[Satnews] Spaceflight Industries founder and CEO Jason Andrews has been recognized by GeekWire as one of the region’s most significant newsmakers this year. The selection committee commended Andrews for his active role in leading Spaceflight Industries to the front runner position in the commercialization of space, as well as for securing substantial funding for the company and its two subsidiaries, Spaceflight and BlackSky.
Each year, GeekWire selects executives from seven companies who are responsible for the most significant technology stories of the year. As a recipient of the coveted award, Andrews joins fellow honorees, including University of Washington president Ana Mari Cauce, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood and Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, selected for their contributions to the region’s technology community. Previous years’ winners include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“It’s an honor to be selected for this award and to join current and past honorees who have contributed significantly to Seattle’s well-deserved reputation as a technology leader,” said Andrews. “This acknowledgment speaks to the impactful work our team is doing to revolutionize the business of spaceflight. We are continually innovating and investing in programs that provide organizations with the most comprehensive and cost-effective options to access space. We’re excited to be recognized for our efforts to help Seattle become the new space city.”
2015 marks several key milestones for Spaceflight Industries and its subsidiaries, Spaceflight and BlackSky, including:
- Spaceflight Industries secured over $35 million in capital, including $21 million in equity, to accelerate its growth and expand its services. In part, the funds were used to invest in infrastructure and to hire top engineering and software talent, including talent from leading local software companies, the U.S. Department of Defense and SpaceX.
- Spaceflight purchased a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and expanded its launch services to include dedicated rideshare missions, which blend cost-effective rideshare pricing with first-class service.
- Spaceflight signed Israeli-based SpaceIL as a co-lead payload on its inaugural dedicated rideshare mission, the 2017 Sun Synch Express mission. Through this mission, Spaceflight will help SpaceIL achieve several firsts, including becoming the first Israeli mission to the moon, the world’s first private lunar mission and the first team to produce a verified launch contract in the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.
- Spaceflight brought three ground stations online in 2015 and secured a number of partnerships to simplify spacecraft communications and advance the company’s mission to build out a “cell phone network for space,” a low-latency network to meet the communications needs of the burgeoning smallsat sector, constellations for Earth observation and other applications.
- Lastly, Spaceflight Industries unveiled BlackSky, a satellite imaging as a service company, which is deploying a constellation of sixty spacecraft to enable near real-time monitoring of Earth. This service provides high-resolution images to organizations, including businesses and governments, enabling them to monitor the worldwide environment, trends and global economy.
From leading their companies through critical moments to driving key technology trends, the GeekWire Newsmakers represent the region’s top technological talent. Andrews and his fellow honorees were celebrated at the annual GeekWire Gala held in Seattle last night.