Enabling aerospace project success

About Kaplan Astronautics, LLC Space Consulting


Michael Kaplan is the Principal Consultant at Kaplan Astronautics. He has over 35 years leadership experience across aerospace, satellite and systems domains working with the US Department of Defense, NASA, Boeing, Space Systems Loral and Ball Aerospace. His specialties span business development, strategic planning, marketing, product development, program management and systems engineering. 

Michael has also worked with
Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance, ESA, DLR, CNES, Orbital, Thales Alenia, Israel Space Agency, Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems and numerous universities and research laboratories, and many other leading aerospace and high technology organizations.

While at NASA Headquarters, Michael created and led the development of several transformational programs including the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. He also created the partnership between NASA and the DLR that enabled the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the world’s largest and most sophisticated airborne observatory. He led the project to a new start in a very demanding budget climate.

​At Boeing and SSL/MDA,, Michael led product and business development in space robotic and science missions where he was responsible for all aspects of the development of new space business (marketing, strategy, sales, teaming, acquisitions, R&D investment planning, IRAD project management, proposal team leadership and technical management.)

​Michael’s formal education started with a BSE from Princeton University in Aerospace & Mechanical Sciences & Engineering Physics. It continued with 2 Masters degrees from George Washington University, one in R&D Management and one in Electrical Engineering, with specialties in communications, antennas and controls.  He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, has a patent involving advanced antenna technology and has authored numerous technical publications.