UK-based orbital launch services company, Orbex, has announced the appointment of John Bone as its new Chief Commercial Officer. This key appointment comes as Orbex advances its preparations for the launch of Orbex Prime, expected to be the UK mainland’s first vertical rocket launch.
John Bone brings a wealth of experience to Orbex, with over 20 years in the Space Industry, including 18 years in Director or C-level positions. His comprehensive knowledge of the industry and high-level contacts across Europe and the UK make him an invaluable addition to the Orbex team. John has been instrumental in the growth of various organisations in the sector, and has played a pivotal role in supporting the North East Space Industry’s growth since 2014 as the chair of the North East Space Leadership Group.
In his new role as Chief Commercial Officer, John will be responsible for driving the commercial strategy of Orbex, leveraging his extensive experience and network to establish and nurture key partnerships and expand Orbex’s presence in the global space market. His appointment marks a significant step for Orbex as the company gears up for the historic launch of Orbex Prime from its “home” spaceport in Sutherland, intended to be the first spaceport globally to be carbon-neutral in both its construction and operation.
Orbex Prime is a 19-metre-long re-usable rocket designed to launch small satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits. Built with sustainability in mind, it uses, bio-propane, a renewable form of biofuel and is designed to leave zero debris in orbit. Prime became the first full orbital micro-launcher rocket to be unveiled in Europe in May 2022, and the company has already secured several commercial launch contracts with satellite manufacturers.
“The addition of John to our team marks a significant milestone in Orbex’s journey,” said Martin Coates, CEO at Orbex. “His extensive experience and networking credentials in the space industry are exactly what Orbex needs at this crucial stage. We are confident that John’s leadership will greatly contribute to our mission of becoming a leader in the small satellite launch sector.”
John Bone commented on his appointment, “Joining Orbex at this exciting time is a great honour. The progress Orbex has made in developing a sustainable and innovative launch solution is truly impressive. I’m looking forward to contributing to the company’s success and to the broader growth of the UK’s space industry.”
Orbex is a UK-based spaceflight company with headquarters, production and testing facilities in Scotland, and design and testing facilities in Denmark. Orbex staff members have professional backgrounds with NASA, ESA and several commercial spaceflight organisations. The company is funded by the Scottish National Investment bank, two of the UK’s largest venture capital funds, BGF and Octopus Ventures, two of Europe’s largest venture capital funds, Heartcore Capital and the High-Tech Gründerfonds, as well as strategic investors Elecnor, parent company of Deimos Space, and Jacobs, the largest services supplier to NASA. The company has won more than a dozen R&D contracts from a wide variety of bodies, including the UK Space Agency (UKSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme.
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