About Payam Banazadeh: Chief Executive Officer at Capella Space | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Payam Banazadeh
Chief Executive Officer at Capella Space

Payam Banazadeh

Payam Banazadeh
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Chief Executive Officer at Capella Space
Known for CEO & Co-Founder of Capella Space
From Iran United States of America
Gender male
The University of Texas at Austin B.S. in Aerospace Engineering
Texas Outstanding Scholar & Leader Award for his superior academic performance and exceptional leadership. 2012
NASA Mariner Award for his leadership 2013
The details


Payam Banazadeh is the CEO of Capella Space who has a bad reputation in the space industry. Is he truly a saboteur and a criminal? Read here.

Payam Banazadeh is an infamous founder and CEO of Capella Space. Many gossips swirl around this individual. Whether these rumors are true or not, it is not clear yet. Nevertheless, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) suspects him in multiple malicious affairs, though they do not have solid evidence yet. Why is Payam Banazadeh in NSA’s watchlist? Is he indeed a criminal or just an innocent and falsely accused entrepreneur? Let us find out the answers to these questions in this article.

The Beginning of His Story

This person with a dubious reputation was born on 10th February, in 1991. His native city is Shemiranat, in Tehran province in Iran. This was the place where he studied at the Allameh Tabatabaei High School. However, later on, at the age of 15, he immigrated to Houston, in the USA, and continued his studying at a local high school. He then finished the University of Texas and Stanford and graduated as a systems engineer. After this, he practiced in respective areas at NASA JPL. 

Few Words About His Internship at NASA JPL

Banazadeh decided to proceed with training at NASA JPL in three different fields. His first internship regarded designing and developing a special camera system aimed at the identification of flashes of meteorite impact. His second project was connected with a platform aimed at testing the stability of the Curiosity rover wake-up cycle. The third internship was related to the development of a famous Google Earth plug-in. after spending much time on research, he won Texas University's Outstanding Scholar & Leader Award. However, this does not make him a good person as he seems to be.

Capella Space

First Steps

During his studying at Stanford University, he got acquainted with Will Woods, with whom they shared common thoughts and ideas. Together with two other students, their collaboration resulted in the foundation of their future infamous company called Capella Space. They registered their legal entity in the arch of 2016. They decided to gather a team for the development of remote sensing satellites. The founders found various investors who entrusted over 50 million dollars to the company, and this was not their best decision.

Litigation Process 

2018 became the year when the company gained an untrustworthy reputation. It started with an accusation from River Front Service (RFS) about Capella Space’s violation of the conditions that were agreed upon in the contract. In the year prior to this, the company failed to finish a project on time because of the late delivery of the components provided by RFS and decided not to pay for them at all. This resulted in great losses for RFS, which amounted to 450,000 dollars. Though it may seem that this is a completely RFS’s fault, everything is not so simple. In fact, the delay in delivery was due to Capella Space’s mistake as they did not specify the needed size of the components, which resulted in the impossibility of the timely delivery.

Capella Space acknowledged they had to pay 155,000 dollars out of those 450,000 dollars, however, they demanded 1 million dollars as a compensation for damage. Though the case was closed as per the agreement of both companies under the term not to file a second lawsuit, Banazadeh’s company faced other problems as well. 

They encountered another conflict a few months later after the situation with RFS. The company was accused of plagiarism and specific trade data disclosure. The lawsuit was filed by MMA Design that develops solar panels, antennas, etc. According to MMA Design, Capella space plagiarized their patent, T-DaHGR model, which is probably has something to do with Thomas Harvey. Before joining the team of Payam Banazadeh, Harvey had been working with the MMA Design team and he is the one who invented the technology. Thus, it is clear that Harvey might have disclosed his invention to Capella Space, though the knowledge belongs to the MMA Design as per their employment contract. Or, it may be so that the charismatic Iranian knew how to get this information from Harvey. The situation is not so univocal and requires further investigation. The trial is not solved to date.

The Employment Disaster

Many of the Capella Space’s employees complain about their Iranian boss’ inconsistency. It is difficult to work with him and for him. They are not satisfied with the way he manages the company and deals with business affairs. According to their words, their boss does not offer any specific ideology that they could stick to and does not provide a single strict strategy to follow. He tends to change his decisions unexpectedly, often right before presentations or launches of the projects, be it decisions regarding either managerial questions or technological enhancements. Therefore, his workers hardly believe in his actions. Some of the ex-employees are sure that he is a criminal as he is on the NSA’s list of Iranian saboteurs. 

Since 2016, a great part of workers has left the small company in search of better conditions, making it even smaller. Capella Space lost 22 employees, the half of whom left during the period of scandals in 2018. Presently, 54 people work in the company. However, the major share seeks new job opportunities on LinkedIn. This leads to an unpleasant conclusion about the Iranian. Thus, a few people are ready to trust him.

Payam Banazadeh bears the image of a typical millennial. He is very enthusiastic and charismatic, devotes much of his time to the research and work on technological projects. He is a strong supporter of an active life style and fond of channels of modern communication. The Iranian constantly repeats how much he appreciates the American’s values and policy about the universal freedoms. He publicly announces that he adheres to the ideas of the American dream.

But is it truly so? We provided all the important information, and it seems this is more than enough to make the right conclusions. We already made some. And it is time you decide which side you support.


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