Virgin Galactic Taps Tim Buzza to Lead LauncherOne Program

George Whitesides
George Whitesides

With Virgin Galactic President Steve Isakowitz heading out the door for the Aerospace Corporation, CEO George Whitesides has made an interim appointment in the meantime.

“I have asked Tim Buzza, the program director of LauncherOne, to step up and lead our LauncherOne enterprise as we search for Steve’s successor. Tim joined Virgin Galactic in 2014, and has led the overall program management of LauncherOne since early 2015. Prior to joining Galactic, Tim served as the Vice President of Launch and Test at SpaceX, in addition to prior leadership roles at Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. Tim will be supported by our Senior Vice President of Business Development and Advanced Concepts, Barry Matsumori, who was previously SpaceX’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development, as well as key roles at Qualcomm, Space Systems Loral and General Dynamics.”

Whitesides’ full statement is below.

“We are deeply proud of Steve and wish him the best as he embarks on this important new mission leading The Aerospace Corporation. I am sure he will serve our nation well, as he has many times in the past, contributing his crucial perspectives to the dynamic environment of national security and civil space.”

“During Steve’s time with our company, VG’s orbital LauncherOne business has built a firm launch backlog of more than $250 million and over 50 satellites, plus options and letters of intent to launch an additional 300+ satellites. The revolutionary LauncherOne rocket business now has over 200 world-class employees, 150,000 square feet of fully-outfitted manufacturing facilities, four propulsion and structural test facilities in Mojave, and a dedicated 747-400 jumbo jet launch platform. I’d also like to thank Steve for his accomplishments working with the team to develop our successful in-house capability for advanced propulsion, and helping to create an ambitious roadmap for future opportunities in both human spaceflight and satellite launch.”

“I have asked Tim Buzza, the program director of LauncherOne, to step up and lead our LauncherOne enterprise as we search for Steve’s successor. Tim joined Virgin Galactic in 2014, and has led the overall program management of LauncherOne since early 2015. Prior to joining Galactic, Tim served as the Vice President of Launch and Test at SpaceX, in addition to prior leadership roles at Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. Tim will be supported by our Senior Vice President of Business Development and Advanced Concepts, Barry Matsumori, who was previously SpaceX’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development, as well as key roles at Qualcomm, Space Systems Loral and General Dynamics.”

“I look forward to working with Tim and Barry as the LauncherOne team achieves its mission to provide responsive, affordable and dedicated launch services to the commercial and government small satellite markets.”

  • ThomasLMatula

    Funny, but to me, given the progress of SpaceX and Blue Origin, VG really seems like an airline still offering prop planes while everyone else is doing jets. Time has really passed them by, with a space plane that has no future beyond tourist flights and a supersized version of Pegasus. Hopefully both niche markets will enable them to generate enough revenues to pay their investors eventually.