Former NASA, Martin Marietta Executive Appointed to Virginia Space Flight Board

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A. Thomas Young

A. Thomas Young

A. Thomas Young, the former director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Space Flight Center and former president and chief operating officer of Martin Marietta, is the latest appointment the revamped Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) Board of Directors.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Young’s appointment to the board on Jan. 7. According to a NASA press release from 1999 that announced his appointment to lead the Mars Program Assessment Team

Young retired as executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Corp. in 1995. During his career, Young has managed numerous complex, technically challenging programs, including serving as mission director of the 1976 NASA Viking landings on Mars. Young was director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, from 1980 to 1982, and then joined Martin Marietta Corp. in 1982 as vice president of aerospace research and engineering. He was named president and chief operating officer of Martin Marietta in 1990.

Last month, McDonnell announced four other appointments to the nine-member board.

  • Vincent Boles of Annandale, General Manager of the Advanced Technology Division for Aerospace Corporation
  • John R. Broderick of Norfolk, President of Old Dominion University
  • John N. Jester of Chincoteague Island, retired Department of Defense Agency Director
  • Jack Kennedy of Wise, Clerk of Court for Wise County and City of Norton

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton and Virginia Department of Aviation Director Randall Burdette are also member of the VCSFA board, which oversees the operations of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island. Two board seats remain open.

Virginia decided to shrink the board from 13 to nine members last year after reviews found that the body was too unwieldy and had difficulty getting quorums.