Orbex Welcomes New Chief Commercial Officer

12th Dec 2023
Orbex Welcomes New Chief Commercial Officer

UK-based launch provider, Orbex, has announced the appointment of their new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), John Bone. With over 20 years of experience, Orbex’s new CCO will be tasked with expanding the British company’s network as well as delivering their commercial strategy. Orbex said the appointment is a strategic step in their efforts to launch their Prime rocket from Sutherland Spaceport. The appointment comes after previous Orbex CEO, Chris Larmour, announced he was stepping down in April this year. 

“The addition of John to our team marks a significant milestone in Orbex’s journey. His extensive experience and networking credentials in the space industry are exactly what Orbex needs at this crucial stage. We are confident that John’s leadership will greatly contribute to our mission of becoming a leader in the small satellite launch sector,” Orbex CEO, Martin Coates, said. 

Who Is Orbex’s New CCO, John Bone? 

John Bone has worked in the space industry for over 20 years. For 18 years specifically, Bone has held director level positions at space organisations like e2E, RHEA Group and Telespazio UK. Orbex said he has been an instrumental part in growing the UK’s Northeastern space sector, after taking the helm as Chairman of the North East Space Leadership Group. At Orbex however, Bone will lead on their commercial strategy, through establishing key contacts and fostering new and existing partnerships. 

All of his experience will be incorporated into Orbex’s commercial strategy, as the company gears up for their first launch. That being, the inaugural blast-off of their Prime rocket from under construction Sutherland Spaceport. This will be a pivotal milestone for the company as they attempt to: “expand Orbex’s presence in the global space market”, after securing £40 million in c-round funding in October, 2022. 

Orbex Prime Rocket Gathers Momentum

Orbex Prime is the launch provider’s flagship rocket that is fully reusable and low carbon emitting. For the latter, the rocket uses a bio-propane fuel that reduces emitted pollutants by 90%. The 19-metre long rocket is also poised to offer small satellite transportation to sun-synchronous and polar orbits without leaving debris in outer-space. 

Since its 2022 unveiling, Prime has amassed “several commercial launch contracts with satellite manufacturers”, Orbex said. In addition to appointing Bone to scale Orbex Prime’s operation, the company also upgraded their production facilities in Denmark and Scotland. Ultimately, both moves are to ensure Orbex is able to seize their share of the UK – and global – space market. 

Orbex’s Prime rocket could achieve the UK’s first mainland vertical rocket launch – if all goes to plan. As such: “[John Bone’s] appointment marks a significant step for Orbex as the company gears up for the historic launch of Orbex Prime.” The British company also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with fellow launch provider, Ariane Space, to establish a joint partnership. With these various moves in play, Orbex is rapidly gathering momentum as Prime prepares for its pending maiden flight. 

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