Advisory Board

Professor Peter A. Swan

Peter A. Swan, Ph.D., FBIS, FAIAA, MIAA is President and Member of the Board of Directors at the International Space Elevator Consortium, Senior Vice President at Galactic Harbour Associates, and Chief Operating Officer at Zodiac Planetary Services.

Pete has built space systems, such as the IRIDIUM constellation leading to 92 satellites in orbit, and taught space systems engineering around the world. He authored many publications and five books published about Space Elevator Systems Architecture. His latest books include Road to the Space Elevator Era(2019), Today’s Space Elevator (2019), Space Elevators are the Green Road to Space (2021), and Space Elevators are the Transportation Story of the 21st Century (2020). Find his previous publications on his page at Galactic Harbour Associates.

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is composed of individuals and organizations from around the world who share a vision of humanity in space:

Space Elevators are the Green Road to Space while they enable humanity’s most important missions by moving massive tonnage to GEO and beyond.

ISEC’s mission:

Promotes the development, construction, and operation of a Space Elevator (SE) Infrastructure as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity. ISEC is made up of individuals and organizations from all around the world who share a vision of mankind in space.”

Since 2006, Pete has been participating in the International Space Elevator Consortium’s projects, helping to lead the way into the future. His 45+ years of space systems engineering expertise has helped the space elevator community “kick-start” a research and development program. ISEC publishes studies every year dealing with key issues. These studies include Space Elevator Concept of Operations, Debris Hazard Mitigation, Design of Climbers, and Architectures and Roadmaps.

He is also a lead editor and author for multiple International Academy of Astronautics’ studies including Space Mineral Resources — A Global Assessment of the Challenges and Opportunities and Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward.

He is Senior Vice President since 2021 at Galactic Harbour Associates. GHA was founded on the realization that the story of the 21st Century will be humankind’s interplanetary adventures leveraging a permanent space transportation infrastructure. GHA will be a major forcing function to achieve this goal.

This harbor will encompass the Earth Port, stretching, in a cylindrical shape, spaceward towards the Apex. It is the unification of transportation and enterprise, a transportation infrastructure delivering cargo to space, routinely, and inexpensively. Watch Lux Virtual Presents: The Modern Space Elevator — Galactic Harbour.

In 2018, Pete became CEO of Zodiac Planetary Services, where he is developing a company to prospect the Moon. He is lecturing on the “new space” and the silent revolution occurring within commercial space ventures.

Pete is also Lecturer and Faculty Associate at ASU — Osher Lifelong Living Institute, covering the topics of movement off-planet, econosphere between the Earth and the Moon, mining of space resources, and other aspects of the ASU Interplanetary Initiative.

He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UCLA, centered around space tethers and their dynamics during the early years of excitement about asymmetric spacecraft. His research was conducted inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His multiple assignments focused on satellites and their support leading to program manager positions and engineering lead activities.

He earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Science at USMA West Point in 1968 and served 20 years in the Air Force with a variety of research and development positions in the space arena. During his career, he conducted research, tracked satellites, developed satellite systems for the SecAF office, and taught at the Air Force Academy.

Upon retirement in 1988, he joined Motorola on the Iridium satellite program. He led the team responsible for the development of the Iridium spacecraft bus, resulting in 92 satellites orbiting Earth and one going to the Smithsonian. In addition, he spent ten years with the Army Science Board and five years with the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board contributing towards space programs. He was also a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Department of Astronautics. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1986, Pete founded the SouthWest Analytics Network which he still runs. His work is mainly about Space and Systems Engineering and Space Elevators.

In 1998, he helped develop Teaching Science and Technology, a company that teaches space systems engineering. As Owner and Professor Emeritus, his classes emphasize engineering know-how and management techniques to successfully develop space systems of national importance.

His clients have included several significant governmental organizations — NASA, ESA, etc. — as well as most of the major space corporations in the US and abroad. This opportunity to travel the world and provide insights into complex space systems engineering enabled him to understand the impact and importance of space to both user communities and dreamers.

Pete is a member of the Space Societies Committee at the International Astronautical Federation and has participated in their International Astronautical Congress in 2017, 2021, and 2022. His participation included discussing Next Generation On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Refueling Programmes, Space Infrastructure Games, and Space Elevators as a Transformational Leap For Human movement off-planet.

Pete is also Senior Scholar at the NRO Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance, Former Chairman of the Commission VI at IAA, Member of the National Space Society, and Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and The British Interplanetary Society. Previously, he was Industry Professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology and at the Delft Technical University.

Watch Space Smurfs | Space Elevator: How it Transforms the Movement off-planet and Space Elevator – Dr. Peter Swan.

Listen to the Dr. Peter Swan – Space Elevators at Interplanetary Podcast.

Read Space Elevators Are Totally Possible (If Someone Will Just Pay for It).

Read the August 2022 Edition of the ISEC Newsletter, Climate action and growing electricity demand: Meeting both challenges in the 21st century with space-based solar power delivered by space elevator, and People Are Serious About Building A Space Elevator.

Visit his LinkedIn profile. Follow him on ResearchGate and Twitter.