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About Us

THE HUMANS BEHIND THE MACHINES

At BlackStar Orbital, we are leading the charge in developing advanced space defense systems. Our team of aerospace professionals are focused on redefining what a satellite can do by creating revolutionary, hybrid “spacedrones”. Our staff has worked with organizations such as NASA, SpaceX, and other leading space organizations to create the most advanced commercial space systems available.

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Meet Our Founders

Meet Our Advisors

Meet Our Team

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

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PARTNERSHIPS

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Our Story

In the vast and dynamic realm of space development and exploration, the journey of BlackStar Orbital Technologies Corporation began with a fortuitous encounter among a group of driven individuals. United by a shared passion for innovation, Chris, Kit, and Sean formed a strong bond while working as the American contingent of a Norwegian Space Startup. Their journey of pioneering development in ocean-launched systems eventually led them to cross paths with Terry Virts, a former Astronaut and International Space Station Commander, whose valuable insights into hypersonic technology proved pivotal to their vision.

Drawing upon their diverse backgrounds and expertise, the team embarked on a stealth mission from 2018 to 2023, nurturing a breakthrough in hypersonic technology that would lay the foundation for the BlackStar spaceplane-satellite hybrid. Anchored by their dedication and fueled by a relentless pursuit of excellence, the team emerged from stealth with a transformative spacecraft - the BlackStar.

At the helm of BlackStar Orbital is Chris Jannette, a seasoned lead systems engineer at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, where he manages the hypergolic propellant servicing program and has supported the monumental achievements of various key launch companies, including manned missions. Prior to his role at the Cape, Chris played a pivotal role in SpaceX's Starship program and had a distinguished career in the US Air Force, where he was honored with the humanitarian medal for his squadron's committed response during the 2011 earthquake in Japan and the subsequent disasters that followed in the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. These moments were galvanizing and sparked a commitment to develop technologies which could improve the lives of people. The journey to a better future runs through space technology and it's derivatives, which have the greatest opportunity to impact the maximum number of people possible. 

Joining Chris is Kit Carson, our Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, formerly the owner and Principal Engineer of Carson & Associates. Presently a Product Manager and sourcing engineer on Amazon Project Kuiper; Kit is contributing his expertise in shaping the future of satellite communications with an eye towards the future in reusability. Complementing the team is Chris Cunnington, the spaceflight operations manager, whose experience as a lead integration engineer for SpaceX's Dragon program at Area 59 has been invaluable. Chris's extensive background in spacecraft operation, including work with SSL and Redwire, further strengthens the team's capabilities. Elizabeth Christensen, our VP of Business Development is a passionate spaceflight professional with a Masters of Science in Entrepreneur Management in Space Technology from Embry Riddle she also holds a Project Management Professional Certificate.

 

Our COO James Wolff is a seasoned space industry entrepreneur and lawyer based out of New York who has been a founder or cofunder of multiple space companies to include Orbital Assembly Corporation, Deep Space Industries, High Frontier Mining Corporation among others. He has an active presence volunteering with the United Nations and was recently given a national award as one of America's top lawyers. Paul Fuller, our CFO is currently the lead financial officer at a Silicon Valley based financial services firm that provides financial management for companies in the tech sector. 

Rounding out the leadership team is Sean Hollis, the Chief Commercial Officer, who brings a wealth of experience from his role as Director of Operations at an online reputation management firm. Sean's prior experience as an engineer on the Artemis program at the space center has instilled him with invaluable insights into the intricacies of space missions. Finally, we have Phil Hoegel, our Public and Media Affairs lead has over 9 years of experience at CNN. 

Guiding and mentoring the team is Terry Virts, the esteemed former Astronaut and International Space Station Commander, who imparts his profound knowledge and experience to train remote operators on the art of flying the BlackStar spacecraft.

At its core, the BlackStar spacecraft is a revolutionary spaceplane-satellite hybrid, designed to seamlessly execute a diverse range of mission functions. From Earth observation, enabling environmental monitoring and weather forecasting, to providing robust communication solutions for both commercial and military applications, the BlackStar is a true game-changer. Its unparalleled technology and reconfigurability render it ideally suited for defense applications, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and vital support for military operations.

Beyond its defense capabilities, the BlackStar Satellite is an invaluable asset for scientific research, contributing to vital studies on Earth's climate, atmosphere, ocean floor mapping, and celestial body exploration. Additionally, its commercial potential is boundless, offering services such as remote sensing for agriculture, forestry, and mining, while providing critical imagery for mapping and navigation applications.

As BlackStar Orbital Technologies Corporation continues to chart its course into the cosmos, the passion, expertise, and vision of its team stands resolute. With the BlackStar Satellite poised to redefine the boundaries of space exploration, BlackStar Orbital embraces its mission to revolutionize access to space and usher in a new era of discovery and utilization.

Inquiries and partnerships are welcome as we embark on this extraordinary journey together.

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