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Guest: Ben Kelli; Topics: The Launch Company service industry company for launches and more. Launch Company manufacturing, Alaskan space industry and more.
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We welcomed Ben Kellie, CEO of The Launch Company to the program to discuss his company, space in Alaska, the launch services industry, lunar plans and more. Also discussed in some detail was their recent acquisition by Voyager Space Holdings and what that might mean for company. Starting off, Ben told us some about his background, plus I asked lots of questions about the space industry in Alaska. For example, we talked about the supply chain in Alaska, the availability of a skilled labor pool in the state, plus our guest talked about commercial launches at the Pacific Spaceport Complex which used to be called the Kodiak Spaceport Complex. Moving forward, our guest talked specifics about The Launch Company.
The Launch Company ( www.launch-company.com) with headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska is a launch services company. According to the introductory statement on their website, "The Launch Company is helping the next generation of launchers get to space faster, cheaper, and more reliably than ever before by developing standardized hardware, ground support equipment, and processes – in short everything you need to launch something to the edge of space and beyond. We are working on the third wave of space, the technologies that will make launching a rocket as routine as flying coast-to-coast." Much of our discussion was spent on how they planned on fulfilling this mission statement. In addition, we talked about their space manufacturing in Alaska for parts and hardware and their effort standardize these items.
An early subtopic in our discussion focused in on their building a mobile launch site capable of serving different users. Later in the discussion, the company mobile launch site plans sparked a call from Kim in Mexico. During her conversation she talked about expanding spaceports, even mobile launch sites. She even suggested different locations, possibly even a facility in Baja, CA (Mexico).
One of the more detailed parts of our discussion had to do with The Launch Company manufacturing, what they were making and their drive to have parts standardized to help drive down costs. Ben talked at length about the products that they were making, focusing on and why. In addition, later in the discussion we had quite the talk about R&D, inventory, and standardization. I urge you to listen to all of what our guest had to say about these matters plus their plans. Do post your thoughts about these plans on our blog.
Additional questions asked our guest included our wanting to know the benefits for The Launch Company by becoming part of Voyager Space Holdings. Don't miss what or guest said in response to this question as his reply was most interesting. Another question was based on one of the statements made on their website. Based upon a Space News article on their site about the Voyager acquisition, Ben was quoted as saying “We can help customers get to space faster and more affordably by streamlining the launch process in part through automation." I asked Ben to provide the specifics of just how they help customers get to space faster and more affordably plus I asked for examples illustrating by just how much they helped their customers in these areas. Once again, be sure to listen to all of what Ben said. While some of what Ben talked about in responding to my question was proprietary (understandably), he did answer the question with solid information. Don't miss his response.
Moving toward the end of our discussion, Ben was asked what he saw ahead for the company over five years and ten years. Then our guest was asked about the near term or the immediate future giving rising interest rates, inflation, economic uncertainty, tax law changes that may impact investors and more. Ben provided an interesting answer telling us how they create various scenarios for the near term and strategies to deal with whatever happens, including scenarios around challenges and problems like those I rattled off. You don't want to miss Ben's reply. I wonder how many other companies develop "what if" plans the way Ben said The Launch Company was doing.
Ben offered us a good summary of our program. I suggest you sign up for their news updates and stay up on what this innovating company is doing.
Please post your comments/questions for Ben on the blog for this show. Our guest can be reached through his website or me.