Standardizing Satellites Buses, with Ian Cinnamon (Apex Space)


On today’s show, Payload CEO and newly minted podcast host Mo Islam chats with Ian Cinnamon, CEO and co-founder of Apex Space, a developer of satellite buses. Today’s episode is brought to you by SpiderOak Mission Systems.


Ian Cinnamon is the CEO and Co-founder of Apex Space, a startup manufacturing satellite buses in the 100-kilogram class that can support ~100 kgs of payload. It aims to sell Aries, its first product, into the commercial space market and support EO and communications missions. Apex says Aries will be available as an off-the-shelf platform that can be configured with specific subsystems to support certain customer needs.

Ian previously was an Investor and Entrepreneur in Residence at Village Global. Prior to Village, Ian founded Synapse Technology, an AI security startup that exited to Palantir. Max Benassi, Apex’s other cofounder, formerly built vehicles at SpaceX and served as Astra’s director of engineering

Today’s episode is brought to you by SpiderOak Mission Systems, a US-based software company that builds space cybersecurity products and solutions for civilian, military, and commercial space operations. 

• A sneak peek •

Ian and Mo talk about Apex’s origin story, the complexities of satellite bus manufacturing, and the size of Apex’s target market. They also discuss:

  • The long-awaited history behind the Cinnamon family name
  • Why the Apex team is best suited to tackle the satellite bus market
  • How to successfully work with commercial vs. government customers
  • The importance of the SpaceX Transporter-10 mission
  • The geopolitical tailwinds supporting the space industry
  • And much more…

• Chapters •

  • 00:00:00 Intro + SpiderOak Ad 
  • 01:11:00 The Origin of the Cinnamons 
  • 03:31:06 Introduction to Apex 
  • 07:57:11 Difficulties of in-house bus development 
  • 09:52:02 Apex vs. Terran Orbital vs. York Space 
  • 13:19:19 Working with the government customer 
  • 18:08:16 Quantifying the satellite bus market 
  • 21:47:09 Refueling in LEO, is there a market? 
  • 25:31:11 Capital flows in launch vs bus manufacturing 
  • 28:32:04 Difficulties of bus manufacturing 
  • 30:38:01 SpiderOak Ad 
  • 31:17:03 SpaceX Transporter 10 Mission 
  • 32:21:16 The Apex Team 
  • 38:38:02 Ian’s background as an investor and operator 
  • 43:18:06 Geopolitics as a tailwind 
  • 46:23:09 Rapid Fire! (Mentors/figures, startups Ian is excited about, how to spend free time) 
  • 49:43:14 Outro