- Laurence Russell
Spaceflight Inc. announces Tiphaine Louradour as new CEO
Spaceflight Inc., a premier launch and in-space transportation services provider, announced today industry veteran and global business leader Tiphaine Louradour has joined the company as chief executive officer (CEO). She succeeds Curt Blake, a founding executive in the rideshare business who has served as Spaceflight CEO and president since 2013, establishing it as the leader in smallsat rideshare, navigating the development of a global portfolio of launch vehicles and services, including its ground-breaking Sherpa™ orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) program.
With 25 years as a global business leader, Louradour brings a wealth of strategic leadership, sales, and operational experience with past positions as president at International Launch Services, Inc. (ILS) and as ULA’s president, ULS global commercial sales. In addition, she has held senior leadership roles for multinational consulting firms, national firms and start-up companies in a variety of industries with geographically diverse environments.
“I could not be more excited to accept the position as CEO of this well-established company with its impressively talented team and long history of solving customers’ challenges in getting to, and around, space,” said Louradour. “My goal in leading this organization is to build on its ground-breaking achievements and expand the launch and on-orbit service offerings beyond LEO. I’m very much looking forward to working with the team, as well as its customers and partners, to continue to evolve Spaceflight and especially its Sherpa OTV program, into its next phase of growth.”
To date, Spaceflight has executed 55 missions on behalf of its customers, taking 463 payloads to space onboard a global portfolio of launch vehicle providers. In 2022 alone, Spaceflight completed nine missions on five different vehicles, including the successful debut launches of its OTV for hosted payloads, Sherpa-AC, and its chemical propulsion OTV, Sherpa-LTC. The company is underway preparing for missions on new launch vehicles, planning custom launches for both commercial and government customers, and working towards the debut of the next variation in its Sherpa OTV program – Sherpa-ES, a higher energy variant with a bipropellant, high delta-V that enables smallsat delivery anywhere in cislunar space.
“We are thrilled to introduce a leader of Tiphaine’s caliber into Spaceflight’s next phase of growth,” said Kensuke Kubota, Mitsui general manager and chairman of the Spaceflight board of directors. “She possesses the passion, industry expertise, strategic leadership skills, and collaborative relationship building prowess to create an even greater, more successful, Spaceflight organization going forward. Curt’s contributions over the past 12 years are immeasurable and we’re forever grateful to have had his leadership and entrepreneurial business acumen to build Spaceflight into a market leader.”
After supporting the transition for several weeks, Blake will consult for Mitsui & Co.’s space group as well as provide legal and strategic counsel to various companies in the industry. He added, “I take great pride in the world-class operation we’ve built, achieving so many industry firsts on behalf of our customers; it’s quite humbling to reflect on what our team has accomplished. From our historic SSO-A and GEO/cisLunar rideshare launches to executing numerous successful OTV missions, to conducting missions across an unprecedented network of launch vehicles, we’ve redefined launch to deliver ground-breaking solutions. I’ve long been impressed with Tiphaine and the timing is ideal to make a change – I couldn’t be more excited about the road ahead for Spaceflight.”