Matthew Isakowitz was an extraordinary young man whose passion for opening the commercial space frontier was only matched by his kindness and generosity to those around him.
Despite leaving us far too soon, Matthew’s contributions left an outsized impact on the space community. Finding inspiration in Carl Sagan’s words, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known,” Matthew began exercising his passion in high school by serving on the XPRIZE Foundation during the flight of SpaceShipOne, the first privately piloted spacecraft. In college, Matthew worked on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto at the Applied Physics Lab, human space travel at Space Adventures, and the Dragon capsule at SpaceX. Matthew’s career took flight as Associate Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which contributed to the transformation of commercial space pioneers—such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic—into the notable players they are today. Afterwards, Matthew continued to push humanity’s frontiers as an entrepreneur and engineer at Planetary Resources and Astranis.
Matthew was granted early acceptance to Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. He also earned a Masters Degree in International Science and Technology Policy from George Washington University. Matthew was a warm, compassionate, and generous person, who loved life to the fullest and whose enthusiasm for commercial space exploration inspired everyone who knew him.
Read below what Matthew meant to those in the space community...