Sierra Nevada Appoints Former Astronaut Janet Kavandi to Run Space Systems

Janet Kavandi (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., September 16, 2019 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global   aerospace and national security contractor owned by Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, announced that former NASA astronaut and Glenn Research Center director, Janet Kavandi, will join SNC as Senior Vice President for the company’s Space Systems business area.

After 25 years with NASA, Kavandi retired this month as director at Glenn, having led the center’s Moon to Mars work. She is joining SNC in a period of growth for the company’s space initiatives and two years before the first of six missions for SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft to service the International Space Station under contract with NASA.

“Janet has been recognized as representing the best of America’s astronauts,” said Eren Ozmen, SNC’s owner and President. “She is also a true leader toward the goal of making space more accessible and affordable to all. We are beyond excited to welcome Janet to SNC so that alongside NASA we can ensure continued U.S. leadership in shaping a coordinated strategy, and critical infrastructure, for our new space economy. Our Dream Chaser spacecraft’s first launch in September of 2021 will in itself transform the way the world goes to space.”

Kavandi was tapped for NASA’s astronaut corps in 1994 and went on to fly three space shuttle missions from 1998 to 2001, logging more than 33 days and 13.1 million miles in space.  She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in April 2019. Most recently, as director at Glenn, Kavandi oversaw one of the largest increases in workload and budget in the center’s history.  She played a pivotal role in the expansion of the Artemis Program, including the management of the power and propulsion element for NASA’s moon-orbiting Gateway as well as the mission-critical testing of the Orion spacecraft. Kavandi earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington.

“I am very excited to be joining Sierra Nevada Corporation at such an exciting and pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Kavandi.  “I look forward to working collaboratively with the SNC team and our partners to achieve revolutionary goals in commercial spaceflight.”

At SNC, Kavandi will oversee three units within its Space Systems business area, including Space Technologies & Spacecraft, Space Exploration Systems and Propulsion & Environmental Systems.

About Sierra Nevada Corporation

Owned by Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, SNC is a trusted leader in solving the world’s toughest challenges through best-of-breed, open architecture engineering in Space Systems, Commercial Solutions, and National Security and Defense. SNC is recognized among the three most innovative U.S. companies in space, as a Tier One Superior Supplier for the U.S. Air Force, and as one of America’s fastest growing companies. SNC’s 55-year legacy of state-of-the art civil, military and commercial solutions includes delivering more than 4,000 space systems, subsystems and components to customers worldwide, and participation in more than 450 missions to space, including Mars.