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Interview with Apollo Fusion's CEO Mike Cassidy: Accelerating the Launch of Satellite Constellations

Jul 9, 2020 11:52:29 AM Published by JKI Leave a comment

In this interview, we talked to Mike Cassidy the co-founder and CEO of Apollo Fusion and former Google VP that led Google’s high-altitude balloon telecommunications system - Project Loon. Mike was also CEO and co-founder of four previous Internet start-ups that were successfully acquired by larger companies.

Apollo Fusion has designed an electric propulsion system for satellite constellations using Hall thrusters. One of Apollo Fusion’s chief goals – and one of its major innovations – is for its thrusters to be manufacturable in volumes of hundreds of units per month. JKI has been working with Mike and his team for the past couple of years building the software automation infrastructure for their test laboratory.


It was a pleasure learning from Mike's experience and take on co-founding and running an aerospace startup. Some of the topics we discussed with Mike were:

  • What does Apollo Fusion do? (0:20)
  • Apollo's Hall thruster technology? (1:30)
  • Apollo's customers? (2:30)
  • Apollo Fusion enabling satellite constellations with volume manufacturing (5:20)
  • The beginnings of Apollo Fusion (nuclear fusion?) (7:14)
  • Apollo's pivot from Nuclear Energy to Aerospace (9:15)
  • Mike's work at Google: from the search team to leading Project Loon (10:30)
  • The Aerospace startup ecosystem (13:10)
  • Co-founding a hardware startup vs a software startup (16:38)
  • JKI's collaboration with Apollo Fusion: building the test lab software infrastructure (19:03)
  • The business value of working with JKI (20:15)
  • Mike's take on the future of the aerospace industry (it's exciting!) (24:01)
  • Mike's advice for building a startup, aerospace or not (25:52)
  • What's coming up for Apollo Fusion (29:05)


We hope you enjoy this interview and you can read our full case study with Apollo Fusion using the link below :)

Apollo Fusion Case Study


Tags: LabVIEW, Interview, startup, aerospace

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