Space Industry Veteran tiphaine louradour is taking the helm as CEO of Spaceflight Inc., a provider of space transportation and launch services headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.
she is successful curt blakewho has served as CEO and Chairman of Spaceflight since 2013. Blake guided the company through a dynamic period in the booming satellite ride-sharing market, a period that included the company’s acquisition by Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa Co. in 2020 and the development of the Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicle for the deployment of satellites in Low Earth Orbit, or LEO.
Louradour has 25 years of experience as a business leader, with more than 15 years of that experience in the space industry. She was the President of International Launch Services as of 2020, and previously served in a variety of executive roles at United Launch Alliance, including President of Global Business Sales.
In a press release, Louradour said she was excited to join Spaceflight Inc. “My goal in leading this organization is to build on its innovative achievements and expand the launch and in-orbit service offerings beyond LEO,” she said. “I am looking forward to working with the team, as well as their customers and partners, to continue the evolution of Spaceflight and especially its Sherpa OTV program into its next phase of growth.”
Since its founding in 2011, Spaceflight has been a pioneer in arranging for small satellites to enter orbit as secondary payloads on a wide range of launch vehicles. The company has executed 55 missions on behalf of its clients, with 463 spacecraft flown into space. Its most recent mission involved sending four Kleos Space satellites at the launch of SpaceX Transporter 6 last month.
The satellite rideshare market is becoming increasingly competitive, but Louradour told GeekWire that Spaceflight’s decade of experience and range of launch options offer key advantages. “I think there are business cases today that may not exist yet, that we’re going to enable because of what we can offer and what we’ve started to offer with Sherpa,” he said.
Louradour said the key will be “aligning what those additional services and opportunities are to truly meet the needs of our customers.”
Some of those services are likely to involve the Sherpa-ES, a space tug capable of deploying payloads into lunar orbit or geosynchronous equatorial orbit. “There is a market there,” Louradour said. “There are many activities that are progressing to support cislunar activities.”
Blake will support the transition over the next several weeks. He will later consult for Mitsui & Co.’s space group and provide legal and strategic advice to other companies in the space industry.
“Over the past decade, the Spaceflight team has led the industry in identifying and creating launch services that have allowed hundreds of satellites from commercial entities, government agencies and universities to reach orbit,” Blake said in a mailed statement. electronic. “It is humbling to reflect on how our team’s innovative and innovative work changed the way organizations put their spacecraft into orbit.”
Blake said he and his teammates at Spaceflight “helped make carpooling into space standard practice.”
“I am excited to see how his work, especially on the Sherpa OTV program, will continue to drive the industry forward and enable complex and innovative missions,” said Blake.
Kensuke Kubota, general manager of Mitsui and chairman of Spaceflight’s board of directors, paid tribute to Blake’s contributions and said he was delighted to welcome Louradour to the company.
“She possesses the passion, industry experience, strategic leadership skills, and collaborative relationship-building prowess to create an even larger and more successful spaceflight organization in the future,” Kubota said.