Space Commerce

Jim Bridenstine, Former NASA Administrator, joins Phase Four’s Board of Directors

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Phase Four
September 1, 2022
Jim Bridenstine, Former NASA Administrator, joins Phase Four’s Board of Directors
Jim Bridenstine, Former NASA Administrator, joins Phase Four’s Board of Directors
Phase Four

Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster (RF Thruster) for satellite propulsion, announced today that Jim Bridenstine, former NASA Administrator and former Member of Congress from Oklahoma, has joined its Board of Directors. Bridenstine provides Phase Four with a wealth of experience based on his leadership role at NASA and legislative efforts as a member of Congress who championed broad private industry support for United States aerospace and defense programs.

“We are honored to have a space visionary like Jim join our board,” said Phase Four CEO, Beau Jarvis. “Jim has been a strong advocate for the expansion of the commercial space industry and private industry support for government missions. I’m looking forward to working with him and thrilled that Phase Four will benefit from his extensive expertise in aerospace.”

Bridenstine’s announcement builds on the Company’s continued momentum, including delivering its second generation product “Maxwell Block 2” engine to customers and developing new advanced propulsion systems offering capabilities that are in high demand in the space industry. Notably, Phase Four’s product line now includes “Max-V,” a Maxwell Block 2 variant running on iodine versus traditional noble gas propellants and “Max-Multi,” a revolutionary Maxwell engine that delivers multimode propulsion capabilities to a broad range of spacecraft.

“The American entrepreneurial spirit is setting sail on what President Kennedy called ‘the new sea,” said Bridenstine. “In this golden era of space innovation, space sustainability is a challenge we must meet. As our generation continues to develop and industrialize space, Phase Four’s game changing in-space mobility technologies will drive down costs, increase access, and maximize the utility and sustainability of Earth’s most valuable orbits. Phase Four is well positioned to impact national security, civil, commercial, and international space markets. I am excited to join the Phase Four board.”

Phase Four’s RF thruster has a radically simplified architecture compared to legacy propulsion technologies, which lends itself to short lead time and high volume manufacturing. To support this effort, the Company is expanding to a 23,000 sq. ft. facility in Hawthorne, California later this year. The propellant agnostic nature of the RF thruster will help eliminate the U.S. defense base’s reliance on a volatile, unsecured noble gas supply chain. The Company’s first non-noble gas-fueled engine, “Max-V,” which operates on iodine, is expected to be available in 2023.

About Phase Four
Phase Four is a disruptive provider of next generation electric propulsion (EP) solutions for small satellites. The company was founded in 2015 to address the demands of the rapid proliferation of satellite constellations and to accelerate the advancement of its radio-frequency thruster (RFT). The Phase Four RFT represents a revolutionary new architecture that realizes lower cost, mass-manufacturability, miniaturized power electronics, and propellant agnosticism over incumbent technologies, without compromising performance. In January 2021, Phase Four’s Maxwell turn-key propulsion system first achieved flight heritage and is now being regularly utilized by small satellite operators. Learn more at

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.