Astra Space

Director of Engineering: Infrastructure & Frameworks
Successful  Orbital Missions
Customer Payloads Delivered
Astra is all about extremes. If there's a limit, they push it right to the edge of the envelope. Their vision is extreme. They operate in extreme weather. Their time tables (takt) are extreme, and they built a factory capable of mass producing these extreme machines faster than ever before in human history.
A rendering of Rocket 3
  • DevOps
  • TechOps
  • Rocket Support Cart
  • Video Software & Infrastructure
  • Launch Site Server Module
  • Constellation Software
I built and led product and IT teams across multiple business units. These teams were composed of 8 to 15 software engineers, network technicians, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers. Some teams were comprised of homogenous skill sets, while others demanded skills from very different backgrounds. As Astra adapted to changing markets and new growth phases, I gained practical experience with multiple organization structures: heavily matrixed, functional, and flat.
Cloud Architecture & Compliance

Astra has multiple branch offices, a mission control station, two launch sites, and a test site. Every hardware in the loop test, static hot fire, and launch generates a LOT of data. That data needs to be analyzed in near real-time. With Astra's timetables, it just HAS to work every time.

To meet this challenge, I implemented a hybrid Cloud, Edge Compute, and Data Center strategy. As a public company in a regulated industry, this system had to meet SOC2, CMMC, and other DOD security requirements.

Cloud Diagram of complex secure architecture
Streaming Video That Works

The launch system & space ports require a wide variety of specialty cameras that stream video back to mission control in as close to real time as possible. A combination of custom in house software, and commercial off the shelf streaming software is used to accomplish this. I was the directly responsible individual for the video subsystem that ultimately bring you videos such as the one here.

Recruiting, Onboarding, Morale

I crafted an efficient hiring & onboarding process resulting in the addition of 10+ engineers to my teams in 6 months and a 90% productivity increase of junior engineers within the first year.

As a leader motivating teams to meet difficult challenges, it is my privilege to use every tool at my disposal to support my teams, and it doesn't end with great onboarding. I designed team swag from patches to engineering notebooks.

A custom morale patch design for Astra Software Engineering
Rocket Support Cart and Rocket 3 Launch System
Building The Launch System's Brain
As the directly responsible individual for the Rocket Support Cart, I made key architectural decisions regarding physical form factor, environmental parameters, fault tolerance, and human factors.
With support from a cross-functional team, I re-engineered the system,  renamed it the Launch Site Server Module, and improved its operational capability.

My responsibility spanned from the physical to the server hardware selection to the configuration management of operating systems and application software.