Press Release

First African American Owned Commercial Space Company Launched during Juxtopia Urban Learning Technology Conference

By SpaceRef Editor
December 13, 2010
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Phezu Space, LLC will design and build commercial space on-orbit service vehicles

Baltimore, MD (December 13, 2010) On Wednesday December 8, 2010, aerospace engineer Allen Herbert, former NFL linebacker Ken Harvey and Dr. Jayfus Doswell of Google’s Lunar XPRIZE’s Team Jurban announced during the Juxtopia Urban Learning Technology (JULT) Conference at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, the formation of the nation’s first African American owned commercial space company that will focus on on-orbit service systems. Phezu Space, LLC will be a strategic collaboration with the Entrepreneurial Development Assistance Center at Morgan State University.

Phezu’s (pronounced fay.zoo) mission is to be the leading commercial space research & development and manufacturing company that will design and produce the best and most reliable orbital service and transportation vehicles. The company will initially focus on developing a full-service, semi-automated space-based servicing vehicle that will provide service and support to spacecraft, satellites and other orbital entities outside and inside earth’s orbital sphere. Phezu’s in-space service vehicle’s capabilities will include refueling, vehicle towing and maintenance. Targeted customers will include civilian, military, commercial and government entities and specifically the burgeoning space tourism industry.

“Phezu’s space service vehicles will be like having a full service gas station in space. We will be able to refuel, service and tow space vehicles so that they may fulfill their mission. This is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the commercial space industry that is positioned to take off just like the internet industry,” says Allen Herbert, President and CEO of Phezu Space, LLC. “With Black unemployment at 16%, almost double the national rate, it is important that African American entrepreneurs are on the cutting edge of new and innovative industries. We hope Phezu can be an inspiration for other African American innovators looking to start IT, environmental and aerospace companies.”

The company will be located in the heart of Baltimore where there is access to a well qualified workforce and strategic investment opportunities. Phezu Space ,LLC will partner directly with Historically Black Colleges and University’s (HBCUs) and other research institutions to study orbital systems and develop specific aspects of the vehicle including but not limited to design, propulsion, robotics, and navigation.

Phezu Vice President for Corporate Development, Ken Harvey stated, “My focus is on transitions. Transitioning from sports to business takes a focused mindset and in the same way, this company has to become a new mindset for those who only have an earth-based mindset. Space is the new reality and we want to be a part of the vision for tomorrow. “

The company intends to be a full participant in President Obama’s push to seed the new commercial space industry to advance job creation, and innovation. The president announced this in 2010 during his speech at NASA, as a part of his Space Exploration in the 21st Century initiative. “Phezu has the potential to provide a significant economic impact in the DC, MD, and VA region by manufacturing in Baltimore, Maryland and providing jobs to the community. Additionally, colleges and universities such as HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions will be instrumental in developing components of Phezu spacecrafts and exercise technology transfer,” says Dr. Jayfus Doswell, Phezu’s Vice President for Research and Development.

Corporate Officers Bios

Allen Herbert, President & CEO is a graduate of University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He is a Government Relations/Business Development specialist with 20+ years experience in business development, strategic planning, international business and technology projects. Mr. Herbert was part of the first official trade mission initiated by President Bill Clinton and led by the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, sent to South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela. Currently, Allen is Vice President of JAKA Consulting Group where he works with some of JAKA’s major clients and partners such as Marriot International Inc., Comcast Sports net, Space Adventures, Zero Gravity Corporation, Computer Associates and Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

Ken Harvey, Vice President for Corporate Development was drafted to the National Football League (NFL) in 1988 in the first round by the Arizona Cardinals and later played for the Washington Redskins. After 11 years of dominating American football in the NFL and 4 Pro-Bowl selections, Ken retired and was elected as one of the seventy (70) all time greatest players of the Washington Redskins. He is currently the president and CEO of JAKA Consulting Group, a government and business strategy company. He is also the consummate entrepreneur and has his hands in many other companies as he reaches beyond his transition from football life. Ken also holds the position of Director of Responsibility for the Washington Redskins.

Dr. Jayfus T. Doswell, Vice President for Research & Development, is the founder of Juxtopia, LLC Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Doswell attended Baltimore City public schools, holds degrees in Computer Science and Cognitive Neuropsychology from Oberlin College, Systems and Computer Science from Howard University, and a PhD in Information Technology from George Mason University. His PhD research concentrated on developing and evaluating a Mixed Reality System (e.g., Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality) architecture for improving human learning performance. Dr. Doswell is the Founder and Director of Team JURBAN for Google’s Lunar XPRIZE competition.

SpaceRef staff editor.