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“Chuck Beames”
Charles Beames Joins SpiderOak as Chairman
Chuck Beames (Credit: SpiderOak)

Beames brings more than 30 years in aerospace and investment management to growing space cybersecurity company

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2022 (SpiderOak PR) — SpiderOak, a company specializing in Zero-Trust cybersecurity software for commercial and military operations, is pleased to announce that Charles Beames has been elected Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.

Beames is an accomplished executive and thought leader with over three decades of success in the aerospace industry. This role will lend his expertise to addressing cyber threats to the new space economy with novel and innovative products and services.

Before joining SpiderOak, Beames held several corporate leadership positions including President of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace. At Vulcan Aerospace, Charles managed asset allocation of a $1+ billion aerospace and technology investment portfolio, including Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane.


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  • March 8, 2022
HySpecIQ Selects York Space Systems to Provide Spacecraft Bus and be the Satellite Integrator

HERNDON, Va. (HySpecIQ PR) –– HySpecIQ, a company that is positioned to become the world’s leading provider of hyperspectral imagery––recently confirmed York Space Systems as it’s choice partner to manufacture its spacecraft bus and integrate the payloads with it.

William Schuster, Co-Founder of HySpecIQ weighed in: “York’s approach of having a standardized bus offers a best value solution that benefits cost, schedule and reliability. The simple fact that this bus meets all HySpecIQ’s needs with little/no adaptation demonstrates how well they understand the missions it supports and what it takes to do it. York’s long record of success ultimately guided our decision in selecting them as the right partner to meet our needs.”


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  • November 22, 2021
York Space Systems Announces Successful Test of Autonomous Operations Upgrade

DENVER, April 6, 2021 (York Space Systems PR) — York Space Systems’ rapidly deployable satellite system has successfully completed a rigorous twelve-month operational testing phase, demonstrating enterprise-wide autonomous operations for York customers. This next-generation technology upgrade design is backward compatible with York’s existing customers and enables all future customers to enjoy even lower monthly operating costs and an unsurpassed speed-to-space, from years to days.

York’s first production spacecraft and mission operations center just surpassed two years on orbit and served as the operational platform to complete testing. It performed exceptionally well on orbit, leveraging four distinct technology demonstration payloads, including Earth observation technologies and a high-data-rate communications link. While the platform has a five-year design life, mission data indicates an expected lifespan of seven to eight years.


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  • April 7, 2021
Original Firefly Shareholders Sue Firefly’s Markusic, Polyakov Alleging Fraud
Tom Markusic

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A group of original shareholders in the defunct Firefly Space Systems have accused co-founder and CEO Tom Markusic of fraudulently conspiring with Ukrainian billionaire Maxym Polyakov to force the rocket company into bankruptcy in 2017 and reconstitute it under a nearly identical name without giving them any stake in the new venture.

Markusic “betrayed the trust of his original co-founders and investors and committed fraud to cut them out of his aerospace company. Instead of managing the operations of the Original Firefly, a revolutionary rocket company with endless potential, Markusic schemed with…Maxym Polyakov…to rob Plaintiffs of their investments and form a new company called Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (the ‘New Firefly’),” the plaintiffs said in a lawsuit.


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  • December 17, 2019
Chuck Beams Joins York Space Systems

DENVER, March 6, 2017 (York Space Systems PR) — York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in complete space segment customer solutions and the manufacture of standardized spacecraft platforms, today announced that Charles Beames has been elected to the York Space Systems Board of Directors as Executive Chairman and also joins the team as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). A seasoned industry veteran, Beames joins the team from Vulcan Aerospace, where he led the development of its Stratolaunch satellite launch system and oversaw Vulcan’s space investment portfolio as President.


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  • March 6, 2017
Firefly Planned to Air Launch Small Satellite Booster

firefly_space_systems_logoAn alert reader who goes by the pseudonym “redyns” has pointed out something very interesting about Firefly Space Systems, the company that on Thursday is reported to have laid off its entire staff due to financial difficulties.

In April, Firefly and NASA modified a contract under the Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) program from land launch to air launch, according to the website. The company’s Firefly α small satellite booster was originally designed to launch vertically from the ground.

The website shows that Firefly was awarded a VCLS contract worth $4.4 million on Sept. 30, 2015. A second contract modification has been made to “deobligate” $2.5 million in funding from the contract. That modification was made on Sept. 27, two days before the layoffs.


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  • October 2, 2016
Beames Leaves Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace

Chuck Beames is out as president of Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace and executive director of Stratolaunch Systems. Alan Boyle reports that Beames is being replaced by Jean Floyd, who is CEO of Stratolaunch Systems. Floyd will serve as interim executive director of Vulcan Aerospace. Beames has left the company. “Now that we’re closer to realizing our vision for convenient and affordable access to low Earth orbit (LEO) and moving into […]

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  • September 23, 2016
Stratolaunch: How Very Soon is Now?

It’s been a while since we last checked in with Mojave’s largest — and most media shy — space project, Stratolaunch (whose carrier aircraft has been dubbed Carbon Goose, Composite Goose and — for no discernible reason — Birdzilla). Some of you may recall there was a burst of publicity about the project back in June. A group of journalists were allowed into the project’s giant hangar to view the […]

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  • September 18, 2016
XS-1 Moves Forward, Stratolaunch Booster Remains Mystery

A couple of program updates that I wrote for in recent weeks: US Military’s Satellite-Launching XS-1 Space Plane Could Fly in 2019 DARPA has received authorization to spend $146 million on the next phases of the program, which is enough to select one of the three companies and move forward. It’s not enough to finish the program, so the selected company will need to come up with funds of […]

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  • May 4, 2016