the Supply Chain campaign! The pandemic was expected to put a sharp dent in economic activity. It did for many industries and places – by closing factories and emptying out business districts, restaurants, hotels, sports stadiums and entertainment venues. But it also brought unexpected surges in online shopping and home renovation that caught supply chains by surprise and caused massive delays in shipping. Emergence from lockdowns only added to the pressures, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gave supply chains a final tangling twist as access to raw materials, food, technology and even rocket launches were put at risk.

The space and satellite industry was not immune. Depending on global networks of technology suppliers, manufacturing of rockets, spacecraft and ground technology were all affected. The single most dramatic example has been the stranding of dozens of OneWeb satellites ready for launch from Baikonur in Kazakstan in response to the Ukraine crisis. But, large or small, the disruptions have challenged an industry whose products and services are indispensable to the world to keep producing.

Over six consecutive weeks, we have examined two related issues in a series of podcasts, webinars, videos and articles. The first is how space and satellite is copying with sometimes dramatic supply chain problems. But this also provides a chance to examine one more hidden contribution that the industry makes to the world: providing the communications and information that makes supply chains run more efficiently and effectively in good times and bad. You’ll have a chance to read about the results of the campaign throughout this issue of The Orbiter.

How to Create a Global Supply Chain – and Keep it from Falling Apart

When Airbus OneWeb Satellites began mass production of the OneWeb satellite constellation, it had to develop and manage a global supply chain that could operate at unprecedented speed to make possible the manufacturing of two satellites per day. In this podcast, Airbus OneWeb Satellites Chief Supply Chain Officer John Meikle joins SSPI’s Robert Bell to explore how that chain was linked together and kept running – and how it copes with the major disruptions of 2020.

John Meikle
Airbus OneWeb Satellites’ John Meikle

This podcast is the first episode of the Untangling the Supply Chain podcast series. The series was underwritten by Airbus OneWeb Satellites.

OneWeb Satellites logo

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