TUKWILA, Wash. — Will LeoStella go beyond LEO?
It’s been four years since LeoStella, a joint venture created by BlackSky and Thales Alenia Space, opened the doors of its Tukwila factory and began building Earth observation satellites that BlackSky could launch into low Earth orbit, otherwise known as LEO.
Since then, the company has taken on other customers as well — including Loft Orbital Solutions, which offers a turnkey solution for flying and operating satellite payloads; and NorthStar Earth and Space, which is building a satellite constellation to monitor space traffic.
This week, LeoStella announced the completion and delivery of its 20th satellite — which happens to be the third satellite it’s built for Loft Orbital.
Meanwhile, Tim Kienberger is getting settled in as LeoStella’s new CEO. He took over the company’s top post in January, after building up decades of experience at other aerospace and defense companies such as Boeing and L3Harris. “What they hired me to do was to grow the business,” Kienberger told me.
The sky just might literally be the limit when it comes to LeoStella’s future growth. During last week’s interview at LeoStella’s Tukwila HQ, Kienberger said the company could eventually take aim at missions beyond Earth orbit — to support missions to the moon, for example, or to help humanity get to Mars.