Skyrora Appoints ex-SpaceX VP as COO

7th Jun 2022
Skyrora Appoints ex-SpaceX VP as COO

Edinburgh-based small-sat launch company Skyrora announced on 7th June that it appointed a new Chief Operations Officer. The new O-suite hire is Lee Rosen, Col., U.S. Air Force (retired). Rosen also served as Vice President of Mission and Launch Operations and Customer Operations and Integration at SpaceX. 

Rosen brings to Skyrora a wide range of space-related experience, from acquisition and engineering to space operations. Among other duties, he served in Command postings at both Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral during his 23 year career in the U.S. Air Force.

At SpaceX, Rosen rose from being launch site director at Vandenberg to leading the construction of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch site. He later ran SpaceX’s launch operations, then mission management for civil, commercial, and government missions. He also led the company’s operations and training for manned spaceflight.

Skyrora’s ambitious plans

Rosen fills a need at Skyrora given its ambitious plans. The company’s goals include launching 16 times per year from the UK by 2030. The company expects to use launch facilities at Saxa Vord in the Shetland Islands. 

Skyrora CEO and Founder Volodymyr Levykin stated that,

Having completed some 200 launches over the course of his career, we’re delighted that Lee has joined Skyrora and offering his unparalleled leadership and expertise to the team as we continue to hit crucial milestones in our push towards a maiden launch from UK soil.

Saxa Vord launch

As Orbital Today reported recently, the authorities recently approved the Saxa Vord site for construction. The spaceport hurtled the last planning barriers and the site on the Lamba Ness peninsula on the island of Unst is currently scheduled for completion in time for a launch by the end of 2022. 

Skyrora will share Saxa Vord with UK-based ABL Space Systems and Lockheed Martin. Saxa Vord CEO Frank Strang stated, in reference to the site’s progress,

With the preparatory works underway, we can look forward to a busy summer of construction work and ultimately to reaching our goal of the first UK vertical rocket launch later in the year.

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