A SCOTS rocket company has bolstered its leadership team with a former SpaceX senior, as it gears up for a maiden launch from British soil.
Skyrora has appointed Lee Rosen, Colonel, US Air Force (retired) and ex-Vice President of Mission Launch Operations and Customer Operations and Integration at SpaceX, as their new Chief Operations Manager.
The Edinburgh-headquartered company’s aim is to become the leading provider operating within the UK and number one commercial provider for access to space.
Founder and CEO Volodymyr Levykin said: “Developing sovereign, mobile and sustainably focused launch services is of the utmost importance for the UK’s ability to follow through on its commitments to address climate change.
“We continue to hit crucial milestones in our push towards a maiden launch from UK soil.”
A veteran of over 150 missions, Rosen brings operational expertise as the company attempts to be the first to launch from British soil.
Skyrora are hoping his experience will play a key part as they aim to conduct 16 launches a year from the Saxavord launch complex in the Shetland Islands by 2030.
Over his career, Rosen has built up experience as an engineer, space operator and acquisition professional.
He spent 23 years in the US Air Force with command tours at both Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral prior to joining SpaceX.
He then led the team responsible for launch operations and then government, civil and commercial mission management, and the team that operated and trained astronauts to fly the Dragon spacecraft.
Rosen said: “Currently, the UK is completely reliant on the US and, although this is a crucial relationship, Skyrora is building towards a future when space capabilities in this country will allow for regular sovereign launches.
“Skyrora’s mobile, agile and responsive launch and on-orbit capability can provide the UK with something it has been missing and bolster its special relationship with the US.
“Additionally, we’re setting an example for the space industry with a responsible and sustainable attitude towards spaceflight.
“We need to ensure that our environment is cared for.”