Jim Bridenstine, former NASA administrator and Wash100 Award winner, has joined the advisory team of Venus Aerospace, a startup focused on developing reusable hypersonic space planes and aircraft.
As a part of Venus Aerospace, Bridenstine will apply his experience as the 13th administrator of NASA, a member of Congress on the Armed Services Committee and a Navy pilot, the Houston, Texas-based company said Monday.
“Jim has already provided incredible support for Venus since he joined our team. His willingness to dig in, make the connections that accelerate our development or discuss strategy has been incredible,” said Venus Aerospace CEO and Co-founder Sassie Duggleby.
Sharing his goals for Venus Aerospace, Bridenstine said, “It is time to disrupt the transportation business, and Venus Aerospace has the talent to do it. Now we are going above the atmosphere, at hypersonic speeds, to get from one side of the planet to the other in a much cleaner way.”
While at NASA, Bridenstine guided the launch of the agency’s Artemis initiative, which aims to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. He also oversaw the ongoing commercial resupply of the International Space Station and spearheaded NASA’s efforts to partner with the private sector for its Commercial Crew Program.
“Jim brings a very unique perspective and capabilities from aviator to congressman to administrator. The thing that gets me most excited is his ability to jump in, understand the context and know exactly where he can make an immediate difference,” said Andrew Duggleby, co-founder and chief technology officer of Venus Aerospace.
The startup, which was founded in 2020, is currently pursuing expansion through an aggressive growth strategy. Last spring, Venus Aerospace raised $20 million in Series A funding to support its engine development and subscale initial flight testing activities.
Recently, the company became the first to successfully facilitate the operation of room temperature storable liquid fuels in a Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine, a dual-use technology that allows high-speed point-to-point travel and hypersonic defense applications at altitudes beyond those of traditional aircraft. This development enables Venus Aerospace to minimize heating temperatures to reduce turnaround times and increase reuse.