Charles M. Chafer
Charles M. Chafer
Chief Executive Officer
Space Services Inc.
Charles M. Chafer is an internationally recognized high technology entrepreneur and pioneer of the commercial space age. He is Chief Executive Officer of Space Services Inc., the world’s leading provider of public participation space missions.
Mr. Chafer was a founding partner of Team Encounter, LLC., a fully integrated aerospace, entertainment and event marketing company with a mission to provide a global, mass market audience with unique and public participation space missions and events. He made significant advances in solar sail technology, conducted a series of history-making “Cosmic Calls,” and pioneered the practice of partnering with multinational corporations in a series of real space missions.
Mr. Chafer co-founded Celestis, Inc., and led the team that garnered worldwide notice for the first launch of a post cremation memorial spaceflight -- carrying the ashes of several celebrities, space scientists, and enthusiasts into orbit. He also served as President of the Celestis Foundation, the non profit affiliate of Celestis, Inc. that makes cash awards to promising space ventures, organizations, and to individuals who are contributing to the advance of space commerce and space development.
Before co-founding Celestis, Mr. Chafer created a satellite-based, interactive videoconferencing network for telemedicine and distance learning in Texas and West Virginia combining medical schools, vocational schools, NASA, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and state governments.
During the 1980’s, working for former Mercury and Apollo-Soyuz astronaut Deke Slayton, Mr. Chafer managed marketing and government relations for Space Services Inc. of America (SSI). SSI was the first company to successfully launch a privately funded rocket into outer space (Conestoga 1 – 1982).
Before joining SSI, Mr. Chafer served an appointment to the faculty of the Georgetown University Graduate School where he co-authored Space Exploration and the Social Sciences, a NASA-funded book nominated by the agency in 1982 for the prestigious Blue Pencil award for the best US government manuscript.
On February 18, 2004 Mr. Chafer testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation at a "field hearing" in Houston. He has also testified before Congress on commercial space issues, participated in White House working groups on space policy, is regularly profiled in international print and visual media, and has published numerous articles in the field.
He is the recipient of the Interactive Video Association innovation award in 1990, the 1996 National Space Society Pioneer Award for Space Business, and the 1997 Space Frontier Foundation “From Vision to Reality” award for his commercial space leadership.