Mojave Spaceport Names Todd Lindner as new CEO

Todd Lindner

MOJAVE, Calif. (MASP PR) — A new Chief Executive Officer will take the controls of the Mojave Air and Spaceport (MASP) in April.

Todd Lindner, former Director of the Jacksonville, Florida, Aviation Authority’s Cecil Spaceport , was selected by members of the Mojave Air and Spaceport board of directors from more than 100 applications.

A veteran pilot, Lindner will be the first person with airport management experience to manage the Mojave Air and Spaceport.

“With 30 years of aviation management experience, Todd Lindner understands the unique financial and operating requirements of an air and spaceport,” said Jim Balentine, president of the MASP board of directors. 

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Industry Groups Urge Increased Support for Office of Space Commerce

Three industry groups have written a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to emphasize the importance of the Office of Space Commerce in supporting the U.S. space industry.

“Given the constant developments, from start-ups to new technologies in the space sector, and the uncertainties of the post-pandemic and changing regulatory environment globally, the space industry requires a strong U.S. Office of Space Commerce to drive continued growth here and abroad for U.S. space industry,” the letter said.

The document was signed by the Aerospace Industries Association, Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Satellite Industry Association.

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Mojave Air & Space Port Appoints Interim CEO

Mojave Air and Space Port (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The Mojave Air and Space Port’s Board of Directors has appointed former board member David Evans as interim CEO to replace Karina Drees.

Evans will serve in the post under a consulting contract while the board searches for a permanent replacement for Drees, who is leaving the position on Jan. 4.

Evans resigned from the board in October after serving for more than six years. He was originally appointed to the board in April 2014 to replace Dick Rutan, who resigned to pursue a business opportunity.

Evans is a certified public accountant and principal in Evans & Company, Inc., of California City. He is a commercial pilot and licensed flight instructor.

Drees is moving to Washington, D.C., to serve as president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. She had served as CEO and general manager of the spaceport since January 2016. Prior to that, Drees served as deputy general manager under Stu Witt for three years.

Mojave Spaceport CEO Karina Drees to Become Commercial Spaceflight Federation President

Karina Drees

Washington, DC (CSF PR) – Commercial Spaceflight Federation announced today that Karina Drees will join the organization as its new president, effective January 4, 2021.

Since 2012, Drees served as CEO and General Manager of Mojave Air & Space Port (MASP) and held several other senior leadership positions at the company. She is currently the vice chair of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and has been an active member of the CSF Board of Directors for five years, including serving as treasurer from 2017 to 2020.

“Karina brings an impressive amount of senior leadership and business acumen to CSF, as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in the policy and regulatory arenas and the proven ability to grow an organization and build strategic alliances with key industry stakeholders,” said Audrey Powers, CSF Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and Vice President of Legal and Compliance for Blue Origin.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes New Board Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) elected new Board Leadership and Officers at its bi-annual Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C., on September 29, 2020.

Audrey Powers is CSF’s new Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. Powers is the Vice President of Legal & Compliance for Blue Origin. She is a seasoned policy and regulatory expert and has testified before Congress on commercial spaceflight regulatory matters.

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Eric Stallmer Joins Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy

Voyager Logo

Former Commercial Spaceflight Federation President to lead public policy for the organization from new Washington D.C. office

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2020 (Voyager Space Holdings PR) — Voyager Space Holdings, Inc. (Voyager), a global leader in space exploration, today announced the appointment of Eric Stallmer as executive vice president of government affairs and public policy. Stallmer will lead Voyager’s Washington D.C. office and will be responsible for representing the interests of Voyager to key government institutions including Congress, the White House and the many federal agencies that impact the success of Voyager and its subsidiaries.

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The Federation Praises Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Reform

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation today praised the Department of Commerce’s release this week of a rulemaking that dramatically reforms the U.S. government’s regulation of the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry.

“We wish to thank Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Office of Space Commerce and its Director Kevin O’Connell, and NOAA’s Office of Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs for publishing this forward-leaning, streamlined set of rules for this growing and important industry,”  declared Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “And we again thank Vice President Pence, the National Space Council, and its Executive Secretary Scott Pace for issuing Space Policy Directive 2 two years ago, which focused agencies across the government to minimize regulatory burden and streamline oversight.”

Up until now, the U.S. remote sensing industry has been governed by legislation and regulations written in the early 1990’s.  While capabilities and technologies have progressed over the decades, companies dealt with these outdated regulations, often prohibiting new technologies and disincentivising the industry.  License applications regularly took too long to authorize with little to no transparency into the decision making process. With these revised regulations, comes a new era for the remote sensing industry and as new licenses are granted, we hope to see these principles put into practice.

“Thank you to the Commerce Department for developing these new rules that reduce bureaucratic restrictions on industry so they can innovate faster, compete effectively internationally, and enable new applications for satellite observations of the Earth,” said Stallmer.  “CSF has fought hard for several years to promote legislative and regulatory reforms that would streamline these rules.  We believe that these new rules from the Department of Commerce are an important step forward to enable U.S. companies to compete in a growing international marketplace while protecting America’s national security concerns.”

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Seeks Bailout Money for Industry

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

With the economy grinding to a halt, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is seeking billions of dollars from the federal government to keep the rockets launching on time.

In a March 18 letter sent to Congressional leaders, CSF President Eric Stallmer proposed establishing “a $5 billion grant and/or low-interest loan program to ensure the continued availability of critical aerospace infrastructure, capability, personnel, and mission readiness to maintain assured access to space for national security, civil, and commercial space missions.

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Next-gen Suborbital Space Research and Education Conference to be held March 2-4

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to keynote conference

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 27, 2020 (NSRC PR) — Since its debut in 2010, the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) has rapidly become the largest gathering of suborbital researchers and educators in the world, providing an invaluable forum for information, discussion, coordination and networking in this community.

NSRC-2020, to be held at the Omni Interlocken hotel in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, will bring together vehicle providers, spaceport operators, government officials, industry leaders and hundreds of researchers and educators to engage in a variety of presentations, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. The NSRC conference series is jointly led by Southwest Research Institute and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

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Mixed Reaction to House’s NASA Authorization Bill

There have been sharply differing reaction from industry and advocacy groups to the House draft of a NASA authorization act that largely rejects the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 and establish a permanent presence there. Instead, a moon landing would be used as an interim step to sending astronauts to Mars. Commercial participation in these missions would be limited.

[See House NASA Authorization Bill Focuses on Sending Astronauts to Mars; Moon Seen as Interim Step and NASA Authorization Bill Introduced in House for details.]

Below are statements by the Aerospace Industries Association, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and National Space Society.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has also weighed in here.

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The Federation Announces Commercial Space Leadership Awards

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Commercial Space Leadership Awards in recognition of leading innovators, investors, educators, journalists, and policymakers for their significant contributions to the success of the commercial space industry. The United States is undergoing a renaissance in space, and the commercial industry plays a pivotal role in this major transformation. 

The 2020 winners are:

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SWRI, CSF Announce Suborbital Space Researchers, Educators Conference

BROOMFIELD, Colo., October 31, 2019 (NSRC PR) — As a new generation of space vehicles prepares the groundwork for space research and education, the 2020 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will bring together hundreds of suborbital researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceports and government officials in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, 2020.

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NASA to Discuss Planetary Protection Review’s Findings and Recommendations

This scene from the panoramic camera on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity looks back toward part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater that the rover drove along, heading southward, during the summer of 2014. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 18, to discuss recommendations presented by the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB), established in June 2019 by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website.

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NewSpace vs. Big Rocket: FAA’s Overhaul of Launch Regs Splits Industry

Two Launches in One Week: On Aug. 14, 2017, a Falcon 9 launch vehicle lifts off Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the photo on the left. It was carrying a Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. In the image on the right, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Aug.18, 2017 placing in orbit NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. (Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Sandra Joseph)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

According to who you talk to, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed streamlining of launch and re-entry regulations is either a prudent step forward that provides much-needed flexibility while protecting public safety or a a confusing mess that’s a massive step backward.

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Taber MacCallum is New CSF Chairman

DENVER (CSF PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) announced today that Taber MacCallum, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of World View Enterprises, will serve as the new Chairman of the Board of CSF.

George Whitesides, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, and Karina Drees, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Mojave Air and Space Port, will continue in their current roles as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, respectively.

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