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Former NASA insiders form commercial company to launch satellites to lunar orbit

Capitalism in space: Two former NASA managers have teamed up with two commercial businessman to form a startup, dubbed Quantum Space, to launch an unmanned platform to lunar space to provide support for NASA’s Artemis program.

The team includes Steve Jurczyk, who spent thirty years at NASA and finished his career there before retiring serving as acting NASA administrator for the first three months of the Biden administration.

Jurczyk is one of the three co-founders of Quantum Space. Another is Ben Reed, former division chief of exploration and in-space services at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and who worked on satellite servicing projects there. He is the chief technology officer of Quantum Space. The third co-founder is Kam Ghaffarian, who also helped start commercial space station company Axiom Space and lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines after selling Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies. They’re joined by Kerry Wisnosky, the co-founder and former principal owner of Millennium Engineering and Integration, who is the chief operating officer of Quantum Space.

Their plan is to launch their platform and robots to the Earth-Moon L1 point, the spot where the gravitational spheres of influence of the Earth and Moon meet, about 40,000 miles from the Moon.

The outpost … would consist of two components. One is a spacecraft bus that serves as a platform for hosting payloads, using modular “plug-and-play” interfaces. The other is a spacecraft that would deliver payloads to the platform and install them using robotic manipulators.

Those payloads could include communications, navigation, remote sensing, space domain awareness and space weather sensors, Jurczyk said. Those payloads would primarily come from customers, but he said the company is looking at developing its own payloads, particularly for imaging of the Earth and moon.

They hope to launch their first satellite by ’25.

Like the insiders who run Axiom, these guys are taking advantage of their experience at NASA to build a private space company that will serve NASA’s needs. They are also recognizing that in the coming years, everything NASA “does” will be done by private companies. This company is their effort to jump on that bandwagon.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

2 comments

  • Joe

    I love that these sorts of projects are being introduced. We still don’t have the killer app for space so anything is fair game. I just hope this is more hardware and less Powerpoint. Been seeing a lot of the latter lately.

  • David M. Cook

    Let‘s look at what got the Internet going: 1. Hardware, in the form of the Intel Pentium processor. 2. Software, MicroSoft‘s Windows 95 (oh, hush!). 3. Somewhere to go, or enough web sites to make surfing fun. When “Space” has all 3 aspects available, then things will really “take off”! (pardon the pun.)

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