Award Winners

March 23, 2022

Via Satellite Announces Winners for 2021 Satellite Executive of the Year and Satellite Technology of the Year, and 2022 Startup Space Competition

Awards were presented Wednesday, March 23 during the Via Satellite Awards Luncheon at SATELLITE 2022 Conference and Exhibition.

Rockville, MD – March 23, 2022 – Via Satellite, the premier publication for the satellite industry, announced Tina Ghataore, Chief Commercial Officer for Mynaric, the winner of the 2021 Satellite Executive of the Year Award, Astroscale’s ELSA-d Mission the winner of the 2021 Satellite Technology of the Year Award, and Dr. Luisa Buinhas of Vyoma the winner of the annual Startup Space pitch competition. Welcome remarks were delivered by Unmair Javed, Chief Counsel for FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel at an awards luncheon during SATELLITE Conference & Exhibition on Wednesday, March 23.

Tina Ghataore has had a critical role in deals that have built Mynaric into a commercial juggernaut. After opening a U.S. subsidiary, Mynaric signed a number of deals in 2021, including bringing SpaceLink, Cloud Constellation, Capella Space, and Northrop Grumman on as customers for its laser communication terminals. In December, Mynaric won a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to design a new optical communications terminal under the Space Based Adaptive Communications Node program.

“Thank you to the many who voted. 20-plus years in the satcom industry has paid off in a big way! You can’t do this all by yourself. We have an amazing company and a fabulous team who make my job so much easier to bring optical communications to all of us. This is an incredible personal and professional honor for me,” said Ghataore in her acceptance speech.

“I love Tina’s story, which started in the industry over 20 years ago, and has taken her all the way to Mynaric, one of the most exciting newcomers in our industry. Tina is a great role model and her success is richly deserved. She is an outstanding winner and really represents all that is good about the this award.” says Mark Holmes, Editorial Director for Via Satellite.

After its launch in March 2021, ELSA-d, operated by Japanese space startup Astroscale, became the world’s first active mission dedicated to demonstrating the core capabilities necessary for space debris docking and removal. In less than a year in space, the ELSA-d has already set operational benchmarks for future rendezvous and proximity missions and has successfully tested its ability to capture and release the client spacecraft.

“The fact that this was voted on by the community means so much, that we are all recognizing the importance of space sustainability. ELSA-d is taking those next steps toward satellite servicing, which is going to open up the aperture for the space economy. That’s what is going to be necessary to take the space ecosystem forward,” said Chris Blackerby, COO of Astroscale, during the Awards Luncheon.

“Astroscale is confronting some of the biggest issues in the industry head-on, and its technology has the power to make a huge difference in the years ahead. It is a company much admired in our sector and very deserving of this award,” says Holmes.

German startup Vyoma, winner of Startup Space 2022, wants to revolutionize space object and satellite operations by fully automating the process. The company has developed a software suite that uses intelligent algorithms to process images, assess space traffic, and plan avoidance maneuvers. Dr. Luisa Buinhas, Co-Founder of Vyoma, presented to a panel of judges on Tuesday, March 22 during the annual pitch competition at SATELLITE 2022. As the winner, she’ll have access to private pitch meetings with today’s most active space investors.

Via Satellite will honor both Tina Ghataore and Astroscale in May with a special awards issue.

About Via Satellite
Via Satellite provides essential news and expert business analysis on the global satellite communications marketplace, including current and evolving applications, infrastructure issues, technology, and business and regulatory developments around the word reaches the most engaged community of satellite professionals and qualified industry decision makers.

About SATELLITE 2022
SATELLITE unites a diverse community of aerospace and connectivity thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, engineers, end-users and enthusiasts from around the world for most important global satellite technology event of the year. The SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition will take place on March 21-24, 2022 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001). For more information, please visit