By: Ghonhee Lee, Chief Executive – Katalyst Space Technologies LLC.
After years of working together designing rockets, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott grads Nicholas Liapis and Ghonhee Lee came together with a dream: accelerate humanity’s destiny beyond this planet. That dream, fueled by absolute passion for the limitless possibilities in space, coalesced into a Satellite Technology R&D company called Katalyst Space. Joined by Kaleb Beebout, a close friend from college, the team has taken on the biggest challenge of innovating the future of satellite operations.
Space is Due for a Refresh
Relics of the Cold War from the last millennium still complete orbit after orbit, some bearing flags of nations that no longer fly. The world is changing. Space must catch up. We’ve done the same thing in satellites for the last 25 years, but there’s a new future on the horizon. We wanted to apply some common sense to how satellite operations should work. Our team is developing the technology to make it happen. A lot of exciting work lies ahead. Katalyst is paving the way for a much more wondrous and technological tomorrow.
An Endeavor Born in Prescott
The idea, the discussions, and the development all started in Prescott. But after school, we all scattered across the country, to the Boeing’s, Raytheon’s, and NASA’s of our industry. There just wasn’t an obvious option here, in Prescott. The jobs were elsewhere and we were watching the world unfold from the sidelines. Drawn back to the natural beauty, small-town charm, and rich intellectual powerhouse at the University, our founders have returned to the area. The Katalyst team is growing. With the help of the Career Services office at ERAU Prescott, we’ve welcomed five talented engineering interns to our R&D team from Embry-Riddle and ASU. While some internships got cancelled due to COVID-19 this summer, we are happy to offer this opportunity for these bright young people.
We at Katalyst like to dream big but we also have to be grounded in reality. It’s today’s market that will support the transition to tomorrow’s economy. We are working with government stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels along with private investors to develop dual-use technologies that further our nation’s strategic capabilities while enhancing the economic prosperity of our communities. Our products give our customers the flexibility they need to unlock new business models and bring space into the 21st century.