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George Whitesides, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, Wednesday announced the appointment of Steven J. Isakowitz as President of Virgin Galactic LLC. Isakowitz has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer since he joined the company in 2011. He will continue to report directly to Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.
“Steve has been an invaluable leader for our team since he joined the company,” Whitesides said. “This new position will enable him to take a wider role in company responsibilities as we progress through the final phases of the development program, expand in preparation for commercial operations, and build our small satellite launch service.”
Virgin Galactic says it is on track to become the world’s first commercial spaceline. The company says their vehicles have been extensively tested and SpaceshipTwo recently completed its first rocket-powered flight that broke the speed of sound. Since joining the company in September 2011, Isakowitz has played a key role across a range of areas, and led the development of LauncherOne, a revolutionary orbital launch system for small satellites.
Isakowitz said, “Virgin Galactic is a transformational company and I am honored to take on this new role. As we chart an exciting course into the future of commercial space travel, I could not imagine a better team with which to do it.”
Prior to joining Galactic, Isakowitz served in several senior positions in the federal government, including NASA, where he served as Deputy Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and received the agency’s Outstanding Leadership Medal. Isakowitz also served as Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Energy through two presidential administrations. Previously, he served as Branch Chief of Science and Space Programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and as an aerospace engineer and project manager for space launch vehicles at Lockheed Martin.
Isakowitz holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of the well-known International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems.
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