Blue Origin Vice President Stephen Bennett joins Kepler Communications to become COO after a historic flight

Blue Origin’s team gathers in front of a New Shepard booster after July’s first crewed suborbital spaceflight. (Blue Origin Photo)

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Space Venture continues to change the guard with Stephen Bennett’s departure. Bennett was a senior vice-president who managed the development of the company’s New Shepard suborbital satellite.

On Sept. 20, Bennett, Toronto-based Kepler Communications’ chief operational officer will be appointed by Kepler in an news release.

Linda Mills (Blue Origin vice president for communications) told GeekWire via email that Phil Joyce was promoted to the position of Bennett’s deputy and took over as leader of New Shepard with an easy transition plan.

Kepler will soon be rolling out Aether, which is a connectivity service that connects space assets to low-Earth orbit (or LEO). Flight validation for the Aether system will take place in early 2019.

Bennett stated in the news release that “The chance to join Kepler at this stage in their journey speaks for me on multiple levels.” Although the goal to deliver a LEO network capable of providing real-time connectivity for other orbital missions seems bold, this team is on track.

Stephen Bennett (Photo via LinkedIn)

Kepler Communications was a graduate of the Techstars Seattle incubator in 2016. . They have already placed 15 satellites in orbit to create a new type network designed for data flow between smart devices. To demonstrate Arctic connectivity, the company is collaborating with Kymeta in Redmond, Wash.

Bennett was an executive at several aerospace companies before joining Blue Origin in 2020. Joyce. For his part, Joyce has extensive experience in aerospace at Northrop Grumman and Orbital ATK.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard Program reached a significant milestone with the first suborbital crewed spaceflight. This flight took Bezos, along with three other crewmates, beyond the 100-kilometer boundary of space and returned. Bezos stated that Blue Origin had collected close to $100 million in private sales, which will be used for future New Shepard flight.

The New Shepard Program’s operations shift and new opportunities elsewhere are not the sole reasons Blue Origin has experienced a string of departures. Blue Origin’s inability to secure a multibillion dollar lunar lander contract with NASA as well as delays to production of the company’s Be-4 rocket engineand orbital class New Glenn rocket are just a few other examples.

Publiated at Tue 14 Sep 2021, 15:06:06 +0000

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