A.C. Charania is an entrepreneurial engineer and technical innovator involved in the creation and advancement of aerospace ventures for both commercial and government customers; helping to turn advanced concepts into reality. He is currently Business Development Director at Blue Origin within the Government Sales and Strategy team, working to mature internal future concepts, strategies, and scenarios. He works directly with the Advanced Development Programs (ADP) business unit to examine long term architectures and scenarios, review advanced concepts technical analysis, interface with possible partners (i.e. NASA) to establish business relationships, assist in various proposal efforts, and work on special projects. He is one of the internal leaders helping to manage the “Blue Moon” commercial lunar lander project including coordination between the technical/business development teams, development of the overall business plan, government agency (NASA) interaction, coordinating commercial/international customer capture, and capture manager for related proposals.
A.C. was formerly Senior Director of Strategy and Business Operations at Virgin Galactic. For over four years, he was involved in developing the entire LauncherOne (now Virgin Orbit) business plan, maturing Virgin Galactic’s roadmap with its advanced concepts team, company financial modeling, capture/proposal management (including winning a NASA Venture Class Launch Service contract), interfacing with the global space launch insurance community, and supporting multiple C-level technical partnership transactions for Virgin Galactic. He was one of the leaders involved in changing the overall air-launch architecture to one that uses the 747-400 as the carrier aircraft. He helped to negotiate one of the largest commercial procurements of launches in history (OneWeb’s launch contract with Virgin Galactic). He was also on the core due diligence team for Virgin Group’s investment in the OneWeb global satellite constellation. For the first two years at Virgin Galactic he was based in Washington, D.C. where he also supported corporate lobbying and government agency interaction.
He was also a visionary/founder/early employee of three aerospace start-ups (SpaceWorks Enterprises, Generation Orbit and Terminal Velocity Aerospace) and also provided consulting support to Planetary Resources (the asteroid mining company). Working at SpaceWorks for over twelve years, he was involved in multiple advanced concepts studies that included reusable launch vehicles, in-space transportation systems, human exploration studies, and planetary defense/asteroid missions. At SpaceWorks he helped to incubate Generation Orbit and Terminal Velocity Aerospace, also serving as CEO of Generation Orbit. He has extensive experience in cost and economic modeling of space systems. He was also a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) fellow for work related to telecommunication networks on Mars using meteor trails and planetary defense against asteroids using robotic swarms. He also has successfully executed aerospace projects with overseas companies from Japan and South Korea, all the while navigating export compliance issues. He is a currently a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Entrepreneurship and Investment Committee. He is also on the steering committee and judge for the NASA sponsored RASC-AL student competition. He earned an M.S. and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a specialization in systems design and optimization. He also earned a B.A. in Economics/Mathematics from Emory University.