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December 4, 2023: James Cantrell

December 4, 2023
4:00 p.m.
Room: 2150 Torgersen Hall
James Cantrell, Phantom Aerospace
Faculty Host:  Dr. Pat Artis

"The New Space Race: How Coporate Refugees and Billionaires Changed the Future of the High Frontier"

Abstract:  This seminar traces the origins of a second Space Race that began at the end of the original 1960's US-Soviet space race and eventually led to SpaceX and the explosive growth in commercial space being seen today. The story covers how this revolution began with a band of misfit engineers and scientists and the inside story of how this was eventually ignited with the money and vision of billionaires such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. With the current space economy approaching one trillion dollars per year, this amazing story shows how serendipity, historical change, discontented individuals, entrepreneurial vision and immense wealth combined to change the world as we know it.

Bio:  Jim Cantrell is an American entrepreneur, race car driver, engineer, and author with over 35 years in the space and automotive industries.  He has co-founded six companies, is currently the CEO and co-founder of Phantom Space, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Wolverine Capital. He has held positions with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the French Space Agency (CNES), and SpaceX as the first Vice President of Business Development on its founding team, on numerous space startup boards, and twenty-one NASA source selection boards for Earth Science and Deep Space missions.  He has worked on forty-six satellites and four launch vehicles for government and commercial applications. Jim is the author of several books on space history and entrepreneurial endeavors and numerous technical papers that have advanced innovation in his field. A mechanical engineer, he holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Utah State University. Mr. Cantrell is also an avid road racer and the Founder of Vintage Exotics Competition Engineering.