Phantom Space Corporation, the space transportation technology development and manufacturing company, today announced the hiring of Chris Thompson, one of the space industry’s most sought after space engineers and executives. Chris will serve as Chief Technology Officer, where he is responsible for the company’s direct development and oversight of launch vehicles and satellites including the Daytona rocket, which the company aims to start flying in 2023. Phantom currently has satellite programs underway and will be commencing stage level testing of its Daytona launch vehicle in early 2022.

Previously, Thompson was the Chief Engineer of Advanced Projects at Astra, where he led the development of rocket and launch systems. Prior, he was the Vice President of Advanced Programs at Virgin Orbit, as well as the second official employee of SpaceX, serving as the Vice President and Senior Director of Structures Production Development. At SpaceX, he was responsible for the development of vehicle structures, new manufacturing techniques and operations, with a focus on optimizing the product transition from design to production. He produced many key launch system innovations and his expertise in rocket development has become a critical component of the private space industry’s massive growth trajectory.

Thompson started his career in the Marine Corps before joining McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), where he successfully managed production and test of the Delta II, III, and IV, and Titan IV launch vehicles. Shortly before joining SpaceX, Thompson was given responsibility for all Test and Verification activities at the Boeing Huntington Beach Engineering Labs, which supports all development and qualification tests on Delta II, III, and IV, Titan IV, and Space Station. The T&V activities ranged from structural, dynamic, space simulation, material and mechanical properties, and complete system tests at Huntington Beach and various government test facilities.

“Phantom is doing some extraordinary things that not many others in the realm of space technology are doing right now,” says Thompson. “Phantom is focusing on lowering cost and schedule barriers to space access through mass production. The future depends on companies like Phantom to continually lower space access costs and I want to be a part of this quest. I am very impressed with what I see at Phantom, their approach to the launch vehicle and satellites as well as their early focus on hardware and existing satellite hardware developments. This is very unusual for an early-stage company and speaks to the focus of the company on producing flight hardware.¬† I look forward to leading this technical team and leading the Phantom mission.”

“Chris is a seasoned professional when it comes to the development and manufacturing of space technology,” says Jim Cantrell, Co-Founder & CEO of Phantom. “From our work together in the early years of SpaceX, to his innovative leadership at Astra, Chris has repeatedly proven himself to be an invaluable asset with a wealth of knowledge and perspective that will better our company and bring us that much closer to our goal to become the Henry Ford of space transportation.” Thompson’s role will leverage and further the integration of this new technology to aid in Phantom’s mission to democratize access to space via mass manufacturing techniques.

For more information about Phantom Space Corporation and their development and manufacturing of space transportation technologies, please visit


Founded by inventors and entrepreneurs Jim Cantrell, Michael D’Angelo, and Michal Prywata, Phantom Space Corporation is a space transportation company applying mass manufacturing to launch vehicles, satellites, and space applications. Phantom’s vision is to become the “Henry Ford of Space Transportation” by lowering the cost and schedule access barriers to space through mass manufacture of launch vehicles and satellites. A United States controlled and operated enterprise, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with multiple launch operations centers. Learn more at