Pathfinder #0007: The Orbital Age with Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice

Covert art for Pathfinder, Payload's podcast, presented by SpiderOak Mission Systems

On this week’s episode of the Pathfinder podcast, Ryan sits down with Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. His one-year anniversary as chief executive is one week from today. In the last year, Sierra has:

  • Raised a $1.4B (yes, billion) Series A.
  • Announced that it will build the Orbital Reef space station with Blue Origin, Boeing, Redwire, and others.
  • Readied Dream Chaser for its first orbital flight and identified new runways around the world for the spaceplane to land.
  • Created an astronaut program, led by company president and former NASA astronaut Janet Kavandi.

So, needless to say, Sierra has been keeping busy. We couldn’t have picked a better time to talk with Tom and check in on the company’s progress. Pathfinder is brought to you by SpiderOak Mission Systems, an industry leader in space cybersecurity. Check out the company’s space cybersecurity white paper here

Sneak peek of the conversation

  • Tom’s resume, and rising through the ranks at Northrop Grumman
  • Air and space as a proving ground for autonomy
  • Why did the space company spin out of Sierra Nevada Corp. last year?
  • Sierra Space’s cap table and fortifying the balance sheet before a downtown
  • The space platform play…Dream Chaser is the transportation, Orbital Reef is the destination, and then there’s all the space applications built on top
  • Tom’s visions for the future, with a constellation of private space stations and thousands living and working in space
  • Sierra’s growth from 1,000 employees at the end of 2021 to 1,800+ now
  • For All Mankind
  • When is Tom going to space?

…and more!

There’s plenty of mind-boggling bits baked into this conversation, from manipulating the electromagnetic spectrum to peering back in time with JWST to Tom’s concept for an Asian fusion restaurant in low-Earth orbit. We’ll leave it to you to listen to the episode at your leisure. Hopefully, your mind will be as blown as ours were. 

Where to get Pathfinder 0007

▶️ Watch on YouTube
🎧 Listen on Spotify
🍏 Tune in on Apple

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