Kam Ghaffarian’s fascination with space began when he watched the Apollo 11 moon landing on his neighbor’s black-and-white television in his native Iran. After coming to the United States at age 18 to attend college, he began working for Lockheed Martin doing contract work for NASA before launching his own space company, Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), in 1994. SGT, which was acquired by KBR, Inc. in 2018, became NASA’s second-largest engineering services contractor and generated over half a billion dollars in annual revenues.
Today, Ghaffarian and his team continue to be at the forefront of the space industry. In partnership with SpaceX and NASA, his company Axiom Space, which he co-founded in 2016, operates missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for space agencies, companies, and individuals. Axiom Space is currently building Axiom Station, the successor to the ISS, and will function as its future owner and operator. Axiom Space’s first private astronaut crew to visit the ISS launched on April 8, 2022, for a 17-day mission, and the second mission took place in late Spring 2023. In addition, the first Axiom Station module is on schedule to launch and attach to the ISS in late 2025.
Ghaffarian, who is driven by his commitment to enhance human civilization and knowledge, envisions that his various endeavors will complement each other and transform the space and energy sectors. In addition to co-founding Axiom Space, Ghaffarian’s other companies include Intuitive Machines, a leader in delivering science technology to NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, X-energy, which is developing nuclear power solutions for both terrestrial energy and space propulsion use, and IBX, an innovation and investment firm.
In this session, Ghaffarian talks about his journey as an energy and space entrepreneur, the impact of forthcoming space and energy-related innovations, and his perspective on the future of the space and energy sectors – including his thoughts on related investment opportunities.
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