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Wrong Rick Fleeter?

Dr. Rick Fleeter

Chief Executive Officer

Virginia Business

HQ Phone: (804) 225-9262

Virginia Business

1207 East Main Street Suite 100

Richmond, Virginia 23219

United States

Find other employees at this company (442)

Background Information

Employment History

Member, S Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA

Web References (3 Total References)


Virginia Business Online: At AeroAstro, smaller is better

www.virginiabusiness.com [cached]

CEO: Dr. Rick Fleeter

...
Yet Dr. Rick Fleeter, a former senior scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, believed that making smaller satellites would not only make them more affordable but more valuable.While government and commercial satellites were being built for no less than several hundred million dollars a piece, the amateur radio world (which Fleeter enjoyed as a hobby) was building miniature versions for less than $10,000.
"At the time, space was seen as so expensive that only a few organizations -the big government agencies and a few major corporations - could use it," Fleeter says.
...
Small enough to be checked as luggage on a commercial flight, as Fleeter recently did when taking three products out to Los Angeles for testing.
...
"We started selling those parts to other people who also wanted to build lower-cost spacecraft," Fleeter says."We now sell more in terms of radios than we do in satellites."
AeroAstro also provides a simple communications service that can be implemented through small satellites.SENS, as the service is known, offers a one-way method for sending short messages back about a satellite's location or the health of a piece of equipment.Additionally, the company also spends much of its time researching, developing and proposing new technologies."We've used this part of our business to get government R&D contracts to build more advanced types of radios and other sensors that we need for the navigation and attitude control of these satellites," Fleeter says.
Despite the success, Fleeter admits that the company's sudden and extended growth has been painful.Over the last five years, AeroAstro - which has only two direct competitors - has more than doubled its number of employees to 50, and it recently moved to a rented 24,000-square-foot facility that has two electronics laboratories and three "clean" (or zero contamination) rooms.As a result, he says, 2004 will likely be a breather year, with revenues remaining flat."We were founded with no money, we've never really had any money and we nearly ran ourselves out of cash growing to this size," says Fleeter, who would prefer a steady 20 percent long-term growth rate."So we're finding that we need to take it easy for a while and regain our financial equilibrium."
Still, Fleeter has plans for 2005.After 12 years of convincing people that small satellites actually work in space, he's now pushing to get them recognized for their mission possibilities, including communications, space transportation and remote sensing.For example, AeroAstro is gearing up to sell a fairly high-performance but still tiny Earth-surface imaging satellite.In addition, the company plans to offer a do-it-yourself kit so customers can build the satellites themselves, "without having to be rocket scientists," Fleeter says.


Virginia Business Online: At AeroAstro, smaller is better

www.virginiabusiness.com [cached]

CEO: Dr. Rick Fleeter

...
Yet Dr. Rick Fleeter, a former senior scientist at NASA,s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, believed that making smaller satellites would not only make them more affordable but more valuable.While government and commercial satellites were being built for no less than several hundred million dollars a piece, the amateur radio world (which Fleeter enjoyed as a hobby) was building miniature versions for less than $10,000.
...
Small enough to be checked as luggage on a commercial flight, as Fleeter recently did when taking three products out to Los Angeles for testing.
...
Additionally, the company also spends much of its time researching, developing and proposing new technologies. ,We,ve used this part of our business to get government R&D contracts to build more advanced types of radios and other sensors that we need for the navigation and attitude control of these satellites,, Fleeter says.
Despite the success, Fleeter admits that the company,s sudden and extended growth has been painful.Over the last five years, AeroAstro , which has only two direct competitors , has more than doubled its number of employees to 50, and it recently moved to a rented 24,000-square-foot facility that has two electronics laboratories and three ,clean, (or zero contamination) rooms.As a result, he says, 2004 will likely be a breather year, with revenues remaining flat. ,We were founded with no money, we,ve never really had any money and we nearly ran ourselves out of cash growing to this size,, says Fleeter, who would prefer a steady 20 percent long-term growth rate. ,So we,re finding that we need to take it easy for a while and regain our financial equilibrium.,
Still, Fleeter has plans for 2005.After 12 years of convincing people that small satellites actually work in space, he,s now pushing to get them recognized for their mission possibilities, including communications, space transportation and remote sensing.For example, AeroAstro is gearing up to sell a fairly high-performance but still tiny Earth-surface imaging satellite.In addition, the company plans to offer a do-it-yourself kit so customers can build the satellites themselves, ,without having to be rocket scientists,, Fleeter says.


Virginia Business Online: At AeroAstro, smaller is better

www.virginiabusiness.com [cached]

CEO: Dr. Rick Fleeter

...
Yet Dr. Rick Fleeter, a former senior scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, believed that making smaller satellites would not only make them more affordable but more valuable.While government and commercial satellites were being built for no less than several hundred million dollars a piece, the amateur radio world (which Fleeter enjoyed as a hobby) was building miniature versions for less than $10,000.
"At the time, space was seen as so expensive that only a few organizations -the big government agencies and a few major corporations - could use it," Fleeter says.
...
Small enough to be checked as luggage on a commercial flight, as Fleeter recently did when taking three products out to Los Angeles for testing.
...
"We started selling those parts to other people who also wanted to build lower-cost spacecraft," Fleeter says."We now sell more in terms of radios than we do in satellites."
AeroAstro also provides a simple communications service that can be implemented through small satellites.SENS, as the service is known, offers a one-way method for sending short messages back about a satellite's location or the health of a piece of equipment.Additionally, the company also spends much of its time researching, developing and proposing new technologies."We've used this part of our business to get government R&D contracts to build more advanced types of radios and other sensors that we need for the navigation and attitude control of these satellites," Fleeter says.
Despite the success, Fleeter admits that the company's sudden and extended growth has been painful.Over the last five years, AeroAstro - which has only two direct competitors - has more than doubled its number of employees to 50, and it recently moved to a rented 24,000-square-foot facility that has two electronics laboratories and three "clean" (or zero contamination) rooms.As a result, he says, 2004 will likely be a breather year, with revenues remaining flat."We were founded with no money, we've never really had any money and we nearly ran ourselves out of cash growing to this size," says Fleeter, who would prefer a steady 20 percent long-term growth rate."So we're finding that we need to take it easy for a while and regain our financial equilibrium."
Still, Fleeter has plans for 2005.After 12 years of convincing people that small satellites actually work in space, he's now pushing to get them recognized for their mission possibilities, including communications, space transportation and remote sensing.For example, AeroAstro is gearing up to sell a fairly high-performance but still tiny Earth-surface imaging satellite.In addition, the company plans to offer a do-it-yourself kit so customers can build the satellites themselves, "without having to be rocket scientists," Fleeter says.

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