CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Dr. Kam Ghaffarian is a visionary entrepreneur dedicated to creating companies that focus on operating with the highest integrity, promoting employee well-being, and delivering the best technical solutions to customers. Kam co-founded Axiom Space in 2016 to advance the commercial utilization of space eventually leading to the design, manufacture, launch and operation of a commercial space station. Kam started his entrepreneurial career in 1994 by founding Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT), a government services company focusing on Engineering, IT, Science Applications, and Mission Operations. SGT has become NASA’s second largest engineering services provider, employing over 2,400 people and generating annual revenues of approximates $500M. Prior to SGT, Kam held numerous technical and management positions at Lockheed Martin, Ford Aerospace, and Loral, among others. Dr. Ghaffarian holds a B.S. in Computer Science, a B.S. in Electronics Engineering, a M.Sc. in Information Management, and a Ph.D in Management Information Systems.
BRIAN (BK) KELLY
Mr. Kelly retired from NASA in February 2019 after a career of over 37 years. As Director, Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) he directed a diverse civil service, military, and contractor workforce of over 2400 employees and a total annual budget of $500m. He was responsible for selecting and assigning NASA astronauts and planning, training, and flying human spaceflight and aviation missions. He directed the Astronaut Office, Mission Control, Aircraft Operations and Aviation Safety at NASA JSC. Over his career he supported 110 shuttle missions, 58 International Space Station Expeditions, 40 shuttle launches, and 35 Soyuz Launches as well as return to flight efforts following the Challenger and Columbia accidents. He selected 12 new astronaut candidates from over 18,000 applicants and selected the first female Chief Flight Director and 11 new Flight Directors for Mission Control Operations. While Director of Flight Operations he was responsible for 35 EVAs (space walks), 15 International Space Station Expeditions, over 2.5 million mission control commands to the International Space Station, and the assignment of 33 astronauts to Expedition and Commercial Crew Flight Test missions. He directed over 13,000 flight hours composed of 18,000 sorties in 32 different aircraft. He personally has flown over 250 flight hours in T-38N super-sonic jet training aircraft and over 63,000 feet in WB-57 high altitude research aircraft.
GREGORY “RAY J” JOHNSON
Gregory “Ray J” Johnson serves as Senior Vice President of the New Shepard program at Blue Origin, a private space
company developing vehicles and technologies that dramatically improve access to space for people and payloads. As SVP, New Shepard, Ray J leverages his comprehensive experience in spaceflight and aircraft operations to produce a fleet of suborbital space vehicles and design and implement an astronaut experience that will be life-changing. Ray J began his career as a U.S. Navy carrier pilot flying the A-6E Intruder and later attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Following active duty, he joined NASA as a research pilot and later joined the astronaut corps as the class leader of the seventeenth group of astronauts. He was the pilot on the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and has accumulated 11,800+ flight hours, including 300+ hours in space as well as 500+ carrier landings.
Ray J has also held numerous management assignments at NASA including Deputy, Flight Operations Directorate; Chief and Deputy Chief, Aircraft Operations Division; Manager, Launch Integration for the Space Shuttle Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
He holds a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington.