More than 50 launch service providers are currently operational, or aiming to become operational, within the next five years. With the cost of launch likely to see significant reduction due to increased competition, what are the implications for new and legacy launch providers? Among the many new entrants into launch, what proposed technologies represent the most advantageous strategic advantage? (Reusability, additive manufacturing/customization, launch location, vehicle/payload size, launch cadence, propulsion to include alternative fuels, cost, etc.). Many consider a shakeup in the launch segment a definite outcome if there is not a significant growth in current demand. Is continued growth to support dozens of launchers plausible, or will market forces result in consolidation? Assuming a more moderate growth in launch demand, how and when might the industry experience consolidation or a contraction in launch providers?
A corporate partner and satellite practice co-head, Steve Kaufman uses industry knowledge and versatility to negotiate and close many types of deals globally.
For 18 of his 30 years at the firm, Steve served as outside general counsel for satellite clients, leading strategic joint ventures, “bet-the-company” contracts, financings, and M&A.
What Steve does best: understanding complex business issues and translating them into legal documents. If a client can describe something, Steve can draft it. Working from complicated to simple, he has many times reduced a lengthy contract into a few pages of bullet points, showing the client what it needs and how to obtain it. He has even written a business and financing model for parties in the form of an agreement. Many clients comment that the business guidance from Steve is as valuable as the legal advice.
Steve relies on his familiarity with issues common to satellite and communications companies to give him an edge in negotiations. This experience produces extra benefits when Steve deals with specialized satellite contract terms, targeted warranties, creative covenants, use of insurance to close gaps, license and spectrum issues, and even finance and accounting matters. According to Chambers Steve Kaufman is “a real authority and somebody who will always know the answer.”
In advising clients, Steve emphasizes practicality, striving to achieve the client’s business objectives for the transaction, whether economic, risk reduction, regulatory/compliance, or transaction speed. This carries over into deal management as well as negotiations, where he willingly takes the lead. Steve and satellite practice co-head Randy Segal are regulars at the satellite conferences, making connections among clients and even adverse parties. He is listed in Chambers, Super Lawyers, and Legal 500.Ariane Cornell
At Blue Origin, Ariane Cornell is the Director for New Glenn Commercial Sales – Americas. She also is the Head of Astronaut Strategy & Sales.
Ariane was formerly based in Vienna, Austria as the Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications (SGAC). She headed SGAC’s delegations to international conferences and the United Nations, as well as ran the organization’s operations, business development, strategy, and policy output.
Ariane supports the international aerospace community in other capacities and organizations. She currently is on the board of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) and has served on the board of Women in Aerospace – Europe.
Previously, Ariane worked in international management consulting, first with Accenture based in San Francisco and then with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC. With Accenture, she lived and worked on IT projects in the Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, and the US. With Booz Allen Hamilton as a senior consultant in the aerospace and defense commercial consulting group, she helped develop strategies and solve operational issues for executives of the world’s top aerospace and defense companies.
Ariane earned an MBA from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Stanford University.Tim Ellis
Tim is co-founder and CEO of Relativity, the first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellite constellations. Relativity is the market leader for a new platform to build and fly rockets and other aerospace products. They recently created the largest robotic metal 3D printer in the world and tested their entirely 3D printed Aeon rocket engine over 124 times. Tim played a leading role in closing over $80M of partnerships with the U.S. Government, including the first-ever venture-backed company to win an Air Force launch site award at Cape Canaveral. Previously responsible for bringing metal 3D printing into Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and a propulsion development engineer on Crew Capsule RCS thrusters, BE-4, and New Glenn. Alumni of USC and played a leadership role in launching the first student-designed and built rocket into near space. Testified to the U.S. Senate on commercial space policy and is the youngest member of the National Space Council UAG by nearly 2 decades, and directly advises the United States White House on all space policy. Has spoken at numerous conferences including CBInsights Aha! and TEDx. Relativity is backed by Playground Global, Social Capital, Y Combinator, Mark Cuban, USC, and Stanford.Stella Guillen
Stella Guillen is a VP of Sales & Marketing for Arianespace, Inc. (AEI) responsible for all aspects of Arianespace’s launch services sales and marketing activities for US and Canadian clients. She is also responsible for working with companies developing LEO constellations and small satellites providing global satellite communication services, remote sensing, and earth observation services, and science and technology.
Ms. Guillen’s background spans the satellite industry, from telecommunications to launch services. She has led global sales efforts for SpaceX, Spaceflight and some of the largest satellite fleet operators, such as SES and Intelsat.
Ms. Guillen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University and has a Master’s of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. She was born in Peru, is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is learning French at the moment.Jonathan Hofeller
Mr. Hofeller is SpaceX’s Vice President of Commercial Sales, with primary responsibility for commercial business development efforts across the globe. Prior to joining SpaceX in 2007, Mr. Hofeller worked on satellite payloads at Raytheon as a mechanical engineer. Mr. Hofeller received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a degree in Technology Commercialization from USC’s Marshall School of Business.Chris Kunstadter
Chris Kunstadter is Head of Space at AXA XL. He is actively involved in all aspects of AXA XL’s space activity, including technical, financial, and actuarial analysis, policy construction, claims handling, industry outreach, and business development.
Chris is a recognized leader in global space risk management issues. For over three decades, he has worked closely with satellite operators and manufacturers, launch providers, government agencies, and others to enhance industry understanding of space risk management, space situational awareness, and mission success best practices, and has served on numerous failure investigation teams for satellites and launch vehicles.
Chris is a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and Chair of COMSTAC’s Legal and RegulatoryWorking Group. He serves on the Executive Committee of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI), and is a Charter Member of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing (CONFERS).
Chris joined XL in 2006, after 23 years at USAIG, where he was Executive Vice President in charge of the Aerospace and IT departments.
Chris received a BA degree in Literature and an MS degree in Engineering from the University of California. He holds a Commercial Pilot license with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings, and is a Certified Flight Instructor. Chris is an avid musician, and serves on the boards of several music-oriented not-for-profit organizations.