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Space and Satellite Hall of Fame

The Space & Satellite Hall of Fame recognizes the invaluable contributions of the visionaries who transform life on planet Earth for the better through space and satellite technology that also power the industry's growth. Members of the Hall of Fame are recognized pioneers in satellite communications, earth observation, launch services, spacecraft technologies and applications, in-space operations, space law, space education and space science.

Induction into the Hall of Fame is based on a record of significant achievement with such lasting value as: 

  • The successful introduction of new or improved technologies or services
  • Business and business model innovation that creates new value for users and increases the positive impact of the industry on our world
  • New solutions to major economic, social and geographic challenges through imaginative application of space and satellite technology

Service to the industry through education, legal and regulatory advances and related contributions is also honored through the Hall of Fame.

23rd Induction - 2024

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) will induct three new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at the Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC. The inductees are:


John Finney
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ALL.SPACE

John Finney is a visionary entrepreneur with over two decades of trailblazing contributions to the tech industry. Throughout his 25-year career, he has pioneered initiatives that generated billions in revenue. His journey began with a distinguished military career, providing specialized communication services. This led to a transition to the civilian telecom sector, where he served as a Telecoms Advisor for One2One & T-Mobile. His entrepreneurial drive then led him to launch Huawei's campaign in Europe, achieving the company's first billion in annual revenue. He secured major contracts, including the BT 21st Century Network and a vital mobile network partnership with Vodafone across Europe. Additionally, he secured Huawei’s first global mobile device contract, establishing the tech giant's presence in the device market. Continuing his ascent, he held key leadership roles at Alcatel-Lucent and Ciena, with a focus on the satellite industry. As a founding member and Chief Commercial Officer at O3B Networks, John played a pivotal role in generating a $350 million pre-launch backlog, leading to SES's acquisition and significant shareholder returns. In 2013, John established Isotropic Systems (now ALL.SPACE), creating a groundbreaking software-defined, electronically steerable antenna system that redefines connectivity through simultaneous connections to all available orbits from a single device. Under his leadership, ALL.SPACE has made significant progress, completing demonstrations, field acceptance tests, and securing pre-production orders from defense applications. John's foresight and commitment to innovation have driven the evolution from dependence on GEO satellites to an advanced multi-orbit framework. Recognizing an unmet need in ground segment technology, John has directed ALL.SPACE to create a solution that surpasses traditional limitations, broadening the horizons for satellite applications worldwide.


Adrian Morris
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Hughes Network Systems

Over a career spanning more than four decades, Adrian Morris has solidified his reputation as a visionary in the field, pushing the boundaries of satellite technology to new heights and fundamentally transforming the landscape of global connectivity. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity College Dublin and completed his master’s at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. His career began in 1977 at Ferranti Electro Optics Division, where he worked as a hardware designer. In 1982, he joined Hughes as a hardware designer, unaware that he would spend the rest of his career there. Adrian quickly distinguished himself at the company by leading initiatives in the DYNAC, TDMA and SCPC TES product lines, as well as the Italsat SS-TDMA system, which paved the way for future generations of satellite systems. He spearheaded the design and implementation of many of the world’s most successful satellite systems. His efforts have been critical in advancing fast, reliable connectivity across the globe. Under his leadership, Hughes designed and launched SPACEWAY 3 in 2007, the first operational Ka-band satellite system to employ traffic switching and routing. Listed among Via Satellite’s “30 Events That Shaped the Satellite Industry” between 1986 and 2018, SPACEWAY 3 proved the use case for Ka-band and commercial satellite internet service over satellite.


Ed Spitler
Head of SATCOM, Artel LLC.

For more than three decades, Ed Spitler has pursued a passionate commitment to support the American warfighter by supplying best-in-class satellite communications systems to power the success of the US Armed Forces. Upon completing his military service as a Cryptographic Telecommunications and Systems Specialist, Ed went to work for the US Department of Defense Contractor, rising from Senior Technical Engineer to Regional Program Manager, OPMAS-EUR, 5th Command, where he played a pivotal role in transitioning seven Defense Communications Sites (DCS) throughout Germany from analog to digital technology. In 2001, he joined Artel as Vice President of Managed Network Services, in which role he served as program director for more than eight critical DOD and Department of State programs and supported missions including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan. Leaving Artel in 2012, Ed went on to hold a series of leadership positions, including COO of Vizada, CEO of Astrium Services Government and President of Satcom Services Government Division at Airbus Defense and Space. By 2017, he was back at Artel as Head of Satcom, where he led the company into a multi-orbit future that delivered resilient GEO to LEO connectivity to the government. He led development and delivery of the SPACE FORCE Pathfinder 2 program, which embedded the Pathfinder 2 payload aboard Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus HTS. The goal was to provide dependable access to connectivity while saving money for Federal agencies compared with short-term satellite capacity leasing. The program produced savings of more than 60 percent over equivalent service.

22nd Induction - 2023

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) will induct three new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at the Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC. The inductees are:


David Kagan
CEO, Globalstar

David Kagan’s +25-year career has been a story of reinvention. After early executive experience in the cruise industry, he led Maritime Telecommunications Network in service growth by introducing telecommunications technology to recreational vessel owners and further accelerated the company’s growth by expanding its customer base to include solutions for offshore oil and gas customers as well as government vessels. He additionally forged a revolutionary partnership with AT&T that brought mobile service aboard cruise ships. For Globe Wireless, he led an expansion to support 6,000 vessels, making a significant contribution to the growth in seaborne trade. Under his leadership, Globalstar has used its second-generation network to move aggressively into IoT and entered a mobile partnership that has brought life-saving emergency SOS capability to tens of millions of subscribers.


Mark Miller
Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Viasat

In a +35-year career, Viasat co-founder Mark Miller has led technology innovations that were instrumental to its growth into a multi-billion-dollar company. Among his many patents are several on high-throughput satellite broadband architectures. He has been the lead architect and engineer of the Viasat 1, 2 and 3 systems, whose frequency-sharing designs and accompanying ground technology have multiplied satellite bandwidth thousands of times. More than that, HTS and the new generations of VHTS and UHTS from many operators have been critical to expanding the reach and affordability of services for residential broadband, maritime, aviation, energy, cellular and many other sectors, and are powering the industry’s transition from video to data as the next source of growth.


Joe Spytek
CEO, Speedcast

Joe Spytek’s career has focused on growing small technology concepts into global organizations. In his 17 years as Co-Founder and CEO for ITC Global, he grew the company from a disaster recovery start-up to a remote communications leader, coordinating the sale of the business to Panasonic in 2015. At Speedcast, he led the company through a complete recapitalization during the height of the global pandemic, while consolidating more than 15 legacy organizations, each with different networks and platforms. Just 18 months later, Speedcast had created something new – a global network delivering the multi-path, multi-orbit, software-defined service that the industry talks about as the future. It has enabled Speedcast to integrate LEO connectivity into managed-service solutions for customers to take advantage of lower latency while receiving guaranteed service levels. Speedcast now operates the industry’s largest global network, topping out at more than 30 Gbps of total bandwidth to customers in 2022 when the company stood up 65 new networks in a matter of weeks to support demand.

Hall of Fame Celebration

The Hall of Fame Celebration is the number-one place in our industry to see and be seen. Join us in honoring leaders of our industry as SSPI inducts them into the Space and Satellite Hall of Fame!

This year’s Hall of Fame celebration is live! The Reception and Medalling Ceremony will be on March 19 during SATELLITE 2024.

With Thanks to Our Corporate Partners

21st Induction - 2022

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) inducted six new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at the Virtual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Zoom. The inductees were:


Frank DiBello
President and CEO, Space Florida

Over a 50-year career in the business of space, Frank DiBello has served in a wide variety of roles, all of them dedicated to guiding and strengthening the aerospace industry in America. In his 13 years with Space Florida – an Independent Special District of the State of Florida – he was instrumental in the state’s recovery from the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011 and its subsequent rise to even greater heights as the thriving commercial space operations and manufacturing cluster it is today. Frank’s leadership and contributions to the advancement of the aerospace industry in Florida have positioned the state as the clear leader in a rapidly transforming US aerospace market, which has set an example to many other states, including New Mexico, Virginia, Alaska, Texas and Georgia, that seek to tap the economic potential of space.


Dr. William S. Marshall, Robert H. Schingler and Dr. Christopher R. Boshuizen
Co-Founders, Planet Labs PBC

Planet was founded in 2010 as Cosmogia by former NASA scientists Dr. William S. Marshall, Robbie Schingler and Dr. Christopher R. Boshuizen. Their goal was to make use of information gathered from space to help with life on Earth – specifically, to see global change with enough frequency and detail to spur deeper understanding and more action on climate change. Over the past decade, Planet has revolutionized the Earth observation industry, democratizing access to satellite data beyond the traditional agriculture and defense sectors. Since its founding, Planet has launched over 500 satellites, and currently operates roughly 200 in orbit today. Together, they image the entire planet every day, a revisit rate never before achieved. Businesses, governments, and research institutions now leverage Planet’s data and platform to scale their operations, increase efficiency and mitigate risk, and develop novel solutions to address our most pressing challenges.


Steve Spengler
CEO, Intelsat

Over a 36-year career in the space and satellite industry, Steve Spengler has dedicated himself to providing critical services to places in the world and people on the move where other telecommunications technologies cannot reach. He joined Intelsat in 2003 and served in a variety of executive roles, including sales, marketing, strategy and business development. Appointed CEO in 2015, he assumed leadership at a major inflection point for the world’s first satellite company. He oversaw the 2016 launch of the first satellite in the global Epic fleet that brought high-throughput architecture to C-, Ku- and Ka-bands, vastly increasing Intelsat’s capacity to meet exploding needs for satellite data. Through strategic investments and alliances, he expanded the company into flat panel antenna technology, LEO communications, in-flight broadband and other verticals. After years of fighting the mobile industry over access to spectrum, he changed course and proposed the sale of C-band frequencies to mobile carriers, igniting a complex regulatory and political process that led to the current C-band repack in the US. His final act before announcing his retirement was the emergence of Intelsat from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a newly capitalized company that had shed a substantial portion of the debt heaped on it by former private equity owners and is prepared for its next wave of growth.


Professor Robert Twiggs
Emeritus Professor – Astronautics at Morehead State University

Prof. Robert Twiggs is best known in the space and satellite industry and academia as the “Father of the CubeSat” for his co-development of the CubeSat reference design and P-Pod Deployer for miniaturized satellites at Stanford University, alongside Professor Jordi Puig-Suari of California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. His design has become the de-facto industry standard for Pico satellites since its development in 1998, with over 1,600 successful launches to this day. Prof. Twiggs has also developed and co-developed other original concepts, including the CricketSat, CanSat, ThinSat and the PocketQube for educational applications in space.

20th Induction - 2021

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) inducted four new members into the prestigious Space & Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at the annual Hall of Fame Celebration. The inductees were:


Peter B. de Selding
Co-Founder and Chief Editor, SpaceIntelReport

Peter B. de Selding delivered more than 20 years of incisive coverage of the commercial space and satellite industry as Paris bureau chief of SpaceNews before co-founding SpaceIntelReport and becoming Chief Editor. His reporting has broken many major stories in the industry and never hesitated to tackle controversies, reveal conflicts of interest and hold business leaders accountable for their decisions.


Kathryn L. Lueders
Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA

Kathy Lueders has spent her career leading efforts at NASA to integrate commercial launch into NASA's human space exploration mission. From her service as Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Integration Manager to her current appointment as Associate Administrator for Human Exploration, she has worked to bring critical commercial technology, practices and cost savings to NASA. Most recently, Kathy spent seven years working with SpaceX, Northrop Grumman and Boeing to bring about commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station and make NASA's first venture into commercial human spaceflight possible with the SpaceX Crew-1 flight in November of 2020.


Jim L. Oliver
Founder, Owner and CEO, AvL Technologies

Jim Oliver is an inventor and entrepreneur with a proven record of achievement in ground segment technology. He has made major contributions to freeing satellite ground systems from fixed locations throughout his career, from his work at SatCom Technologies—where he led the introduction of innovative technologies for fixed and truck-mounted antennas—to the creation at AvL of high-accuracy pointing technologies for small portable antennas for commercial and military use. Jim’s technological contributions have greatly expanded the applications for satellite communications in ways that save lives and expand opportunities for millions.


Dr. Gladys B. West
Mathematician (retired), Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, VA

Dr. Gladys West served as a mathematician at the Naval Proving Ground (now the Naval Surface Warfare Center) in Dahlgren, VA for 42 years before retiring in 1998. From the mid-1970s to 1980s, she worked as Project Manager for the Seasat radar altimetry project, which made pioneering use of an IBM 7030 computer to provide calculations for an accurate geodetic Earth model. This model became a critical building block for the GPS satellite orbital plan and the immense range of benefits that GPS has delivered to humanity since then.

19th Induction - 2020

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) inducted three new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the annual Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC. The inductees were:


Steve Collar

In 2011, Steve Collar became CEO of O3b Networks, the company founded four years earlier by Hall of Famer Greg Wyler. The impact of his leadership soon made itself felt. Within two years, the company launched the first four satellites of its pioneering MEO constellation and added another eight the following year, and later bringing the number of O3b satellites launched to 20 in 2019. By 2016, O3b Networks had built a firm backlog of $350 million with more than $100 million in current-year revenue, making it the fastest-growing satellite operator in history. SES was one of the company’s early investors and, in 2016, exercised its option to acquire O3b Networks. The deal created the first communications satellite operator with spacecraft in both GEO and MEO orbits. Steve was appointed CEO of SES Networks, the newly-formed data-centric business unit of SES, in May 2017.


Tory Bruno
President & CEO, United Launch Alliance

Tory Bruno came to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) in 2014 after a long career managing programs for some of the most advanced and powerful weapons systems in the American arsenal. When he was tapped to lead ULA – a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security – the company was at a crossroads. What had been an effective monopoly on national security and NASA missions had turned competitive as new commercial competitors entered the business. Tory launched a major restructuring of the company to improve its customer service, shorten launch cycles and cut launch costs in half – while maintaining its unprecedented 100% success rate on launches.


Paul Gaske
Executive VP and General Manager, North America, Hughes Network Systems

For much of its early history, the communications satellite business was all about video. TV distribution and contribution provided growing revenues and high margins, while giving broadcasters a uniquely cost-effective way to get programming to billions of viewers. But as early as the 1980s, Paul Gaske was pursuing a different destiny for the industry – a future in data networking. Working for Digital Communications Corp, which was acquired by MA-COM, he designed satellite TDMA for Intelsat signatories and became part of the team that invented the VSAT antenna and launched the satellite networking business. Then in 1987, Hughes acquired the company and launched a revolution in satellite services. With Paul spearheading development of products and services, Hughes Network Systems grew into the world’s dominant supplier of VSAT technology for resource extraction, retail, enterprise networking and other markets.

18th Induction - 2019

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) inducted three new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 at the annual Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC. The inductees were:


Matt Desch
CEO, Iridium Communications, Inc.

Matt Desch became CEO of Iridium Communications in 2006 after a twenty-five year career in the telecommunications industry that included serving as president of Nortel Networks’ wireless business and chief executive of Telcordia Technologies. Since taking the helm, he has led Iridium from the depths of post-bankruptcy uncertainty and looming irrelevancy into a major contributor to the space and satellite industry. Matt has also served as an advocate for safety and responsible traffic management throughout the space, satellite and aviation industries for over a decade.


Henry Goldberg
Partner, Goldberg, Godles, Wiener & Wright

Henry Goldberg is a leading U.S. regulatory lawyer who has been a key figure in shaping the modern commercial space industry through development of U.S. and international legal and regulatory frameworks. Over a more-than-fifty-year career that began at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C. in 1966, Henry has opened legal doors to numerous innovations in satellite and broadcasting throughout the world, carving out regulatory territory for new types of companies and their technologies to grow and flourish.


Greg Wyler
Founder and Executive Chairman, OneWeb

Greg Wyler founded O3B Networks, in partnership with Liberty Global, in 2007 with the goal of unlocking MEO orbit to deliver Internet to remote areas without the need for laying fiber. By 2016, O3B had a firm backlog of $350 million with more than $100 million in current-year revenue, and SES exercised its option to purchase the company, whose markets had grown to include maritime, mobility, energy and government based on the success of its MEO fleet architecture. After the success of his first company, Greg founded OneWeb in 2012 with the vision of connecting all the unconnected schools of the world and providing Internet to fuel economic growth, improve education and social development, advance gender equality and make healthcare more accessible across the globe.

17th Induction - 2018

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) inducted three new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 at the annual Hall of Fame Celebration in Washington, DC. The inductees were:


Gwynne Shotwell
President and COO, SpaceX

As VP of business development, Gwynne led the effort to build the Falcon vehicle manifest to over 50 launches representing $5 billion in revenue including commercial resupply services for delivery of cargo and supplies to the International Space Station.  She became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2008, and assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations and for managing the customer and strategic relationships that support company growth.  Under her leadership, SpaceX's backlog has grown to more than $7 billion worth of launches while achieving a set of remarkable milestones.


Terry Hart
Former Astronaut and Professor of Practice in Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University

Terry won undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering while on active duty with the Air Force Reserve and working on the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1978. After serving as CAPCOM in Mission Control for multiple Shuttle flights, he flew as a mission specialist on STS 41-C. Returning to the private sector, he became supervisor of the information systems engineering department at Bell Labs and was then named president of Loral Skynet, operator of the Telestar fleet.


Otto Hoernig, Jr.
Founder, Spacelink International

In a career spanning military service and entrepreneurship, Otto Hoernig has been a pioneering innovator in satellite communications and space based technologies. In his early career, he was Chief of Scout Launch Operations at VAFB launching NASA, International Consortium and special mission DoD satellites including the Transit Navigational Satellites, predecessor to GPS. After his retirement from the US Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel, Hoernig began his second career with the American Satellite Company, followed by Contell and International Microspace. Then in 1994, Otto seized the opportunity created by rising conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to found Spacelink International.

16th Induction - 2017

The Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) inducted four new members into the prestigious Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 at the annual Hall of Fame Benefit Dinner in Washington, DC. The inductees were:


Dr. Walter Scott
Founder and Chief Technology Officer, DigitalGlobe

Dr. Scott founded WorldView Imaging Corporation in 1992, one of the early pioneers of the US commercial remote sensing industry. WorldView went public in 2009 as DigitalGlobe, transforming the commercial use of satellite imagery in ways few imagined possible. By the end of its 2015 fiscal year, DigitalGlobe had a record $702 million in revenues after five years of 20% revenue growth.


Mary Cotton
CEO, VT iDirect

September 2017 marks Mary Cotton’s 10th anniversary as CEO of iDirect. During Mary’s tenure, iDirect Government, a wholly owned subsidiary of iDirect, grew its presence to become the leading player in the defense and intelligence communities. Viewing satellite connectivity as “… something that drives business for our partners and customers,” Mary Cotton has led iDirect to an impressive, customer-focused success, with 57% share of the VSAT hub market, as an example.


James Monroe III
Chairman and CEO, Globalstar

James “Jay” Monroe transformed a bankrupt satellite service provider into an international brand-name company that provides life-saving technology to thousands of people. One such technology is SPOT, now on its 5th iteration, which gives users the ability to share their location data and short messages, to track vehicles and other mobile assets, and to hit an SOS button to call for help. To date, it has documented nearly 5,000 rescues on land and sea.


Thomas Choi
Co-Founder and CEO, ABS Global

Thomas Choi is a successful serial entrepreneur whose innovations have greatly expanded the contribution of satellite to the economies, societies and people of the developing world. He helped found Speedcast in 1999 and in 2005, founded ABS Global. Today, ABS Global operates a 7-satellite fleet serving 93% of the world’s population.

15th Induction - 2016

SSPI was pleased to induct six new members into its Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on March 8, 2016 at SSPI’s annual Hall of Fame Benefit Dinner in National Harbor, MD.


John Celli
President, Space Systems Loral

John Celli has dedicated his career to creating satellites and technology that makes the world a better place. He joined Space Systems Loral as an engineer in 1981 after six years with Alenia S.p.A in Rome. Thirty-one years later, he became President of SSL, which he had helped to become the world’s leading provider of commercial communications satellites with a 30% market share over the previous decade.


Richard Hadsall
Vice President, Global Network Operations, Kymeta

Richard Hadsall is one of that rare breed of technologists who is also a successful company founder and leader. Crescomm Transmission Services, launched in 1976, was his first venture, which evolved in 1981 into Maritime Telecommunications Network or MTN. Five years later, Richard developed a technology that would forever transform communications at sea: the motion-stabilized VSAT antenna, which could maintain its lock on a spacecraft 22,000 miles away while a ship pitched and rolled underneath it.


Penelope Longbottom
President, Longbottom Communications, a division of Sage Communications

Penelope Longbottom has devoted her career to explaining satellite to the world in support of a global industry driving for growth. She entered the industry in 1985 as Director of Communications for Hughes Communications. In her first year on the job, she developed and managed communications and long-lead marketing for the startup of Japan’s first commercial satellite company, JCSAT, of which Hughes was part owner, as well for as the troubled launch of Leasat 3 for the US Navy.


Philip A. Rubin
President & CEO, RKF Engineering Solutions LLC

Philip Rubin has been the technology innovator behind some of the most fundamental advances in the history of satellite. He began his career in the 1950s at ITT Research Laboratories, where he designed and built C-band traveling wave tube amplifiers. Five years later, he joined the Hughes Aircraft Company, where he contributed work to Syncom 2 and Syncom 3, which became the world’s first geostationary satellite. He moved to Geneva in 1965 to become the International Telecommunications Union’s first satellite expert.  Philip A. Rubin passed away in 2021.


Phillip Spector
Of Counsel, Milbank

Phillip Spector has been a leader in the industry, as a lawyer and business executive, for decades. He began his career in government, where he served as a law clerk to a Supreme Court Justice and worked in the White House as Associate Assistant to the President. He then entered the private practice of law, and in the 1980s helped to lay the groundwork at the FCC for, and then negotiated, the industry’s first sales of transponders. He also was PanAmSat’s outside counsel during its years-long battle to break the Intelsat monopoly on the provision of international satellite services.


Andrew Sukawaty
Non-Executive Chairman, Inmarsat

In 2004, when Andrew Sukawaty was appointed CEO of Inmarsat after a quarter-century in the mobile and cable TV industries, the 25-year-old company generated annual revenues of less than $400 million and was valued at $1.5 billion. At the end of Andrew’s tenure as executive Chairman in 2014, the company had almost quadrupled its annual revenues to $1.4 billion, increased its valuation almost seven times to nearly $10 billion and was close to launching the world’s first, globally available mobile broadband satellite fleet able to deliver 50 megabits per second anywhere in the world.

14th Induction - 2015

SSPI inducted four new members into its Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on March 17, 2015, at SSPI’s annual Gala in Washington, DC.


Dirk Breynaert
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Newtec

Dirk Breynaert founded Newtec in 1985 with fellow engineer Jean-Marie Maes. For the company’s first ten years, it worked exclusively in R&D for the European Space Agency. In 1994, when the European satellite market was deregulated, Newtec seized the opportunity to begin developing its own products and focused its efforts on the new Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) standard.


Mark Dankberg
Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman, ViaSat

As an engineer, entrepreneur, and business leader, Mark Dankberg has created an organization that pioneered a series of technologies with major impact on the evolution of defense, mobile and Internet communications. Mark co-founded ViaSat with Mark Miller and Steve Hart in 1986 with less than $25,000 in capital. His partners continue to serve as the company’s chief technical officers, while Mark became the company’s CEO.


David Thompson
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Orbital Sciences Corporation

As a college student, David Thompson worked on the first Mars landing missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and on Space Shuttle projects for NASA. After serving in engineering and management positions at NASA and Hughes, he founded a new company in 1982 with Scott Webster and Bruce Ferguson, whom he had met at Harvard Business School. Armed with business school studies and an initial round of financing, the three set out to plan what they expected to be the first product of their new Orbital Sciences Corporation.


Dr. Xuyen T. Vuong
Vice President and Chief Scientist, Artel LLC

XT Vuong came to the United States from Vietnam on a USAID scholarship in the turbulent 1960s to study electrical engineering at California State University. It would turn out to be one of the better investments made by the US Government. After graduate studies, he entered the industry and began work on a series of leading-edge projects for government and private-sector customers, from Canada’s Earth exploration Radarsat, NASA’s commercial initiatives for LEO mission support, Hughes’ Ka-band Spaceway, and Motorola’s Ka-band Teledesic.

13th Induction - 2013

SSPI inducted five new members into its Space and Satellite Hall of Fame on March 19, 2013, at SSPI’s annual Gala in Washington DC in a ceremony underwritten by Arianespace.


Romain Bausch
President and CEO of SES

Since joining SES in 1995, Romain Bausch provided the leadership that transformed SES from a regional satellite company offering direct-to-home TV distribution in Europe to a global satellite operator serving broadcasters, telcos, enterprise, and government customers.


Robert Zitter
Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Home Box Office

Robert Zitter is responsible for HBO’s technology interests worldwide, overseeing satellite-based distribution, origination,p roduction operations and engineering. Zitter’s career has included spearheading the introduction of digital compression technology, the development and launch of HBO HD and HBO On Demand and the founding of HBO’s businesses in Latin America, Asia and Europe.



Susan Irwin
President, Euroconsult US

Susan Irwin, one of the original founders and directors of SSPI, has more than 30 years experience researching and analyzing industry trends and developments on the use of satellite communications for voice, video and data. She was a pioneer of satellite distance learning, teleconferencing and business television and has been a key contributor to the commercial advancement of innovations such as DTH, digital compression and satellite broadband.


Prof. U. R. Rao
Chairman, the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad

More than any other single individual, Professor Udupi Ramachandra (U.R.) Rao is responsible for the creation of India’s space and satellite capabilities and their application to the nation’s development. Rao, who has published over 360 scientific and technical papers in various journals, has received many honors and awards, including the Padma Bhushan Award, a very high civilian award of the Government of India. On July 24, 2017, Professor Rao left this life.


Dick Tauber
VP Transmission Systems & New Technology for the CNN News Group

Dick Tauber, a former member of the SSPI Board of Directors, is the current President of the Board of Directors of the Southeast Chapter of SSPI, which he helped found in 2005. Tauber has received three Emmy Awards for his work at CNN - 1986 for his part in Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s Goodwill Games, in 2002 honoring CNN’s coverage of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and a Technical Emmy in 2007 for CNN’s mobile, IP news gathering system. Dick Tauber passed away on April 10, 2018.

12th Induction - 2011

SSPI inducted seven new members into its Space and Satellite Hall of Fame at a ceremony on March 15, 2011, underwritten by KPMG.


Masanori Akiyama
President and CEO of Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation

Masanori Akiyama was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2011 for his visionary leadership in developing the satellite business in Japan from its inception with the first commercial Japanese satellite launched in 1989 to the formation, through mergers, of the fifth largest FSS provider in the world today.


Robert Bednarek
President and CEO of SES WORLDSKIES

Robert Bednarek was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 for over 30 years as an industry innovator and leader in the top technology management position at PanAmSat, the first competitive international operator, and the top executive position at SES WORLDSKIES, one of the most successful satellite operators in today’s market. Mr. Bednarek passed away on January 6, 2013.


Giuliano Berretta
Chairman of the Board of Eutelsat Communications

Giuliano Berretta was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 for two decades of leadership at Eutelsat, which he transformed from a treaty organization into a growing publicly-traded company with a market capitalization of 6bn euros.


Ellen Hoff
President of W.L. Prichard & Co.

Ellen Hoff was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 for the indelible mark she has made on the satellite industry by persuading satellite operators to introduce digital services and a wide range of smaller antennas to enhance the competitive position of the satellite sector.


Edward Horowitz

Edward Horowitz was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 for his serial accomplishments in helping to build HBO as the first satellite-delivered cable programmer, innovative leadership of SES AMERICOM, and most recently, as co-founder of U.S. Space, which offers commercial, privately-financed military satellite communications to the U.S. Government and has joint-ventured with ATK to create ViviSat, provider of life extension services for on-orbit satellites.


Jean-Yves Le Gall
CEO of Arianespace

Jean-Yves Le Gall was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 for a distinguished career in satellites spanning nearly 30 years, rising from a position as a researcher for a French star-mapping mission to leadership of two commercial launch services companies: Starsem, which brought the Soyuz launch vehicle to Western markets, and Arianespace, where he overcame problems with the Ariane 5 launcher to make the company a global leader in launch services.


Dean Olmstead

In a rare posthumous induction, Dean Olmstead joined the Hall of Fame in 2011, in recognition of a career that spanned government and industry, international and domestic assignments, leadership and Board positions with the most storied names in the business, and which, though cut short by illness, had a transformative impact on the industry. Mr. Olmstead passed away on October 16, 2010.

11th Induction - 2009

SSPI inducted five new members into its Space and Satellite Hall of Fame at an invitation-only ceremony on March 25, 2009, sponsored by Booz & Co.:


Dr. Denis Curtin
Chief Operating Officer, XTAR

Dr. Denis Curtin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 for his influence on the industry over a four-decade career, including solar cell/solar array development at COMSAT Laboratories, head of engineering responsible for design, building and operation of the Loral Orion satellites, and subsequently chief operating officer of XTAR, the first commercial X-Band satellite system.


Mary Frost

Mary Frost was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 for a distinguished career as head of operations for ABC, as president of GlobeCast America, one of the most innovative organizations in the industry, and in volunteer leadership positions with numerous industry trade groups.


Peter Jackson
Chief Executive Officer, Asia Satellite Telecommunications

Peter Jackson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 for three decades of executive leadership with British Telecom, Cable & Wireless, and as Chief Executive Officer of Asiasat since 1993, which he has grown into a diversified, publicly-traded satellite fleet operator.


Pradman Kaul
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Hughes Network Systems

Pradman Kaul was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 for both business and technology leadership in a long career with Hughes, which included development of the TDMA satellite communications system, VSAT technology, digital set-top boxes and the Internet Protocol over Satellite standard.


D.K. Sachdev
President, SpaceTel Consultancy

D. K. Sachdev was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 for a professional career devoted to innovation in satellite, first with an Indian manufacturer of earth stations, then with Intelsat and Worldspace, and finally as a professor of engineering at George Mason University.

10th Induction - 2007


Robert Berry
Chairman of Space Systems/Loral

Robert Berry was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 for leadership in providing three generations of satellites to Intelsat, the US Department of Defense and other customers and introducing key direct broadcast, mobile and other satellite technologies.


Laurier Boisvert
President and CEO (retired) of Telesat Canada

Laurier Boisvert was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 for the transformation of Telesat Canada from an unprofitable national service provider into a vibrant international competitor in satellite services and pioneer in commercializing the Ka frequency band.


Mary Ann Elliott
Chairman and CEO of Arrowhead Global Communications

Mary Ann Elliott was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 for entrepreneurship in the founding of Arrowhead Global and its growth into a major provider of end-to-end communications solutions to the U.S. Federal government.


Dr. Yasuo Hirata
Chairman of KDDI R&D Laboratories

Dr. Yasuo Hirata was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 for major contributions to the development of digital mobile satellite communications systems and technologies, including the INMARSAT Standard-B system and "punctured” forward error correction techniques.


Conny Kullman
Chairman (retired) of Intelsat

Conny Kullman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 for leadership of Intelsat through its transformation from an intergovernmental organization into a privately-held operator of terrestrial networks and the world's largest commercial satellite fleet.


Dr. Delbert Smith
Senior Telecommunications Counsel, Jones Day

Dr. Delbert Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 for his instrumental role in the recovery of the Palapa B2 and Westar VI satellites, which greatly strengthened the satellite insurance industry, and for originating the first satellite communications publication and conference.

9th Induction - 2005


Steven Dorfman

Steven Dorfman was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 as an innovator in a series of positions with Hughes Electronics that helped pioneer the “cable neighborhood” concept and catalyze the growth of the cable and Direct to the Home (DTH) Satellite industries.


Eddy Hartenstein

Eddy Hartenstein was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 for co-founding and providing the business leadership that built DIRECTV into the dominant DTH service in the United States.



Polly Rash Hollis

Polly Rash Hollis was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 for her leadership in the public, educational and health applications of satellites, championing of the ACTS experimental satellite and her service to SSPI and in the founding of the annual Gala and Hall of Fame programs.



Dr. Clay T. Whitehead

Dr. Clay T. Whitehead was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 for contributions as a policymaker who fostered creation of the US “Open Skies” policy and as a business executive who was instrumental in founding Hughes Communications in the US and Astra in Europe. Dr. Whitehead passed away on July 23, 2008. Click here to view his Wikipedia page. 



Takuya Yoshida

Takuya Yoshida was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 as the former chairman of JSAT and innovator in the development of digital satellite broadcasting satellite services in Japan.


8th Induction - 2003


William "Mac" Evans
Former President of the Canadian Space Agency

Recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Outstanding Achievement Award for Public Service in Canada.


David E. Hershberg
Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Globecomm Systems Inc.


Dr. Takashi Iida
Executive Director of the Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Former President of Communications Research Lab (CRL) of Japan (now National Institute for Information and Communications Technology), General Chairman of the AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference 21 in Yokohama, Japan.


Peter Marshall
Former CEO and General Manager of Visnews

Former President of Keystone Communications, First SSPI Vice President for International Liaison, and Former SSPI President, Fellow of Britain’s Royal Television Society and founder of the North American Chapter of the same.

7th Induction - 2001


Robert D. Briskman

An early leading engineer of the Comsat Corporation who was the technical designer and one of the founders of the Sirius Satellite audio broadcasting system.


Professor Kazuhiro Miyauchi

One of the leading professors of Japan in the field of digital communications satellites.


Dr. Joseph N. Pelton

Dr. Joseph N. Pelton is an award-winning author who has published over 50 books and over 300 articles. His book Global Talk won a Pulitzer Prize nomination and the Eugene Emme Literature Award of the International Association of Astronautics. He was one of the founders of the International Space University and the former Dean and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of this international organization. He was also the founding president of SSPI, director of the Accelerated MS program in Telecommunications and Computers at George Washington University, and founder of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation. In work with Intelsat, Comsat, NASA, AT&T, the US Congress, the UN and Orbital ATK, he helped steer the early development of the industry and trained a generation of innovators.


Noah A. Samara
Founder of the Worldspace Satellite Network

Pioneer in obtaining frequencies for direct audio broadcasting via satellite.


Robert N. Wold
Founder of Wold Communications

Wold Communications was one of the early consolidators of broadcast video traffic via satellite, which evolved through mergers into what is now GlobeCast America. Mr. Wold passed away on August 10, 2013.

6th Induction - 1999


John A. Johnson

One of the authors of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962 and First Chairman of the initial oversight committee of Intelsat.


Takuro Muratani

Top engineer of KDD who undertook leading work in digital coding and especially in digital mobile satellite engineering.


John G. Puente
Founder of Digital Communications Corporation

John G. Puente led in the development of TDMA and digital satellite systems that eventually became Hughes Network Systems.

5th Induction - 1997


Dr. Burton I. Edelson
Associate Administrator of NASA

Dr. Burton I. Edelson was responsible for the ACTS Satellite, the Hubble Telescope, the Galileo Mission to Jupiter and the Explorer Mission that confirmed the "Big Bang." See his Wikipedia page.


Olof Lundberg
The Founding Director General of Inmarsat


Dr. Ken-Ichi Miya
Top engineer of KDD Labs and Intelsat Technical Committee Chair

Author of a major text on satellite communications. Dr. Miya passed away in 2004.


Dr. Wilbur Pritchard
First Director of Comsat Labs

Designer of some of the world’s first defense communications satellite systems and author in the field. He was also the first Chairman of the SSPI International Advisory Council and a Founding member of the SSPI. Dr. Pritchard passed away in 1999.

4th Induction - 1993


Rene Anselmo
Founder of PanAmSat

The founder of the PanAmSat System that became the first serious international competitor to Intelsat. Rene Anselmo passed away in 1995.


Stanley Hubbard
CEO and intellectual leader of the Hubbard Broadcast Company

Stanley Hubbard led development of one of the first direct broadcast satellite systems to be deployed in North America.


Sidney Metzger
Chief scientist of the Comsat Corporation

Sidney Metzger led efforts to define the characteristics of the early Intelsat satellites and the Standard A and B earth stations. Mr. Metzger passed away on December 22, 2011.


Tadahiro Sekimoto

Tadahiro Sekimoto is a Japanese electronics engineer, a recipient of the IEEE Medal of Honor in 2004, chairman of Japan's Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and former chairman of the Board of Councilors of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations. Mr Sekimoto served as president and later chairman of Japan's NEC Corporation. Mr. Sekimoto passed away on November 11, 2007. Click here to view his Wikipedia page.

3rd Induction - 1991


Dr. Joseph V. Charyk
The first President and then Chairman of the Board of Comsat

Comsat managed the interim Intelsat system as well as deployed Marisat satellite and owned and operated US domestic satellites.


Frederic d’Allest

The top executive of Arianespace who oversaw the development and successful launch of the first Ariane vehicles.


Sidney Topol

The very long-time leader of Scientific Atlanta whose company built many of the original Standard A Intelsat earth stations plus many of the earth station for many domestic satellite networks.

2nd Induction - 1989


Santiago Astrain
The first Secretary General of Intelsat

Santiago Astrain was the first Director General of the Intelsat system, who led the organization for over 10 years. Mr. Astrain passed away on June 4, 2008. Click here to view his Wikipedia page.


Andrea Caruso
Founding Director General of Eutelsat

One of the key leaders at the dawn of the communications satellite era for both Telespazio and Intelsat, who went on to become the founding Director General of Eutelsat.


Leonard Jaffe

The top scientist and NASA engineer who designed and oversaw the deployment of NASA’s Applications Test Satellite (ATS) series from ATS-1 to -6 as well as the Communications Technology Satellite CTS. Leonard Jaffe died on July 16, 2020 of COVID-19 


Koji Kobayashi
CEO and Chairman of the NEC Corporation of Japan

Koji Kobayashi made famous the concept of an integrated C & C (Computers and Communications) enterprise.

1st Induction - 1987


Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Conceiver of the geosynchronous communications satellite in his famous 1945Wireless World article, and author of 2001: the Space Odyssey and numerous works of science fact and fiction. Sir Clarke passed away on March 19, 2008. Click here to view his Wikipedia page.


Dr. William H. Pickering
Former Head of JPL

With James Van Allen, Dr. William H. Pickering designed the Explorer 1 satellite that discovered the Van Allen Belt. Dr. Pickering passed away on March 15, 2004. Click here to view his Wikipedia page.


Dr. John R. Pierce

The Bell Labs scientist and engineer who led development of the Echo and Telstar communications satellites from which the communications satellite industry sprang. Dr. Pierce passed away on April 2, 2002. Click here to view his Wikipedia page.


Dr. Harold Rosen

The Hughes Aircraft designer and lead engineer of the first geostationary communications satellite, Syncom III, as well as Early Bird and dozens of the earliest communications satellites. Dr. Rosen passed away on January 30, 2017.


Adolph K. Thiel

An Austrian-born German expert in guided missiles on Wernher von Braun’s teams in Germany and the USA, who supervised design of the Redstone and Thor rockets and was director of space projects when TRW developed the Explorer VI and Pioneer V robot spacecraft. Mr. Thiel passed away on June 2, 2001. Click here to view his Wikipedia page./p>


Dr. James A. Van Allen
Professor of Astrophysics

Dr. James Van Allen designed Explorer 1, America’s first successful satellite, that discovered the Van Allen belts. Mr. Van Allen passed away on August 9, 2006. Click here to view his Wikipedia page.



In the only Hall of Fame award to an organization rather than an individual, recognizing the hundreds of people around the world who developed, deployed and operated both the COSPAS and SARSAT satellite networks to carry out worldwide search and rescue operations for pilots and people lost at sea or in hazardous terrain.