Retiring NASA Astronaut Becomes Commercial Spaceflight Federation President

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Washington, D.C., Monday, March 12, 2012 (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that former NASA astronaut, International Space Station (ISS) commander, Naval Aviator, and test pilot Michael E. Lopez-Alegria (Capt., U.S. Navy, Ret.) has been named as President, effective March 19, 2012.

Lopez-Alegria was selected for the position following a vote of the Board of Directors of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF).

As President, Lopez-Alegria will lead the Federation staff, and work with the 40+ members of the Federation, which include providers of commercial orbital and suborbital spaceflight, spaceports and launch facilities, suppliers, and educational and research institutions. Lopez-Alegria succeeds Rear Admiral Craig Steidle.

Lopez-Alegria has over three decades of experience with the U.S. Navy and NASA in a variety of roles including Naval Aviator, Navy engineering test pilot and program manager, NASA astronaut, ISS commander, and assistant director of flight crew operations. He is a four-time astronaut, flying on Space Shuttle missions STS-73, STS-92, and STS-113, and serving as Commander of ISS Expedition 14 (flying to and from the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-9). He most recently served as the Assistant for ISS to the Director of Flight Crew Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Lopez-Alegria is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering and earned his master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Lopez-Alegria is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.  He speaks Spanish, French, and Russian.

Lopez-Alegria holds three NASA records: longest spaceflight (215 days); most number of Extravehicular Activities (EVA) (10) and cumulative EVA time (67 hours 40 minutes).

Eric Anderson, Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Chairman of Space Adventures, Ltd., stated, “We are incredibly excited to have someone as capable as Michael Lopez-Alegria leading the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Michael is a leader and a true pioneer whose first-hand experience with spaceflight and the International Space Station will be invaluable to our members and to the Federation.”

Lopez-Alegria stated, “I am honored to accept the position of President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. I have been impressed with the all that the commercial spaceflight industry has accomplished and I look forward to joining the team as it continues to take important strides that are fundamental in maintaining our nation’s preeminence in space.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director Alex Saltman at saltman@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.349.1121.