The State of Launch & OSAM (Payload Editorial)


This week’s episode of Pathfinder features Jacqueline and Tim from our editorial team to go through the state of the launch and OSAM market. We recap 2023 and discuss predictions for 2024!


Pathfinder is shaking things up for the next two weeks with a special pod series on the State of the Space Industry. In each episode, you’ll hear from two members of Payload’s editorial staff on key trends, exclusive interviews, and insights shaping the industry. 

This week? Launch & OSAM, featuring Payload’s Managing Editor Jacqueline Feldscher and Senior Space Reporter Tim Fernholz. Highlights from the discussion include:


  • Launch cadence + increasing demand
  • Role of launch providers and competition
  • Challenges including space debris and regulation
  • Advancements in reusability


  • The OSAM chicken-and-egg problem
  • The role of government partnerships and regulations
  • Key technologies required for OSAM
  • Recent developments and upcoming missions, including Northrop Grumman’s MRV mission, Astroscale’s ADRAS-J mission, and SpaceX’s Starship refueling demonstrations

And much more…

This episode is brought to you by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA). Be sure to check out the Italian Pavilion  in South Hall (Booth 603) during Space Symposium!

• Chapters •

00:00 – Intro & ITA Ad

01:35 – The state of launch in 2023

04:14 – Peter Beck & Rocket Lab

06:31 – Tory Bruno & ULA

11:43 – Tim Ellis & Relativity Space

14:09 – Make or break in launch

15:27 – Government’s perspective on launch outside SpaceX

17:46 – What Jacqueline is excited for in 2024

19:07 – Blue Origin & ULA

21:41 – Tim Fernholz!

22:28 – OSAM. What is it and what companies fall underneath the OSAM umbrella?

24:22 – Core capabilities

25:19 – OSAM market in 2023

25:59 – Challenges of building

27:10 – Gaps in technology

29:53 – Should startups be investing in OSAM technology?

32:21 – How integral is the government in developing OSAM?

34:13 – Who is setting standards?

35:42 – OSAM 1

37:56 – What Tim is excited for in 2024