Vast is funded by our Founder, Board Chair & Tech Fellow Jed McCaleb. To deliver on our mission, we have assembled a unique team of experienced and talented human spaceflight advisors and engineers. We have the talent, financial resources, and sense of urgency needed to achieve our mission.


JEd McCaleb
FOUNDER, Board Chair & Tech Fellow

Jed is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is renowned for founding Vast, Stellar, the Astera Institute, Ripple, and the eDonkey Network.

Max Haot
Chief Executive Officer

Max is an aerospace, consumer electronic and internet entrepreneur. He joined Vast with the Launcher acquisition in 2023. Previously Max was Founder & CEO at Launcher.

Krystle Caponio
Chief Legal Officer

Krystle has been an attorney in the new space industry since joining SpaceX in 2011 as their first legal counsel based in their CA headquarters. Prior to Vast, Krystle served as General Counsel at LeoLabs, as well as Terran Orbital.

Alex Hudson
Chief Technology Officer

Alex has proven track record of building and leading transformative R&D and Engineering teams across various hard-tech fields, including space vehicles, quantum computing, imaging systems and scientific instruments. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Avionics at SpaceX


Caryn Schenewerk

Caryn is an experienced Regulatory & Government Affairs executive with a strong background in Space Law, Policy Analysis & Advocacy, Legal Compliance, Politics, and International Relations.

Garrett Reisman

Garrett is a veteran NASA astronaut and space industry expert. He flew on all three Space Shuttles, was the Director of Space Operations at SpaceX, and is a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC.

Hans Koenigsmann

Hans was the Vice President of Mission Assurance for SpaceX, contributing significantly to the company's pioneering efforts in space exploration including human spaceflight.

Will Heltsley

Will is a propulsion expert and was VP of Propulsion at SpaceX at the end of his 12 year tenure at the company.  He had direct contributions to all SpaceX boost engines including Merlin and Raptor, as well as additive manufacturing.

Yang Li

Yang Li is an avionics expert. Now at Apple and previously Waymo. When at SpaceX he was the Avionics lead for the SpaceX Dragon crewed spacecraft.

Engineering spotlight

Tim Berry
Vice President, Manufacturing
Previous Employer(s): SpaceX 2012-2022

Managed the team that integrated the Falcon 9 upper stages for 6 different crewed Dragon capsules. Participated in agency audits focused on crew requirements for launch vehicles. Lead the Dragon 2 Crew and Cargo team for both demonstration and operational crewed missions as well as cargo missions that docked with ISS.

Molly McCormick
Principal Engineer
Previous Employer(s): SpaceX 2012-2020

Developed critical human design boundaries from NASA’sastronaut population anthropometric database. Determined ranges of motion andfields of view based on Dragon-specific subsystem design, mission phase,procedural requirements, and nominal or off-nominal operations. Coordinatedwith hardware engineers to ensure all crew interfaces met biomechanical andoperational requirements. Live human testing of spacecraft and crew equipmentas both test subject and facilitator.

Cooper Hennick
Senior Life Support Systems Engineer
Previous Employers: SpaceX, ABL

Valve qualifications, design updates, risk retirements, human certification for launch vehicle and capsule.

Samuel Throne
Structures Engineer
Previous Employer(s): SpaceX 2015-2023

Owned the second stage of the Falcon 9 structure during thefirst Dragon Missions. Certified and redesigned the second stage to comply withNASA standards.