Slingshot Aerospace Announces Board of Advisors

Experts from NASA, U.S. Air Force, JPL, Tesla and more serve as Slingshot Aerospace’s Advisors

AUSTIN, Texas & EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--()--Slingshot Aerospace, Inc., a leader in situational awareness technology, announced today its Board of Advisors including Chuck Beames, Karen Diener, Susan Helms, Moriba Jah, Keith Masback, Chris Mattmann, and Marissa Peretz. The Board of Advisors provides the Slingshot Aerospace leadership team with counsel, advice, and support for all areas of the business.

“Our advisory board members are industry experts whose knowledge and experience are invaluable assets to our company as we continue to expand operations,” said Melanie Stricklan, Co-founder and CEO, Slingshot Aerospace. “We are thrilled to welcome these individuals to the Slingshot Aerospace team as we work towards creating a safer, more sustainable world through our innovative technologies.”

Chuck Beames, Executive Chairman, York Space Systems; Founder & Chairman, SmallSat Alliance

Beames brings more than 30 years of experience across the space and military industries, including technology development, operations, and private/venture capital investment. He is currently the Executive Chairman of York Space Systems, a leader in commercial small satellite design, manufacturing and operations. He is also Founder and Chairman of the SmallSat Alliance, the preeminent industry group representing 50 next generation space companies to the U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. Previously, he served as President for Vulcan Aerospace where he managed asset allocation of a $1 billion aerospace and technology investment portfolio, and directed all aspects of the Stratolaunch project, the world’s largest aircraft and air launch system.

Karen Diener, CEO, KD Geospatial Solutions

Diener is a senior advisor with over 30 years of intelligence, defense and commercial industry experience focused on imagery and geospatial intelligence, ground stations, and commercial product integration. Today, she leads KD Geospatial Solutions as the founder and CEO where she focuses on strategic business development for clients in the commercial and intelligence industries. Previously, she was the Vice President of Business Development for DigitalGlobe in the US Defense and Intelligence Business Unit that is responsible for ~$300M in annual revenues.

Susan Helms, Former NASA Astronaut

Helms is a retired United States Air Force lieutenant general and NASA astronaut. During her time at NASA, she was a crew member on five Space Shuttle missions and was a resident of the International Space Station (ISS) for over five months in 2001. While participating as a crew member of Expedition 2, she executed an eight hour and 56 minute spacewalk, a world record. She also served in the U.S. Air Force until her retirement with the rank of Lt. General. Today, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Aerospace Corporation, and on the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.

A decorated astronaut and military veteran, some of Helms’ special honors include Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, and winner of the RL Jones Award for Outstanding Flight Engineer; 2008 Thomas D White Award for Outstanding Contributions to Space; 2011 Inductee into the Astronaut Hall of Fame; 2012 Russian Medal of Merit for Space Exploration; 2014 Winner of the General James V Hartinger Award; Air Force Commendation Medal; NASA Distinguished Service Medal; NASA Space Flight Medals; and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.

Moriba Jah, Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics, University of Texas

Jah is an American space scientist and aerospace engineer known for his contributions to orbit determination and prediction, especially as it relates to space situational awareness and space traffic monitoring. Today, Jah is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin where he is the holder of the Mrs. Pearlie Dashiell Henderson Centennial Fellowship in Engineering. He’s the Director for Computational Astronautical Sciences and Technologies (CAST), a group within the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences as well as the Lead for the Space Security and Safety Program at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.

Jah came to UT Austin by way of the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to that, where he was a Spacecraft Navigator on a handful of Mars missions. He is a Fellow of multiple organizations including TED, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Astronautical Society (AAS), International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). He has served on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee On Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), is an elected Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and has testified to congress on his work as related to space situational awareness and space traffic management.

Keith Masback, Principal Consultant, Plum Run, LLC

Masback is internationally recognized authority on geospatial intelligence with over 30 years of experience. Today, he provides strategic advice and counsel to a diverse portfolio of leading-edge startups, focused on product-market fit, go-to-market planning and execution, mentoring, and executive coaching. He was recently appointed to the Mapping Sciences Committee of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Previously, he served as an Army officer, a government senior executive, a member of the Intelligence Task Force of the Defense Science Board, a member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, and as the Chairman of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee.

Chris Mattmann, Information Technology CTO & Division Manager, AI, Analytics & Innovative Development Organization, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mattmann serves as the Information Technology Chief Technology Officer for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). With 20 years of experience at JPL, he has conceived, realized, and delivered the architecture for the next generation of reusable science data processing systems for NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory; National Polar-orbiting Partnership Sounder Evaluation and Test Element; and the Soil Moisture Active Passive Earth science missions. In addition, Mattmann is the Director of the Information Retrieval and Data Science group at University of Southern California as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor. Mattmann’s work has materially contributed to understanding of the Deep Web and Dark Web through the DARPA MEMEX project. His efforts helped uncover the Panama Papers scandal which won the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 2017.

Marissa Peretz, Co-Founder, Silicon Beach Talent

Peretz is founder of Silicon Beach Talent, a recruiting, consulting, and advisory board firm focused on venture backed companies in Los Angeles. Her work is focused on frontier technology within the mobility, consumer electronics, defense, e-commerce and social conscious spaces. Today, she is a board of advisor to many cutting edge companies in Los Angeles, is an angel investor and is a key business strategist for high growth startups. Previously, Peretz was a recruiting leader at Tesla where she helped scale operations from a couple hundred employees to over 15,000.

Slingshot Aerospace has earned millions of dollars in revenue from early customer contracts in less than three years. The innovation of Slingshot Aerospace has helped the company cultivate a strong foundation of customers over the last three years including NASA, United States Air Force, BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and more. The company aims to build a safer and more sustainable world by providing government and commercial customers with the right information, at the right time, all in one place.

About Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. is empowering organizations with its decision intelligence technologies for space. The company enables teams to quickly navigate, analyze, and leverage data from different sources—such as satellites, ground-based sensors, and more—and applies advanced analytics and machine learning to provide clarity in complex environments. Launched in 2017 and based in Austin, TX, and Los Angeles, CA, Slingshot Aerospace seeks to help government and commercial customers to build a safer and more sustainable world. Visit and follow Slingshot Aerospace on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Slingshot Aerospace media kit, including photos, can be found HERE.


Stacy Morris
(310) 415-9188,

Release Summary

Experts from NASA, U.S. Air Force, JPL, Tesla and more serve on Slingshot Aerospace’s Board of Advisors.


Stacy Morris
(310) 415-9188,