- Press Release
- Dec 2, 2022
Kistler announces additions to senior management team
The Board of Directors of the Kistler Aerospace Corporation announced the election of Dr. George Mueller as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Mueller will also serve as Chief Vehicle Architect for Kistler’s K-1 Reusable Launch Vehicle. In that role, Dr. Mueller will have primary responsibility for the technical aspects of completion of the K-1. The Board also announced the appointment of Mr. Randolph H. Brinkley as Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Wilbur C. Trafton as President and Chief Operating Officer.
Dr. Mueller joined Kistler as Chief Executive Officer and a member of Kistler’s Board of Directors in April 1995. Commenting on the company’s announcement, Dr. Mueller expressed confidence in the company’s future and in the success of the K-1, which is now in the latter stages of development. Dr. Mueller also expressed pleasure with the selection of Randy Brinkley as the Chief Executive Officer and Will Trafton as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Mueller commented, “Randy Brinkley and Will Trafton are proven leaders in the aerospace industry. Their experience in government and the private sector, and their extensive knowledge of the satellite and launch businesses, and particularly of the International Space Station, make them an incredible addition to the Kistler team. Everyone at Kistler is very excited to have Randy and Will on board, and we look forward to capitalizing on the industry leadership and experience they bring to the Kistler team.”
Prior to joining Kistler, Mr. Brinkley was President of Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) and before that was Senior Vice President of Programs for Hughes Space and Communications (HSC). Before joining HSC in 1999, Mr. Brinkley was the NASA Program Manager for the International Space Station (ISS) from 1994 until 1999. While at NASA¸ Mr. Brinkley was responsible for integration of Russia’s participation in the ISS Program and the successful on-orbit assembly of the first elements of the ISS. Before his assignment as Program Manager for the ISS, Mr. Brinkley was Mission Director of the Hubble Space Telescope Repair Mission in 1994.
Following the announcement by Kistler’s Board of Directors, Mr. Brinkley commented: “I worked closely with Kistler’s team over the past several months, and assessed Kistler’s technology and business potential for myself. I completely agree with Dr. Mueller’s confidence in the K-1 and believe in the company’s ability to meet America’s need for a reliable and cost-efficient reusable launch vehicle. On a personal level, the prospect of working with Dr. Mueller and his pre-eminent technical team to complete development of the K-1 and to make it a commercial success is nothing short of exciting. Considering the experience and reputations of the space industry icons associated with Kistler, it is a great honor to be asked to join the Kistler team and to assume the CEO position. I am also very pleased that Dr. Mueller will continue to lead the technical team’s efforts as the Chief Vehicle Architect. I certainly look forward to working closely with Dr. Mueller, Joe Cuzzupoli, Dick Kohrs, Jack Cannady and the other members of the Kistler executive team to achieve Dr. Mueller’s vision of a reliable and affordable reusable launch vehicle. I have every confidence that the Kistler team will succeed in this historic and important endeavor.”
Will Trafton most recently was President of International Launch Services, President of Sea Launch, and Vice President/General Manager of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems/President of Boeing Launch Services. He is a former Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for budgeting, planning and execution of the Space Shuttle Program, Space Station Program, Expendable Launch Systems, and the Deep Space Communications Network. He was also responsible for four NASA centers: Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Stennis Space Center. Mr. Trafton has held a number of senior executive positions in the space launch industry.
Commenting on his selection as President and COO, Will Trafton said, “I am very pleased and excited about the opportunity to join the Kistler Aerospace Team. The K-1 Reusable Launch Vehicle is going to be the vehicle that turns this industry around, and that fills a critical need of the United States’ space program. We have the right people, the right design, and the right path forward. I share Dr. Mueller’s and Randy’s confidence that we will be very successful going forward.”
Kistler is seeking formal approval of the employment of Mr. Brinkley and Mr. Trafton in its Chapter 11 case. Kistler Aerospace Corporation is in the process of finalizing its Plan of Reorganization to enable it to emerge from Chapter 11 with the support of its largest creditor, Bay Harbour Management LLC.