After milestone flight, Blue Origin SVP Stephen Bennett will join Kepler Communications as COO

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The Blue Origin team gathers in front of the New Shepard booster after the first crewed suborbital spaceflight of July. (Blue Origin photo)

Changing of the Guard Continues on Jeff Bezos blue original Space ventures coincide with the departure of Stephen Bennett, a senior vice president who led the team behind the company’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship.

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Bennett will be based in Toronto Kepler Communications’ On Sept. 20 the chief operating officer, Kepler, said in a News release.

Blue Origin’s vice president of communications, Linda Mills, told GeekWire in an email that Bennett’s deputy, Phil Joyce, “was promoted to and has led the New Shepard team with a seamless transition plan.”


Kepler is rolling ether, a connectivity service for space assets in low Earth orbit or LEO. The Ather system is due to undergo flight verification early next year.

“The opportunity to be involved in his journey with Kepler speaks volumes to me on many levels,” Bennett said in the news release. “The goal of delivering a LEO network that will provide real-time connectivity to other orbital missions is a bold one, but this team has demonstrated they are on track to achieve.”

Stephen Bennett
Stephen Bennett (photo via LinkedIn)
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Kepler Communications, which graduated from the TechStars Seattle startup incubator in 2016, has already put 15 satellites in orbit For a different type of network that is designed to facilitate data flow to smart devices on Earth. The company is working with Redmond, Wash.-based Kimeta to demonstrate high-speed connectivity in arctic conditions.

Before joining Blue Origin in 2020, Bennett Served in executive positions in various aerospace companies, including L3Harris, BAE Systems and Raytheon. Joyce. For his part, he has gained extensive aerospace experience at Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Orbital Sciences Corp.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard program marked a milestone in July with its first crewed suborbital spaceflight, which sent Bezos and three crewmembers back and forth beyond the 100-kilometer space limit. Later, Bezos said that Blue Origin had piled up about $100 million in private sales for future New Shepard flights.

Changes in the operation of the New Shepard program, and the allure of new challenges elsewhere, are not the only factors behind this. Blue Origin’s string of recent departures. Other infections have been linked to production delays, including Blue Origin’s failure to win a multibillion-dollar lunar lander contract from NASA. The company’s BE-4 rocket engine and the Orbital-class New Glenn rocket.

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