Slingshot Aerospace CEO Melanie Stricklan and Apple’s iPhone 14 Emergency Messaging Win 2022 Executive and Technology of the Year Awards
March 15, 2023
Melanie Stricklan, Slingshot Aerospace CEO, won the 2022 Satellite Executive of the Year award, and Apple’s iPhone 14 with emergency messaging via satellite as the winner of the 2022 Satellite Technology of the Year award, Via Satellite announced on Wednesday, March 15. In addition, Jacqueline Good, founder and CEO of Magnestar, won the annual Startup Space pitch competition.
Winners were chosen by a combination of public vote and the Via Satellite editorial board.
Stricklan leads Slingshot Aerospace, a space situational awareness (SSA) provider. She has led the company through a period of rapid expansion. Slingshot completed two acquisitions and two funding rounds in 2022, in addition to rolling out its SSA platform. Stricklan is a leading voice on space sustainability, and an advocate for diversity in the space industry.
“I am humbled to accept this award today on behalf of Slingshot, on behalf of all of the ‘Slingshooters,’ as we call them, who have made our capabilities possible and extended those capabilities around the world and operational sense. And all of those partners and collaborators and those using the technology today to deconflict their spaceflight operations on orbit,” Stricklan said in her acceptance speech. “We at Slingshot are here to chart a new course for humanity by building the technologies and the awareness capabilities to ensure space remains safe now, and a secure gateway of discovery and continues to be the core tenet of our global economy for generations to come.”
With the iPhone 14, Apple brought life-saving emergency text messaging to the world’s most popular handheld device, via satellite. To make this difficult satellite-to-cell connection possible, Apple designed and built custom components and specific software and algorithms so that iPhone 14 antennas can connect to the unique frequencies of satellites. The company is recognized for bringing a life-saving technology to the masses and raising the profile of what is possible with satellite technology.
“What's really rewarding is being able to be part of something that saves lives. We've connected people with the help they need, when they needed it most. From the couple in Los Angeles, whose car fell down in a canyon, to the man in Alaska stranded on a snow machine. I cannot thank enough the call center dispatchers and the first responders who have come to the rescue,” Mike Trela, Apple’s Senior Director of the Satellite Connectivity Group said, accepting the award. “It has been a privilege to be part of this journey that has such a profound impact on our users' lives. Thank you to Via Satellite and the space community for this recognition.”
Startup Space winner Magnestar, led by Good, is building a clearinghouse to ensure and maintain high connectivity for all satellite operators through contested and congested environments amid disruptive radio frequency (RF) noise. As the winner, Good will have access to private pitch meetings with a group of active space investors. VS