An artist’s concept shows a York Space Systems satellite in orbit. (York Space Systems Illustration)
Two years ago, Chuck Beames presided over Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s effort to build the biggest airplane in the world. Now he has his eyes set on another big frontier: small satellites.
Beames, who left the president’s post at Allen’s Stratolaunch venture in 2016, is gearing up for his first launch as executive chairman and chief strategy officer for York Space Systems, a startup based in Denver.
“It’s very exciting,” Beames told GeekWire during an interview on the sidelines of last week’s SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah. “We’re really democratizing space for the entrepreneur.”
Beames can’t say too much about his time at Stratolaunch, due to confidentiality requirements that still apply. But he has lots to say about his latest gig, which began last year. “I’d known about York for a while before I joined the team,” he said.
Founded in 2012, York has been working on a spacecraft platform, or bus, that can be adapted for a wide variety of satellite applications. York’s S-class satellite can carry instrument payloads weighing as much as 85 kilograms (187 pounds), for a total mass of 160 kilograms ...