John Gedmark is CEO and Co-Founder of Astranis. Astranis is building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites to connect the four billion people who currently do not have access to the internet.
Each Astranis spacecraft operates from geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of only 350 kg, utilizing a proprietary software-defined radio payload. This unique digital payload technology allows frequency and coverage flexibility, as well as maximum use of valuable spectrum. By owning and operating its satellites and offering them to customers as a turnkey solution, Astranis is able to provide bandwidth-as-a-service and unlock previously unreachable markets. This allows Astranis to launch small, dedicated satellites for small and medium-sized countries, Fortune 500 companies, existing satellite operators, and other customers. Astranis launched a first test satellite into orbit in 2018 and is now underway with its first commercial program—a satellite to provide broadband internet for Alaska that will more than triple the available bandwidth across the state. The satellite is undergoing assembly, integration, and test and is set for a launch later this year.
Before Astranis, John co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the industry association for commercial space companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic. As Executive Director, John reported to a CEO-level board of directors and led the commercial space industry's efforts to privatize flights of NASA's astronauts to low Earth orbit — in February 2010 President Obama announced the historic decision to use commercial space transportation, a landmark change worth more than $10 billion to the commercial space industry. Prior to that, John served as the Director of Rocket Flight Operations for the X Prize Foundation, responsible for operations of rocket launches in front of a crowd of 20,000 people, including the first-ever public flight of a Vertical Take-off Vertical Landing (VTVL) rocket. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and a Master of Science degree from Stanford University, both in Aerospace Engineering, with a focus on rocket propulsion.