MD & Chief Design Engineer

Co-founder of MARCOM Aeronautics and Space (Pty) LTD, Mr. Comninos holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in Indiana (1995) and a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering (1997) from The University of Texas at Austin.

Initially specializing in the aerodynamic analysis of launch vehicles via analytical and Computational Fluid Dynamics methods, Mark quickly moved into the design of single and two stage to orbit reusable launch vehicles, building up significant experience in all aspects of space transportation systems.

Besides overall management of MARCOM and the logistical development of a fully integrated launch service, his primary duty as chief design engineer has been the blending of aerodynamic, flight dynamic, structural and propulsion system design requirements into what has now become the CHEETAH-1 CSLV.

With a passion for analytic and computational analysis, Mark has conducted numerous aerodynamic analyses on a variety of launch and reentry vehicles spanning all regions of the flight regime, from subsonic through supersonic to hypersonic.

Mark also possesses significant experience in the area of flight dynamics, guidance, navigation and control. As the principle programmer of MARCOM’s flight dynamics simulator “LaunchSIM”, Mark has blended both simple and complicated time dependent multiple input, multiple output trajectory optimization algorithms into the first version of the CHEETAH-1 flight software.

Further to these talents, Mark possesses extensive experience in the design of liquid rocket engines, having conducted significant research and design of regeneratively cooled, turbopump-fed liquid propulsion systems inclusive of nozzle optimization algorithms, regenerative cooling analyses, turbine efficiency and overall performance computations.



Head, Business Development & Marketing

Born in Potchefstroom but raised in Natal, Vanessa studied at McQuarrie University, Sydney, specialising in I/O Psychology. An entrepreneur at heart, Vanessa has taken several companies from concept development to full operation.

Focusing on product marketing she has worked extensively in sales and advertising covering below, through and above the line campaigns.

Passionate about space, Vanessa is principally focused on gaining support for the development, through commercial and strategic partnerships, across all sectors of the space arena, of a comprehensive turn-key service by MARCOM. As such her primary responsibilities include company objective planning and marketing strategies.

Vanessa’s secondary responsibility is that of raising awareness within the Republic, of the viability of an integrated space technology transportation program, objectives and marketing strategies leading to further stimulus of the space industry via public and private contribution.