Press Release

Virgin Galactic Appoints Former NASA Executive as Vice President of Operations

By SpaceRef Editor
October 11, 2011
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Virgin Galactic Appoints Former NASA Executive as Vice President of Operations

LAS CRUCES, N.M. Virgin Galactic is pleased to announce the appointment of former NASA executive Michael P. Moses as the Vice President of Operations. Just days prior to the dedication of the company’s operational headquarters at Spaceport America in New Mexico, Virgin has named the highly respected human spaceflight leader to oversee the planning and execution of all operations of the company’s commercial suborbital spaceflight program at the site.

Following a distinguished career in NASA’s recently retired Space Shuttle Program, Moses brings to Virgin Galactic a proven record of safe, successful and secure human spaceflight missions, spaceport operations, and human spaceflight program leadership. He served at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the Launch Integration Manager from 2008 until the landing of the final Shuttle mission in July 2011. He was responsible for supervising all Space Shuttle processing activities from landing through launch, and for reviewing major milestones including final readiness for flight.

Moses also served as chair of the Mission Management Team providing ultimate launch decision authority for the final 12 missions of the Space Shuttle Program, directly overseeing the safe and successful flights of 75 astronauts.

Moses will develop and lead the team responsible for Virgin Galactic spaceship operations and logistics, flight crew operations, customer training, and spaceport ground operations, with overall operational safety and risk management as the primary focus.

“Bringing Mike in to lead the team represents a significant investment in our commitment to operational safety and success as we prepare to launch commercial operations,” said Virgin Galactic President and CEO George Whitesides. “His experience and track record in all facets of spaceflight operations are truly unique. His forward-thinking perspective to bring the hard-won lessons of human spaceflight into our operations will benefit us tremendously.”

Prior to his most recent NASA role, Moses served as a Flight Director at the NASA Johnson Space Center where he led teams of flight controllers in the planning, training and execution of all aspects of space shuttle missions. Before being selected as a Flight Director in 2005, Moses had over 10 years experience as a flight controller in the Shuttle Propulsion and Electrical Systems Groups.

Moses said, “I am extremely excited to be joining Virgin Galactic at this time, helping to forge the foundations that will enable routine commercial suborbital spaceflights. Virgin Galactic will expand the legacy of human spaceflight beyond traditional government programs into the world’s first privately funded commercial spaceline.”

Moses holds a bachelors degree in Physics from Purdue University, a master’s degree in space sciences from Florida Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Purdue University. He is a two-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal as well as other NASA commendations and awards.

About Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic, owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS, is on track to be the world’s first commercial spaceline. The new spaceship (SpaceshipTwo, VSS Enterprise) and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve) have both been developed for Virgin Galactic by Mojave-based Scaled Composites. Founded by Burt Rutan, Scaled developed SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 claimed the $10m Ansari X Prize as the world’s first privately developed manned spacecraft. Virgin Galactic’s new vehicles share much of the same basic design, but are being built to carry six customers on sub-orbital space flights, allowing an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience and offering astounding views of the planet from the black sky of space. The VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve test flight program is well under way, leading to Virgin Galactic commercial operations, which will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

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Jeff Carr
Griffin Communications Group
(832) 864-7224
(281) 381-5427 cell

Deanna Wilke
Griffin Communications Group
(832) 864-7227
(281) 881-2981 cell

SpaceRef staff editor.