Management Team

M. Brian Barnett, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

M. Brian Barnett is a senior executive, entrepreneur, management consultant, project manager, and scientist, with nearly 30 years of experience in the commercial and civil space industries, and the mobile satellite services industry.  As an entrepreneur, Barnett founded and grew a space satellite communications and solar energy company into two of the fastest growing high tech companies in New Mexico.  At Satwest, he was the Principal Investigator for the mission that sent the first text message to space using entirely commercial infrastructure (#TextsToSpace). At Solstar Energy Devices, he developed a line of portable solar chargers that have become the leading international brand for charging satellite phones and other satellite communications devices.

As a scientist and project manager at NASA, Barnett successfully managed the development teams of multiple scientific experiments that flew on the Space Shuttle, Spacelab, and the International Space Station.  He was responsible for the success of two experiments that flew on the Space Shuttle STS-26, which was the first Space Shuttle mission after the Challenger disaster.  He was an aerospace technologist at Marshall Space Flight Center’s payload project office, and trained as an Astronaut Crew Interface Coordinator at Marshall’s Mission Operations Laboratory, and at Johnson Space Center’s Mission Operations Directorate.  As a manager at KPMG Consulting’s Space & High Technology Group, Barnett founded and managed a million-dollar commercial space consulting practice for one of the largest consultancies in the world.  His clients while at KPMG included NASA, Boeing, Matra Espace, and the State of New Mexico, where he led original business planning project team for Spaceport America.

He has conducted commercialization assessments for dozens of advanced technologies developed at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has advised and consulted for over ten high tech startups, two of which have been acquired.  He is skilled in the areas of high-tech start-up formation and executive management, payload development and integration, product development and testing, strategy, project management, market research, and business development and sales.

Mr. Barnett earned a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma, an M.A.S in business and project management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville where his thesis topic was, “A Commercial Assessment of Protein Crystal Growth in Microgravity”. He received a Certificate of Space Studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.

Michael Potter (Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Advisors)

Michael Potter is an entrepreneur, investor, and an expert in commercial space policy. He was President and Founder of Esprit Telecom in Amsterdam and London. There he was responsible for Start-up, Recruitment, Program management and regulatory issues, 1991-1999 when Esprit was sold for $1B.

Potter is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute of Space Commerce and a member of the Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation. Formerly Michael was an international telecommunications analyst at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. Potter was also founding Vice Chairman of the founding Board of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA). He is a Director Global Connect. He is a founder of Geeks without Frontiers and directed the space documentary film, Orphans of Apollo. His articles on high technology business and policy have been widely published. Michael received his MS degree from the London School of Economics and his BA from California State University at Sacramento, an alumni of the Sacramento Semester Program, and a certificate in Space Studies from the International Space University.

Mark Matossian, Co-founder, COO, Rocket Scientist

Mark Matossian is an Operations executive with demonstrated aerospace and IT leadership in supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, and deployment operations and optimization. Expertise in mission critical software/hardware and telecommunications projects, including complex negotiations with Fortune 100 and overseas entities. Consistent record of successfully building lean operations and trust-based partnerships in diverse industries and international environments. He is an expert in international program management, with a specialization in aerospace vehicle development and satellite communications. Mark has led multiple complex, international projects for Google, developed terrestrial, UAV and space satellite systems. In addition to NASA spacecraft design and classified USAF projects, Mark worked on the Iridium, Teledesic, ICO and other multi-satellite systems in the US, Europe, Japan, China, French Guiana and the former Soviet Union. Currently Matossian heads up Program Management for Google’s Terra Bella Earth observation venture in Silicon Valley. Mark has a Masters and PhD in Aerospace Engineering, from the University of Colorado where his dissertation topic was: Configuration Design Optimization of Multi-Satellite Distributed Task Constellations. He also earned an M.S.E. and B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering, from the University of Michigan.

Charles D. Walker  (World’s First Commercial Astronaut and Solstar Advisor)

A Hoosier by birth and upbringing Charlie Walker’s career in aerospace industry began in 1977.  His interest in outer space exploration and development began, however, before the first satellites were orbited.  Most recently he was an executive at The Boeing Company.  Living in Arizona he now consults, lectures, writes, and enjoys photography, amateur astronomy and travel. For over 35 years Walker has been involved in commercial space projects, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station programs, the Constellation space exploration program, and most recently the CST-100 Starliner crew transport spacecraft and promotion of suborbital research.  His work has included management, engineering design, development and operations planning, business development, marketing, government relations, and advocacy through industry, NASA, and other organizations.  Throughout that period he also authored dozens of papers, articles and book contributions. In the mid-1980s he flew aboard three early Space Shuttle missions as private industry’s first engineer and researcher in space, becoming the first commercial astronaut.  His work as a payload specialist astronaut on those missions included the zero-gravity purification of biomedical preparations and protein crystal growth research. Walker’s activities have included various U. S. government committee reviews and studies, service on the boards and as an officer of numerous not-for-profit and educational groups including the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s suborbital research and education advisory committee, the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education, the Association of Space Explorers, the National Space Society, and the X-Prize. Walker previously worked for the U.S. Navy in manufacturing systems design and deployment, the Bendix Aerospace Company designing missiles, and earlier with the U.S. Forest Service in engineering and as a forest firefighter. He is a licensed professional engineer holding an aeronautical and astronautical engineering degree from Purdue University, and an honorary doctorate of science from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.  Walker and wife Susan have one daughter and two grandchildren.

Christopher Stott (Board of Advisors)

Mr. Chris Stott is advisor of space telecommunications matters for Solstar.  Since 2000, Mr. Stott via ManSat has worked under contract with the Isle of Man Government’s Communications Commission to manage the Isle of Man’s access to orbital spectrum via Ofcom in London and the International Telecommunications Agency (ITU) in Geneva. Established in May of 1998, ManSat Limited is a Manx registered and Manx owned private company limited by shares headquartered in Onchan on the Isle of Man with offices and representation in Houston, Cape Canaveral, and London.  Mr. Stott is a U.S. Citizen.  He is a strong entrepreneurship professional with a MSS focused in Space Sciences from International Space University.

Specialties

Satellite Filing, Orbital Spectrum, Spectrum Management, and ITU

Experience

  • Society of Satellite Professionals International, Chairman Emeritus
  • ManSat LLC, Founder and owner
  • Lockheed Martin Space Operation, Director of International Commercial projects

Leif Rasmussen (Analyst)

Kristina Korsholm (Branding)

Ian Kelly (Senior Programmer)

Charlie Whetsel (Senior Linux Programmer)

Stephen Barnett (Customer Service)