Hans Koenigsmann, one of SpaceX’s earliest employees who just retired, has joined Mynaric’s board, a satellite laser communications firm. Koenigsmann will join Mynaric’s supervisory board, which is comparable to a board of directors, as of October 6. He will succeed Gerd Gruppe, a former part of German space agency DLR’s executive board, who is stepping down.
In 2002, soon after Elon Musk founded SpaceX, Koenigsmann was among the company’s initial workers. He spent much of his employment there in technical roles, including vice president in charge of the build and flight reliability. He left that position early this year and worked as an adviser for a few months before retiring. In a statement released by the firm, he stated, “I’ve seen how groups pushing the limits of what’s thought achievable look like and offered technical assurance throughout my career.” “At this critical juncture in history, Mynaric has already achieved huge breakthroughs and has what the capacity to develop laser communications at scale.”
Bulent Altan, the CEO of Mynaric, worked with Koenigsmann at SpaceX in the early days. In an interview, Altan remarked, “We have a relationship that dates back to 2004, and I’ve been bringing him up to date on what I’m doing in the investment sector and at Mynaric.” “I mentioned the possibility of joining Mynaric to him.” Because of his significant expertise at SpaceX, he regarded Koenigsmann as “a natural” for the board seat. “Having someone with Hans’ perspective on the space sector come in and double-check our work is beneficial.”
Mynaric’s laser communications devices, according to Altan, are seeing a surge in demand. He attributes this in part to Space Development Agency’s request for proposals for its 126-satellite Transport Layer Tranche 1 constellation, which includes laser crosslinks. “To the rest of the sector, that was a significant signal that lasercom is a company you can trust,” he said.
The expanding use of inter-satellite links on the satellite megaconstellations is another factor. Those efforts, he claims, are demonstrating to the rest of the business that laser communications are both cost-effective and technically feasible. In addition, the company has constructed a facility in Germany for mass manufacture of laser terminals, which will first create a few hundred devices each year before scaling up to thousands. In the near future, Mynaric will finish a laser communications terminal which will be mounted on a Telesat satellite for a DARPA Blackjack demonstration. “That will illustrate Mynaric’s space capability,” he said.