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After milestone flight, Blue Origin SVP Stephen Bennett will join Kepler Communications as COO

The altering of the guard is continuous at Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin house enterprise with the departure of Stephen Bennett, a senior vp who led the crew behind the corporate’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship.

Bennett will develop into Toronto-based Kepler Communications’ chief working officer on Sept. 20, Kepler stated in a news release.

Blue Origin’s vp of communications, Linda Mills, instructed GeekWire in an electronic mail that Bennett’s deputy, Phil Joyce, “was promoted and has taken on management of the New Shepard crew with a seamless transition plan.”

Kepler is rolling out Aether, a connectivity service for house belongings in low Earth orbit, or LEO. The Aether system is because of undergo flight validation early subsequent 12 months.

“The chance to join Kepler as this level of their journey speaks to me on a number of ranges,” Bennett stated within the information launch. “The objective of delivering a LEO community that will present real-time connectivity to different orbital missions is a daring one, however one which this crew has demonstrated they’re on monitor to realize.”

Kepler Communications, which graduated from the Techstars Seattle startup incubator in 2016, has already put 15 satellites into orbit for a unique kind of community that’s designed to facilitate knowledge circulation for sensible gadgets on Earth. The corporate has been working with Redmond, Wash.-based Kymeta to demonstrate high-speed connectivity under Arctic conditions.

Earlier than becoming a member of Blue Origin in 2020, Bennett served in executive positions at a variety of aerospace companies, together with L3Harris, BAE Programs and Raytheon. Joyce. for his half, has had in depth aerospace expertise at Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Orbital Sciences Corp.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard program marked a milestone in July with its first crewed suborbital spaceflight, which despatched Bezos and three crewmates past the 100-kilometer house boundary and again. Afterward, Bezos stated Blue Origin had stacked up nearly $100 million in private sales for future New Shepard flights.

The shift in operations for the New Shepard program, and the attract of latest challenges elsewhere, aren’t the one components behind Blue Origin’s recent string of departures. Different transitions have been linked to Blue Origin’s failure to win a multibillion-dollar lunar lander contract from NASA, as properly as manufacturing delays for the company’s BE-4 rocket engine and orbital-class New Glenn rocket.

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