Thomas E. Markusic
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to co-founding Firefly, Tom served in a variety of technical and leadership roles in new-space companies: Vice President of Propulsion at Virgin Galactic, Senior Systems Engineer at Blue Origin, Director of the Texas Test Site and Principal Propulsion Engineer at SpaceX. Prior to his new-space work, Tom was a civil servant at NASA and the USAF, where he worked as research scientist and propulsion engineer. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.
Dr. Polyakov is a serial entrepreneur who has founded many successful companies, including IT-Ukraine, HitDymanics Ltd., Maxymiser Ltd., and Cupid Plc. Dr. Polyakov has extensive experience leading online projects from the idea stage through sale or IPO launch. In 2012, Dr. Polyakov founded Murka and Renatus from his Silicon Valley base of operations.
In 2016, Dr. Polyakov founded EOS (Earth Observation System) as a startup to perform data analytics of remote Earth Sensory data. In 2017, he purchased the assets, patents and intellectual property of Firefly Space Systems and rebranded the company as Firefly Aerospace.
Dr. Polyakov received his doctorate degree in International Economics from Dnipropetrovsk National University with a thesis on information technology development in the global economy.
As a philanthropist, Max Polyakov founded Association Noosphere in 2016, whose social initiatives facilitate the discovery, use and sharing of knowledge, as well as promote science and technology on a global scale.