American-Filipino couple Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom and Eric Dahlstrom were named 2023 Kea Friends of New Zealand for their contribution to catalysing the space ecosystem in Aotearoa. The pair came to New Zealand under the Edmund Hillary Fellowship program in 2017 after a long career working in the public and private space industry in the U.S., and teaching around the world through the International Space University global programmes for over two decades.
They both co-founded SpaceBase Limited, a social enterprise focused on growing the space industry in New Zealand with a long term mission to democratise access to space for developing and emerging countries. Over the past six years, they have run space challenges, advised local government, briefed and delivered technical due diligence to space investors, catalysed meetups and associations, and mentored start-ups.
“We are truly honoured and humbled to accept the award for everyone who has worked on growing the space industry in Aoteroa…New Zealand has given us a platform and a jumping board to make ‘SpaceforAll’ a reality for everyone”, said Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom.
Eric Dahlstrom said.. “This award really recognizes what New Zealanders have done in participating in global space activities. We are proud to have helped catalyse some of those achievements and help connect New Zealand with the global space community.”
About SpaceBase Limited
SpaceBase Limited is a New Zealand based education and consulting social enterprise, whose mission is to democratise access to space for everyone. SpaceBase is creating equal opportunity to leverage space technologies to solve problems on Earth, by catalysing space ecosystems in developing and emerging countries, starting in New Zealand. Since its incorporation in 2017, it has collaborated with economic development agencies, local governments, and advocacy groups to deliver over 150 educational presentations and workshops; three national and Pacific region space and aerospace competitions, as well as helping birth space communities and organisations locally and globally. SpaceBase created a platform for the NZ Space Directory and a training programme to Catalyse a Space Industry in Your Region, for anyone interested in creating their local space ecosystem. SpaceBase is also the NZ Ambassador for the International Space University and is an industry member of several national and regional space industry associations.