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Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX, announced as Satellite Executive of the Year and Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle-1 named as Satellite Technology of the Year

Rockville, MD – April 5, 2021 – Via Satellite, the most trusted publication in the space and satellite industry, announced Gwynne Shotwell, President & COO of SpaceX as the 2020 Satellite Executive of the Year, and Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) as the 2020 Satellite Technology of the Year on April 5 during a digital ceremony, part of the SATELLITE 2021 Conference. The winners were chosen through a combination of votes from the community and the Via Satellite editorial team.

The awards take on extra significance this year, as the global pandemic in 2020 added a layer of complexity beyond business models and revenue generation for companies. The two winners are outstanding examples of the very best of the space and satellite industry.

The Satellite Executive of the Year winner is chosen for their durable contributions to the global satellite markets, technologies, business practices, services, innovations, or any combination of the aforementioned. Gwynne Shotwell, previous winner of the award in 2017 now becomes the second two-time winner along with Matt Desch (Iridium).

“In 2020, SpaceX launched a record number of missions, transported people to the International Space Station, and launched a huge number of Starlink satellites,” said Mark Holmes, Via Satellite Editorial Director. “Even by SpaceX’s standards, it was truly amazing year. It is a company that is redefining our sector, and Shotwell is integral to this. There are no doubts she is fully deserving once again to the Satellite Executive of the Year for 2020.”

The Satellite Technology of the Year is awarded to a company whose product creates clear, significant cost-savings or technical efficiencies, makes a profit, improves quality of life, disrupts the market, and demonstrates a scientific breakthrough. The Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) is widely recognized as the harbinger signaling the beginning of the age of in-orbit servicing.

“In-orbit satellite servicing not that long ago seemed the stuff of science fiction,” said Holmes. “But, thanks to Northrop Grumman and its Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1), it has now become a commercial reality. It is a stunning technology achievement and paves the way for other exciting breakthroughs in the maintenance and upgrading of satellites in the future.”

Congratulations to both winners and to all of the nominees for 2020!

About Via Satellite

Via Satellite, a monthly publication providing 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 2021

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. In 2021 SATELLITE is keeping business moving forward by pairing digital and in-person content and networking. Digital programs begin in April, and the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition will take place on July 26-29, 2021 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center located at 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. For more information, please visit