Mynaric CCO Tina Ghataore and Astroscale’s ELSA-d Mission Win Executive and Technology of the Year Awards
March 23, 2022
On Wednesday, Via Satellite announced Tina Ghataore, chief commercial officer for Mynaric, as the winner of the 2021 Satellite Executive of the Year award, and Astroscale's ELSA-d Mission the winner of the 2021 Satellite Technology of the Year award. In addition, Dr. Luisa Buinhas of Vyoma won the annual Startup Space pitch competition. Winners were chosen by a combination of public vote and the Via Satellite editorial board.
Tina Ghataore has had a critical role in deals that have built laser communications terminal company Mynaric into a commercial juggernaut. After opening a U.S. subsidiary, Mynaric signed a number of deals in 2021, including bringing SpaceLink, Cloud Constellation, Capella Space, and Northrop Grumman on as customers for its laser communication terminals. In December, Mynaric won a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to design a new optical communications terminal under the Space Based Adaptive Communications Node program.
"Thank you to the many who voted. 20-plus years in the satcom industry has paid off in a big way! You can't do this all by yourself. We have an amazing company and a fabulous team who make my job so much easier to bring optical communications to all of us. This is an incredible personal and professional honor for me," Ghataore said in her acceptance speech.
After its launch in March 2021, ELSA-d, operated by Japanese space startup Astroscale, became the world’s first active mission dedicated to demonstrating the core capabilities necessary for space debris docking and removal. In less than a year in space, the ELSA-d has already set operational benchmarks for future rendezvous and proximity missions and has successfully tested its ability to capture and release the client spacecraft.
"The fact that this was voted on by the community means so much, that we are all recognizing the importance of space sustainability. ELSA-d is taking those next steps toward satellite servicing, which is going to open up the aperture for the space economy. That's what is going to be necessary to take the space ecosystem forward," Chris Blackerby, COO of Astroscale, said during the awards luncheon.
Startup Space winner Vyoma, based in Germany, wants to revolutionize space object and satellite operations by fully automating the process. The company has developed a software suite that uses intelligent algorithms to process images, assess space traffic, and plan avoidance maneuvers. As the winner, Buinhas will have access to private pitch meetings with a group of active space investors. VS