The World’s First Female Space Travel Entrepreneur
The quintessential definition of a successful deep tech entrepreneur, Jane combines unique technical expertise with uncompromisingly disciplined business execution. Her track record of launching successful technologies, projects and companies culminates in creating Space Perspective, a paradigm changing space tourism company.
As Co-CEO and Chief Experience Officer of Space Perspective, Jane is charged with ensuring all Space Explorers who fly with Space Perspective on Spaceship Neptune experience the most meaningful and memorable journey possible, igniting and inspiring curiosity leading to a global space perspective.
Having grown up on the shores of Southern England, Jane was driven at an early age to explore, learn and discover. Influenced by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit, Jane’s innate curiosity was fueled by the inspirational trans-Atlantic journey of Clare Frances and the courage and pragmatism of Jane Goodall. A natural sailor and expert diver, Jane traveled the world and soon became part of a research vessel that ultimately led to being picked as part of the original crew for Biosphere 2. It was while on that vessel that Jane met Taber MacCallum, her long-time business partner. Her year at sea would prove to be an excellent training ground for the human experiment that was Biosphere 2. From the outset, she was part of the design team, integral to imagining and realizing the Biosphere 2 project. Jane led the design and operation of the project’s record shattering intensive plant growth systems that supplied the eight-person crew with food, water, and oxygen for the two-year mission. Designed to help realize future human interplanetary colonization, Biosphere 2 would reveal that understanding how to live on another planet rapidly translates into how to live on our own planet.
Paragon Space Development Corporation
After sailing oceans together, developing and serving as crew members in Biosphere 2, and starting the successful aerospace company Paragon Space Development Corporation, Jane proposed to Taber. They have been married for nearly 30 years. Squarely focused on building on their learnings from Biosphere 2, Jane was the founding President of Paragon, developing practical applications for the space program. Almost three decades later Paragon is thriving as a key part of NASA’s human exploration mission to the Moon and Mars. Headquartered today in Tucson, AZ, Paragon has pioneered life support systems and thermal control products for extreme environments. These systems are used on the International Space Station, by NASA, major aerospace companies and the U.S. military. While at Paragon Jane developed a carbon credit program in conjunction with the World Bank. She holds a patent for the world’s first self-sustaining habitat used in the multiple space programs and bred the first animals to complete multiple life cycles in space.
Jane’s expertise, knowledge and passion are at the core of her drive to have as many people as possible experience and understand our planet from the perspective of space. Almost universally, astronauts recount the profound impact of seeing the earth in space. That experience is at once extremely personal, inviting a vision of a global view of humanity and life on earth. In 2014, Google executive Alan Eustace chose Paragon to realize his dream of breaking the world free fall record, a dream that became the successful StratEx project. Captured in the documentary film 14 minutes from Earth, Jane witnessed first-hand Alan’s eye-opening adventure and the transformational quality of experiencing the Earth from a new and fresh vantage point.
World View Enterprises
After StratEx and Paragon, Jane founded World View Enterprises Inc. to develop and commercialize stratollite technology, a long duration stratospheric balloon remote sensing and communications platform that navigates the stratosphere. While Jane served as CEO, Taber perfected the balloon navigation and control technology. This break-through led Jane and Taber to be dubbed ‘Masters of the stratosphere,’ by Bloomberg Business Week.
Jane’s visionary leadership in the space sector is deep-seated. In addition to her founding roles at various companies, she is a current fellow of the Explorer’s Club. Her Ted talk on global sustainability has been viewed over one million times. Jane’s book, The Human Experiment: Two years and twenty minutes inside Biosphere 2, chronicles her time in Biosphere 2. Her second book, Champions For Change: Athletes Making a World of Difference, was written with the support from the United Nations.
• A Conversation With Jane Poynter • Rules For Life: Lessons Learned From Isolation And At 160 Miles Per Hour • The Successful Woman • The Smart Future (sustainability) • The Human Experiment • Starvation, Suffocation, And Madness (space talk, human exploration) • We are Biosphere (sustainability, green talk) • Leadership, Green, Sustainability, Future Technology, Space topics available • Corralling The Group Animal (human behaviors in the workplace) • From the Biosphere to the Stratosphere • Champions for a Change