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 is planned for 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 will talk 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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About Kam Ghaffarian
Dr. Kam Ghaffarian is a visionary entrepreneur whose mission is to advance the state of humanity and human knowledge has led him to create companies transforming the space and energy sectors. He believes the ultimate journey for humankind is to go to the stars.
He has co-founded and serves as Executive Chairman of several companies driven to push the limits of humanity’s capability and knowledge. In 2009, focused on finding a carbon-free solution to our world’s energy problems, he created X-energy, revolutionizing advanced nuclear energy to provide clean, safe, secure, and affordable power. In 2013 he co-founded Intuitive Machines, the premier provider of space services and technologies, which is sending the first commercial spacecraft to the surface of the Moon in 2023. Axiom Space was co-founded in 2016 to advance the commercial utilization of space and to build the first-ever private commercial space station. Axiom’s first module is in production and will launch and connect to the International Space Station in 2025. In 2021 he co-founded Quantum Space, which is building the Space Superhighway to the Moon and beyond.
Kam co-founded his first business, Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), in 1994, growing it to become the second-largest engineering service provider to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with annual revenues of over half a billion dollars.
Before SGT, Kam held numerous technical and management positions at Lockheed Martin, Ford Aerospace, and Loral. He has several degrees, including undergraduate degrees in computer science and electronics engineering, an M.Sc. in information management, and a Ph.D. in Technology. Kam is an active philanthropist focusing on education, STEM initiatives, scientific research, and the pursuit of interstellar travel.
Today, Kam, is leveraging his 35+ years of experience in innovation and building world-class teams to build groundbreaking deep-tech companies that are expanding the commercial space economy and creating clean energy solutions. He is at the forefront of several next-generation technologies positively impacting the world.
Kam manages his portfolio companies and new ventures through his innovation and investment firm, IBX (Imagine, Believe, Execute).