Firefly Space Systems Hires New CTO

firefly_space_systems_logoAUSTIN, Texas, October 14, 2014 (Firefly PR) — Firefly Space Systems, Inc., a ground-based, small satellite launch company, announces the hiring of spacecraft design veteran Shey Sabripour as its Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Sabripour brings over two decades of experience as Director of Spacecraft Design at Lockheed Martin and will be taking responsibility of the company’s launch vehicles as well as avionics design and development.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shey on board,” said Firefly Co-founder & COO PJ King. “Attracting the world’s top engineering talent is absolutely critical for technology companies and Shey is precisely that. He brings a wealth of satellite design experience and will be invaluable in ensuring we provide our satellite customers with unparalleled launch service.”

Formerly the Director of Spacecraft Design at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Mr. Sabripour led a team of 370 engineers and scientists in design, development, production and launch of over 38 earth orbiting communication satellites and several interplanetary spacecraft. During his 24 years at Lockheed Martin, Mr. Sabripour was the recipient of fourteen technical and program leadership awards including the Person-of-the-Year in 2005.

Mr. Sabripour earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from North Dakota State University and has earned continuing education in both electrical and electronics engineering. Additional studies include executive business management at institutions such as New Jersey Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Clara University, University of Maryland and Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership excellence. In 2000 Mr. Sabripour co-authored and published the “Spacecraft Power Technologies” textbook, and was recently commissioned to author the “Fundamentals of Communications Satellites” textbook for World Scientific Press. Mr. Sabripour has received one US patent and has 3 pending US patents.

Firefly has aggressively moved to recruit the very best engineering talent for the development of its vehicles. In his new role at Firefly, Mr. Sabripour will not only lead the avionics team but also play a key role in Firefly’s future innovative technologies, including the development of satellite constellation architectures.

Tom Markusic, Firefly CEO added, “In the early phases of designing a launch vehicle, it is tempting to simply treat the payload as a lumped mass. At Firefly we will use a top-down systems engineering approach, where the most important satellite requirements flow down to the vehicle subsystem designs, from the outset of the development program. Firefly’s appointment of Shey Sabripour as our new CTO, with his extensive and impressive experience in developing satellites, reinforces our commitment to design a vehicle driven by customer needs.

Simplified and optimized for least cost, and utilizing innovations such as a rethought engine design, Firefly has positioned itself to be the technological and cost effective solution for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies and earth observation customers. In addition, Firefly has set its sights on New-Space constellation customers, aiming to disrupt the data flow from traditional players.


Firefly is a ground-based small satellite launch company with locations in Austin, TX and Hawthorne, CA. Our team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at various New Space companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.