Ben Kellie is founder and CEO of The Launch Company, an aerospace hardware and services company based in Anchorage, Alaska that helps both emerging and established New Space companies get to orbit faster, cheaper, and more reliably. Launch Co. has bootstrapped hardware to orbit, worked launches on all three coasts, and was recently acquired by Voyager Space Holdings.
Prior to starting Launch Co., he worked for SpaceX in Recovery where he led the field development and commission of "Just Read the Instructions" and "Of Course I Still Love You," the SpaceX Landing Barges for the east and west coasts. He served as "Deck Boss" during the first missions and was first on – and last off – the barge during landing operations.
Prior to that, Ben was a Responsible Engineer for SpaceX at Vandenberg AFB helping design, test, and operate their west coast launch site on SLC-4E. He was responsible for the development of multiple pad systems and rose to the rank of Lead Engineer. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing pad operations during the Flight 6 launch campaign and led the "Red Team.”
He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks cum laude with a BS in Mechanical Engineering where he was active in the Spacegrant program helping build and launch a suborbital rocket flight as well as conducting CubeSat research on the Vomit Comet. He also has a MS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on nano-fluidics, energy conversion, and graphene synthesis from the Ohio State University. He lives in Anchorage with his growing family and when not exploring the outdoors, likes to play music, write stories, and go on adventures with the four year old.