Kirby Ikin

Kirby Ikin is the Managing Director of Asia Pacific Aerospace Consultants (APAC), located in Sydney, Australia. APAC offers broad consulting services to the civil and commercial space industry, the evaluation of space based capabilities to meet Australian needs, market analysis, industry analysis, risk management and insurance advice. Recent projects conducted include annual surveys and analysis of current Australian Space Activities and capabilities for the Australian Government; a study of space technology and capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region for the European Space Agency; evaluation of satellite services for maritime monitoring and remote asset monitoring; support for the development of a satellite broadband service for Australia; satellite launch market analysis for a Japanese corporation; a feasibility study for an Australian spaceport; and valuation of an in-orbit communications satellite.

Prior to his role with APAC Kirby worked directly in the space insurance, risk management, and commercial space fields and he has worked in the space industry for the past 28 years. For ten years he worked as a space insurance underwriter at GIO in Australia and in 1998 was appointed Managing Director of the newly created GIO Space. GIO Space was one of the largest space insurance underwriters in the world with annual premium income of over A$175m (approximately US$110m at the time).

After GIO Kirby then worked as the Director of Commercial Operations at the Asia-Pacific Space Centre (APSC). At APSC he was responsible for all aspects of its planned commercial operations with a special emphasis on risk management for the venture, which aimed to introduce the Russian Aurora launch vehicle to the commercial launch market. He was directly responsible for managing the insurance requirements for both APSC and its launch customers. He also had responsibility for the preparation of the Information Memorandum to support a planned raising of $300m in funding.

Kirby has a long and varied involvement within the Australian Space Industry and has held executive positions with various space interest groups. Currently he is the Chairman of the Board of the U.S. based, worldwide National Space Society (NSS), having succeeded Apollo XI astronaut Buzz Aldrin in this position.

Kirby's professional career has seen him working in the areas of corporate advisory services, insurance and risk management, and commercial launch services. As an accounting professional in the late 1980’s he instigated the formation of Ernst & Young's Space Industry Services Group in Australia.  His work in this area included evaluation of opportunities to commercialise space research and provision of strategic advice to large United States aerospace corporations.

He served as a member of the Australian Government’s ‘International Space Advisory Group’, which advised the Prime Minister’s office on space policy and industry development through 2004. In early 2014 he was appointed as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research at the University of NSW. He also previously served on the Board of Directors for Deep Space Industries (USA) having been one of the Co-Founders of this pioneering company, as well as the Board of Directors of Orbital Recovery Corporation (United Kingdom) and the Board of Directors of Vanguard Space Corporation  (USA) with Apollo 15 commander Dr Dave Scott.

Through the National Space Society of Australia, Kirby instigated the establishment of the 'Australian Space Industry Chamber of Commerce' (ASICC), which meets regularly to discuss business, legal and commercial space related issues.  He served as its Founding Chairman from its foundation in 1992 until February 2009. [ASICC recently changed its name to the Space Industry Association of Australia – SIAA]

In his capacity with the National Space Society, Kirby was Chairman of the 1st to 12th Australian Space Development Conferences and will Chair the 13th ASDC in July 2018.

In 2000 Kirby was selected as a member of the World Technology Network and acts as a judge for the Space category of the World Technology Awards.


In 1990 he was appointed to the NSW State Government Task Force on Aerospace, Space, and Defence Industry Development.


Kirby’s professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Laws degree and Bachelor of Commerce degree (in Accounting and Financial Management) from the University of New South Wales.

In 1999 he was the recipient of the National Space Society of Australia’s highest award, the Australian Space Pioneer Award.

Broadcast 2891 Jay Wittner, Kirby Ikin, Dale Skran

Guests:  Jay Wittner, Kirby Ikin, Dale Skran;  Topics:  The 30th anniversary of the National Space Society and related topics/issues.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program.

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