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Opening the Final Frontier: We're There. Now What?

Space really is the final frontier. Since Star Trek first crossed TV screens in 1966, we have believed that humanity’s destiny lies among the stars. And in the third decade of the third millennium, we are closer to that dream than ever before. Today, after decades of imagining the future, enterprising companies in partnership with governments are putting into place the practical foundations and critical components of a thriving space economy reaching from LEO to cislunar space. The Opening the Final Frontier podcast series will bring you the voices of some of these amazing partners on the journey to the final frontier.

Episode 1: Virgin Territory

The first episode of our series features a conversation with Tony Gingiss. Tony Gingiss is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Virgin Orbit where he is responsible for the day-to-day management of all operations including: Program Management/Mission Delivery, Manufacturing, Engineering, Test, Flight and Launch Operations, and Supply Chain, Security and Facilities.

Prior to his role at Virgin Orbit, Tony was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb created to design & manufacture 648 satellites, at 2 per day, for OneWeb’s low earth orbit constellation and to provide low-cost, high-quality satellites to the market, revolutionizing the economics of space. Tony led the organization from late 2017 to early 2021 spanning the completion of critical design ramp up, production of 2 satellites a day and a launch of over 100 satellites.

Tony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University, and Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. He has more than 30 years of experience in the Aerospace industry and prior to his current position, Tony was a Director of Strategic Integration and Programs at Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, CA. He began his career at Hughes Space and Communications (now Boeing Satellite Systems) as a Mission Analyst, and subsequently worked in Ground Systems, Systems Engineering, and ultimately Program Management. He worked on both Commercial and Government programs across all phases including business development, concept, design, product development, delivery, and on-orbit support.

Tony has a passion for and has been active in corporate citizenship and outreach activities, at the local, state, and national levels throughout his career. He is also a passionate advocate for a diverse and inclusive workforce in the Aerospace industry and industry at-large.

Episode 2: Gas Stations in Space

The second episode of our series features a conversation with Nathan Orr. Nathan Orr is the Chief Engineer at a Silicon Valley company called Momentus, where he leads a talented team of engineers creating orbital transfer vehicles that provide space transportation and hosted payload services. Previously, Nathan was also Chief Engineer at a startup asteroid mining company called Deep Space Industries, where he worked on novel concepts to mine resources such as water from near-Earth asteroids and developed water propulsion technology. Nathan has over 15 years of hands-on experience in the small spacecraft industry, having played a key role in over 18 missions, and has developed highly capable avionics and propulsion systems that have accumulated many years on flight time on orbit. Nathan received a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto in Canada.

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Episode 3: The Future of Governance - The United Federation of Planets or the Eternal Burn?

A Corporate & Finance partner and Satellite practice co-head, Steve Kaufman uses industry knowledge and versatility to negotiate and close many types of deals globally. For 18 of his 30 years at the firm, Steve served as outside general counsel for satellite clients, leading strategic joint ventures, “bet-the-company” contracts, financings, and M&A.

What Steve does best: understanding complex business issues and translating them into legal documents. If a client can describe something, Steve can draft it. Working from complicated to simple, he has many times reduced a lengthy contract into a few pages of bullet points, showing the client what it needs and how to obtain it. He has even written a business and financing model for parties in the form of an agreement. Many clients comment that the business guidance from Steve is as valuable as the legal advice.

Steve relies on his familiarity with issues common to satellite and communications companies to give him an edge in negotiations. This experience produces extra benefits when Steve deals with specialized satellite contract terms, targeted warranties, creative covenants, use of insurance to close gaps, license and spectrum issues, and even finance and accounting matters. According to Chambers Steve Kaufman is “a real authority and somebody who will always know the answer.”

In advising clients, Steve emphasizes practicality, striving to achieve the client’s business objectives for the transaction, whether economic, risk reduction, regulatory/compliance, or transaction speed. This carries over into deal management as well as negotiations, where he willingly takes the lead. Steve and Satellite practice co-head Randy Segal are regulars at the satellite conferences, making connections among clients and even adverse parties. He is listed in Chambers, Super Lawyers, and Legal 500.

Dr. Adrian Guzman is LEO Satellite Constellation Manager for the Science and Research Coordination ISS National Laboratory at the Mexican Space Agency, a position he has served in for nearly 3 years. Throughout a long career in academia and the industry, Dr. Guzman has served in a variety of consulting and teaching roles, and he still serves today as Associate Data Rockstar for Tableau Software and as a Visiting Professor in the Applied Communication Ph.D. program at Universidad Anáhuac and the Political Science and Communication Studies departments at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He is also a Marshall McLuhan Fellow at the University of Toronto, a position he has held for nearly 25 years.

Dr. Guzman has served as a consultant and scientist for a variety of tech companies throughout his career as well, including for Binaria by DocSolutions, Espora, Cultura Colectiva, IVOXcoin, Finastra, Mysis, ISDI and many more. He is also an entrepreneur, having founded the company Gasify that produced an app of the same name to help users control their gas consumption and Pacha & Bolom, a design and talent management company in New York City. Dr. Guzman holds a Ph.D. in Social Representations from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, a second Ph.D. in Anthropology of Learning and Cognition from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a third Ph.D. in Information Technology and Psychology from Sapienza Università di Roma.

Episode 4: The Spaceport Era - Every Intelligent Community Will Be a Space Community

Melissa Thorpe oversees the entire Spaceport Cornwall project, guiding the team to a successful satellite launch in 2022 from Cornwall Airport Newquay. Together with launch partner, Virgin Orbit, this ambitious project will offer dedicated and responsible access to space. She works across the launch environment to efficiently secure investment, regulations and the infrastructure required to launch, whilst communicating the space story to the local community. She has featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC World News and The Independent.

Originally from Canada, Melissa moved to the UK to attend the London School of Economics in 2010 where she gained her Masters of Science in Economics, focusing on aerospace markets. Since then, she has worked on several aerospace development projects, and has been part of the Spaceport Cornwall team since its inception in 2014. She lives in Cornwall with her partner and two daughters.





Kevin Tipton joined the Greater Houston Partnership (the Partnership) Economic Development Division in March 2022 as the Sr. Director, Aerospace and Aviation. The Partnership serves a 12-county region that includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center, two award-winning international airports, a world-class urban Spaceport, 35 plus municipal airports and approximately 500 aerospace and aviation-related organizations. He manages the organization’s domestic and international economic development efforts in the aerospace and aviation industry. He assists companies considering expanding, relocating or investing in the greater Houston region.

Kevin comes to the Partnership with over 25 years of experience in the aerospace and aviation industry, with in-depth expertise in business development and global marketing. Kevin understands firsthand the economic impact aerospace and aviation have on communities. Having been involved in relocating a global aerospace corporate headquarters, building a chain of fixed base operations, establishing a new regional airline, managing MRO facilities, purchasing a fleet of aircraft in support of a military training contract and sponsoring the first private space flight. He has had the opportunity to develop a business vision, implement integrated marketing and sales strategies, work globally with strategic partners and help organizations identify new business opportunities throughout his career. Kevin is a graduate of Wichita State University and holds three Masters degrees. He and his family have lived in Houston for over 25 years.

Episode 5: The Top 3 CIS-Lunar Opportunities & Why They Will Transform Commercial Space

The fifth episode of this series is based on October’s edition of the New York Space Business Roundtable. The episode features a conversation with multiple experts about cislunar opportunities and commercial space.

Following a Significant Digits report by SpaceNews, this episode includes a special report from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the introduction of the anti-satellite missile testing norm presented by USA Vice President Harris as a possible UN resolution and its potential impact on ensuring greater international security for space and the cislunar economy expansion.

Speakers include:

  • Hussain Bokhari, Senior Analyst, NSR (an Analysys Mason company)
  • Negar Feher, Chief Revenue Officer, SpaceRyde
  • Holly Shorrock, Intelligence Analyst, Office of Intelligence and Analysis Economic Security Mission Center at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Matthew Taylor, Associate Director, Environmental Intelligence and Civil Space, Raytheon Intelligence & Space