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Good morning. We’re rolling out podcast #2 and webinar #2 today—read on for more info.

In today’s newsletter:
🌕 Pathfinder #0002
🚀 Vega C update
💻 Cyber webinar 
🔃 On the move

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Back to the Moon: Rob Meyerson on building Blue Origin and the lunar economy

In Pathfinder #0002, we sit down with Rob Meyerson, the founder and CEO of Delalune Space and former president of Blue Origin. While at Blue, Rob reported directly to Jeff Bezos, oversaw the company’s growth from 10 to 1,500 employees, and managed development of New Shepard, among many other programs. 

Pathfinder is presented by SpiderOak Mission Systems, an industry leader in space cybersecurity. Check out their space cybersecurity white paper here.

About the episode

At Delalune, which means “of the moon,” Rob backs and advises a range of leading space startups. In the first portion of this wide-ranging conversation, recorded in early May, Rob and Ryan discuss: 

  • The NS-21 mission, which launched over the weekend
  • Scaling Blue Origin and recruiting for a stealthy, private spaceflight venture
  • Talent density in the commercial space industry
  • Investing in space during market downturns
  • The US aerospace and defense industrial base

We then switch gears to discuss the products and services NASA is looking to buy rather than build or operate itself. Rob also surveys the technologies we’ll need to build, buy, deploy, and launch to ensure an expeditious return to the Moon and sustained presence on the lunar surface.

We touch on building out the lunar economy, then consider all the other puzzle pieces that humanity will need to assemble to not only go back to the Moon, but also set the stage for a lasting multiplanetary future.

Where to listen

🎙️ Listen on Spotify
📱 Listen on Apple 
💻 Listen online 


Vega C debut set for first week of July

Image: ESA—M. Pedoussaut. The Vega-C Zefiro 40 second stage being integrated with the P120C booster in Kourou on May 4.
Image: ESA—M. Pedoussaut. The Vega-C Zefiro 40 second stage being integrated with the P120C booster in Kourou on May 4.

Arianespace’s head of sales for the Asia-Pacific region Vivian Quenet said last week that the debut of the Avio Vega C would occur in the first week of July.

The announcement came during Asia Satellite Business Week in Singapore. During the chat, Quenet also revealed that the maiden flight of Ariane 6 would occur “towards the end of the year.” But with combined testing at Kourou yet to be conducted, this prediction is still very much speculative.

Vega C status

Although Arianespace will handle the launch operations of the Avio-built Vega C, ESA will manage the maiden flight. 

The four stages of the first Vega C vehicle have already been stacked at the launch site in French Guiana, with the AVUM+ upper stage being added on 21 May. The vehicle will be the first to utilize the P120C solid-fuel booster that will also be featured aboard both variants of the Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

Last week, the mission’s LARES-2 primary payload and six secondary payloads began their journey to the launch site from across Europe. The vehicle’s fairing is already in Kourou, having been shipped there in late January.

Following the maiden flight of Vega C, Arianespace is hoping to hit the ground running with as many as five additional missions planned for 2022.

Up next: Before the debut of Vega C, however, Arianespace is working towards their first launch of the year aboard an Ariane 5. Liftoff is currently scheduled for June 22, with a pair of GEO satellites as its payload.


Come learn how not to get hacked in space.

Payload is excited to present our second webinar focused on cybersecurity in the space industry.

Join Payload, Renee Wynn, SpiderOak Mission Systems, and Galvanick for a candid panel discussion on cyber challenges and security solutions in the new space economy. We’ll cover the potential threats and hear about how to lead at the cutting edge of space cybersecurity.

Sign up.


In Other News

  • The CRS-25 science resupply mission to the ISS has slipped due to elevated vapor readings in the Cargo Dragon’s thruster system. NASA and SpaceX are investigating and have not announced a new launch date. 
  • France granted Starlink permission to operate within the country for the second time, after a month-long public consultation.
  • Rocket Lab ($RKLB) is integrating NASA’s CAPSTONE spacecraft with its Photon satellite platform in preparation for liftoff. 
  • Russia aims to reactivate the eROSITA X-ray telescope without the cooperation of Germany, its former partner on the project.

On the Move

  • Astroscale appointed Nick Shave as its new managing director to succeed John Auburn.
  • True Anomaly brought on Ari Rosner as head of product, Christian Carpenter as director of production, and Sean Ozdemir as director of spacecraft development.
  • Lockheed Martin’s ($LMT) BoD elected Evan T. Scott as VP and treasurer and H. Edward Paul, III as VP and controller.
  • Redwire Space ($RDW) named Jonathan Baliff as CFO.
  • Starfish Space promoted Michael Madrid to director of strategic relationships.
  • Impulse Space selected Aaron Mitchell as director of product management.
  • Comtech Telecommunications ($CMTL) appointed Jon Opalski as a divisional COO and brought on Bob Pescatore to fill its new GM of digital products position.
  • POTUS nominated Terrence Edwards as inspector general of the NRO.
  • Raytheon Technologies ($RTX) promoted Jeffrey Schrader to president of SEAKR Engineering and Blue Canyon Technologies.
  • Phase Four hired Parth Patel as director of production.
  • Firefly Aerospace tapped David Wheeler as general counsel.
  • Skyrora elected Lee Rosen, a retired USAF colonel and former SpaceX exec, as COO.
  • World View hired Gregory Johnson as its chief test pilot. Johnson is a former NASA astronaut, retired USAF colonel and former SVP at Blue Origin.

The View from Space

Image: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center. An astronaut aboard the ISS snapped this photo over the South Atlantic Ocean on May 21.
Image: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center. An astronaut aboard the ISS snapped this photo over the South Atlantic Ocean on May 21.