About us

What is Dark Fission?

Dark Fission Space Systems is at the forefront of innovation, with a vision to create and deploy the inaugural commercially accessible nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine. This groundbreaking technology is poised to revolutionize space exploration, finding diverse applications in cislunar space and beyond. By harnessing nuclear reactions for propulsion, Dark Fission aims to unlock unprecedented efficiency and capabilities for spacecraft, ushering in a new era of interplanetary travel and expanding the frontiers of human presence in the cosmos. In five years, we plan to launch an orbital demonstration vehicle powered by a nuclear thermal rocket. It will forever change how we think about moving around in space.

Dark Fission is poised to take the next step into the cosmos.

In five years, we plan to launch an orbital demonstration vehicle powered by a nuclear thermal rocket. It will forever change how we think about moving around in space.

The Time Is Right

The cost of access to low orbit continues to fall. We are focusing on how to leverage this market trend and open the entire cislunar regime to commercial use.

Deep Experience Base

Dark Fission’s founding team and engineering staff have been building and flying space systems for many years. We know what works, and what doesn’t.

A Technology With Heritage

We are building on decades of development in nuclear systems and space propulsion.

GEO First

Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) is a mature market and domain with unique features. It is not going away – and Dark Fission’s nuclear thermal rocket will make GEO a more attractive place to operate than ever before

A Cislunar Highway System

We are designing the Dark Fission engine to take advantage of the orbital “terrain’ of the Earth-Moon system. We want to get you where you are going quickly, at low cost.

Our Team

Dr. Fred Kennedy

Chief Executive Officer and co-founder.

He served as the President of the space tug builder Momentus from September 2020 until January 2022. Prior to this, Fred worked at Astra as the company’s Vice President for Future Missions, focusing on small satellite production capabilities. He left federal service in 2019, after standing up the U. S. Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Space Development Agency (SDA), established by Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan. Fred’s previous experiences include stints at the White House, Pentagon, National Reconnaissance Office, and several other assignments during his 23 years in the Air Force.

Dr. Kennedy holds a Ph.D. in electronics and physical sciences from the University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom; a Master of Arts in organizational management from George Washington University; a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; and Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Michael Jacox

President and co-founder

As the VP of Engineering at Space Micro, Mike spent almost 12 years managing the engineering staff and leading product development efforts in optical systems. Mike founded and led StarVision Technologies for nearly 8 years after serving as Deputy Director of the Spacecraft Technology Center at Texas A&M University. Mike’s previous work was in on-orbit propulsion and space nuclear systems development. He led the AFRL Solar Bimodal demonstration program and was the deputy program manager and the systems engineer for the joint USAF/DOE space bimodal power and propulsion systems studies. Mike led the development of the Small Ex-Core Heat Pipe Thermionic Reactor while at the Idaho National Lab after his active-duty service at the Air Force Weapons Lab where he led the small space reactor design studies and coordinated the planning for qualification of the SDIO/DOE/NASA SP-100 space nuclear power system.

Mr. Jacox holds BS and MS degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Idaho and he received an MBA from Texas A&M University.

Mr. Greg Loboda

Chief Operating Officer and co-founder.

Mr. Greg Loboda is Dark Fission’s Chief Operating Officer and co-founder. As President and Owner of Sirius Partners LLC, Greg has served in critical Engineering and Manufacturing leadership roles for multiple startup aerospace clients, including Universal Hydrogen and Momentus. As VP Engineering at Vector Launch, he directed the rapid expansion and development of the Vector-R launch system through stage-level testing. As VP/General Manager for SARA, Greg led a prime program team for AFRL to successfully demonstrate an advanced GPS-jammer sensor for tactical munitions. As VP Engineering for Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, he oversaw engineering and manufacturing staff across five concurrent unmanned aircraft development programs. Previously, Greg was Product Development Lead and Deputy Program Manager for Raytheon’s AFRL Spaceborne LaserComm Demonstrator program. Under Apollo astronauts Pete Conrad and Ken Mattingly, Greg served as principal vehicle systems engineer for the Delta Clipper (DC-XA) reusable launch vehicle and Intrepid expendable launch system.

Mr. Loboda holds BS and MS degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Contact Information

Address

Huntington Beach, CA USA

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