Today’s Pathfinder episode features Clay Mowry, the CRO of Voyager Space, a developer of commercial space stations.
The clock is ticking on Voyager’s aspirations in LEO.
In 2021, the Denver-based space exploration company announced its goal to launch a commercial space station by 2028, three years ahead of the ISS retirement. Clay Mowry, the chief revenue officer of Voyager Space and one of the driving forces behind that vision, joins Pathfinder this week to dive into the company’s plans to build infrastructure in Earth orbit.
The LEO significance: With the ISS bowing out, LEO-based ventures like Voyager’s Starlab are poised to fill a gap in LEO, though they aren’t the only ones chasing that goal. Other companies like Axiom, Sierra Space, and Northrop are working in partnership with NASA to capture the billions of dollars spent on the ISS every year.
The focus of Starlab, which is partially funded by a $160M space act agreement with NASA, will be on research applications, rather than tourism. The station is designed to fit on a single launch, outfitted on the ground with all the research equipment needed for its customers. It’s expected to be able to hold four people and will be used to conduct scientific research.
The company recently announced a collaboration with Airbus Defense and Space. The international joint venture will be based out of the US, but features a European arm focused on serving the European Space Agency (ESA) and its member space agencies.
A sneak peak…
Before taking up the role of CRO in January 2022, Mowry made instrumental contributions at Blue Origin and oversaw operations at Arianespace, Inc. Beyond Voyager, Mowry’s influence extends to the International Astronautical Federation, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that was founded in 1951 to promote the peaceful use of space. In addition to Voyager’s future, we chat:
- Clay’s time at Arianespace and Blue Origin
- Why Starlab is critical to our future in space
- The partnership with Airbus
- Cultural changes in the space industry
- The IAF and its mission
- And much more…
This episode is brought to you by SpiderOak, a US-based software company that builds space cybersecurity products and solutions for civilian, military, and commercial space operations. Learn more at https://spideroak.com/
• Chapters •
00:00 – Intro & SpiderOak Ad
02:19 – Clay’s background and interest in space
07:20 – From Arianespace to Blue Origin
11:27 – The first New Shepard Auction
14:08 – Role as CRO at Voyager
16:08 – Is Voyager a holding company?
16:48 – Brief background on Dylan Taylor
18:45 – Who convinced Clay to join Voyager?
20:08 – What is Starlab?
28:20 – Partnership with Airbus
31:21 – SpiderOak Ad
32:09 – The case for private space stations
40:19 – How heavy launch will change mass and design constraints for the industry
43:06 – Competitive landscape
46:06 – What is the IAF?
49:33 – Biggest cultural changes in space
51:17 – When do you think New Glenn will fly?