Mark LaPenna


Space Communications Pioneer

Since attending Space Camp at the age of 9, Mark LaPenna has had a passion for space. For the first 20 years of his professional career, he worked in the aviation and aerospace industries, mostly in how data could be utilized in a variety of applications.

6 years ago, he was recruited to digitize and commercialize live aviation data, but shortly into his contract, he discovered the shocking fact that of the 100,000 commercial flights daily, nearly 20% of them went untracked during flight operations. He conceived a plan to track these assets from space and, over the following years, built a business on solving this problem. But a new, larger problem was emerging - the cost of transmitting the massive amount of data generated per day from satellites to the Earth was nearly $100M per year. So, Mark pivoted his company to solve this problem and Xenesis was born. 

Over the course of the last 18 months, Mark and his team at Xenesis have solved the physics and capital problems presented in satellite-based global communications, creating and distributing the first low-cost laser communications space transceiver that moves data through the vacuum of space, reducing cost and increasing scalability. With millions of dollars in pre-sales, and partners like JPL, NASA, Jabil, Georgia Tech, Ball Aerospace, L3 Communications, Laser Light, and Atlas, Xenesis has assembled a team to resolve humanity's most complicated large-scale communication problems.

James Chesterfield