Max Polyakov is a successful entrepreneur with footprints in the space and online social industry. He’s a managing partner at Noosphere Ventures, a space-focused investment company, and a co-founder of Firefly Aerospace. Max Polyakov is focused on saving the Earth as an essential resource for humanity through space activities, such as launching satellites into the orbit. He is also a philanthropist, with his eyes on promoting STEM activities in his home country through events, festivals, and partnerships.
But, Max is not only focused on saving the Earth or going to Mars alone. He is also determined to restore his homeland’s space glory. Ukraine’s space industry prospered during the Soviet era and provided rocket missiles to the Soviet military during the Cold War. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union meant that there was no market for Ukraine’s rocket missiles and no state funding for the industry. The political volatility and mismanagement of the country’s resources also contributed to the collapse of the sector. The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, a leading market and trading partner, is only making things worse for the business.
Despite the challenges that plague the country, Max is focusing on the silver lining and hoping to make a difference. According to him, Ukraine has a wealth of intellectual legacy anchored on the years of technical and scientific education that can make it soar again as an independent country. As a start, Polyakov, through Firefly Aerospace, established a research and development center in Dnipro. Dnipro has a rich history of rocketry, and Max is determined to preserve the legacy. Over 150 experts, mainly Ukrainians, are working at the center to develop a technology that, if successful, will make Firefly Aerospace a market leader. Max believes that Ukrainians will create a sense of purpose if they work in places where they were born.
Yuzhmash facility will also benefit from Max’s determination to restore Ukraine’s space sector. The facility that once produced hundreds of satellites and missiles for Soviet space is on the verge of collapse. For the longest time, the state had a firm grip on the space sector, a move that harmed competition and put off foreign investment. However, the facility is set to benefit from a $15 million partnership deal with Firefly Aerospace to produce 100 combustion chambers and other rocket parts. If the sale is successful, it will mark the beginning of a corporation between the government and private space companies. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy supported the partnership and saw it as an essential move for the sector.