Co-founder of Planet Labs announced as the first of four customers on Blue Origin’s second human flight.
Dr. Chris Boshuizen will soon become the third Australian to fly to space when he boards an upcoming Blue Origin New Shepard flight with three other passengers including Star Trek’s William Shatner.
Chris will join fewer than 20 non-professional astronauts who have been to space after he launches to space on New Shepard from Blue Origin’s launch site in west Texas. Travelling above the Kármán Line, the international boundary of space, fulfilling a lifelong dream for the space pioneer, who has worked for two decades to make space flight more accessible.
“I have always wanted to make space travel as easy as catching a bus, and so I am excited to be one of the first passengers,” says Boshuizen. “I hope spaceflight becomes cheap enough in the future that everyone can have a chance to look down on the Earth from space.”
We first met Chris when he was nominated and won Advance Global Australian of the year and Advance was a Taurus client. We are very proud to have watched his journey since and to help tell his story.
Chris’s initial attempt to find a path to space ended abruptly when he was rejected from pilot school at the Australian Defence Force Academy at age 17 when his admissions test showed that he was partly colour blind. Instead, Chris studied physics and mathematics at University of Sydney, completing a PhD and later organizing the Space Generation Congress, an annual gathering of the space youth of the world.
His stewardship of the Congress eventually led to the NASA Ames Research Center in California, where Chris worked on a number of programs, including a lunar lander and one of the earliest electric airplanes. His most influential project was the invention of the NASA Phonesat, an orbital satellite composed of an entire smartphone. The Phonesat demonstrated that low-cost, high value activities were within reach of regular citizens.
The success of Phonesat inspired Chris to co-found Planet Labs in 2010, in order to further reduce the costs and complexities of spacecraft. The company, where Chris was Chief Technology Officer for 5 years, has launched over 450 satellites, which would have cost over a billion dollars with conventional satellite technology. Today, Chris is a Partner at the venture capital firm DCVC, where he continues to follow his vocation by funding and growing startups that are democratizing space flight.
Follow Chris’s journey to space at https://drchrispy.com