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.