Virgin Galactic Sees Departure of Chief Legal Officer & Director of Safety as Company Fights Lawsuits

Michelle Kley (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Galactic has seen the departures of its director of safety and chief legal officer over the past month.

Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Michelle Kley is leaving Virgin Galactic as of July 19 after two years and seven months with the company. She will become chief legal officer at Volta, a company that runs an electric vehicle charging network.

Her departure comes as Virgin Galactic battles lawsuits from unhappy shareholders who claim to have lost money since the company went public more than 2.5 years ago.

Kley joined Virgin Galactic as executive vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary in December 2019. She previously served as senior vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary at Maxar Technologies from July 2016 to March 2019.

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World View Assembles Space Flight Safety Experts from NASA, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin to Establish Safety Program and Technical Oversight Committee

The new team builds on World View’s existing safety protocols as the company readies for human flights in 2024

High-altitude crew capsule. (Credit: World View Enterprises)

TUSCON, Ariz. (World View PR)World View, the leading stratospheric exploration and space tourism company, hired three new industry experts to establish and lead a new safety program that includes the company’s testing and safety protocols ahead of human space flights starting in 2024. The new personnel will build on World View’s existing safety protocols and risk assessment procedures that have successfully guided more than 100 uncrewed flights and remote sensing missions for commercial and government customers. In turn, the committee’s work will provide the additional measures needed for World View to begin space tourism missions in two years.

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World View Reaches 1,000 Reservations for Flights to the Edge of Space

High-altitude crew capsule. (Credit: World View Enterprises)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) — World View, the leading stratospheric ballooning and space tourism company, has accomplished a new milestone: reaching one thousand reservations for its space tourism program taking participants to the edge of space in a zero-pressure stratospheric balloon and pressurized space capsule. As seasoned leaders in stratospheric exploration and space tourism, the company has now sold the greatest number of seats in the space tourism category.

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World View Enters Space Tourism and Exploration Market to Take Passengers to the Edge of Space

High-altitude crew capsule. (Credit: World View Enterprises)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) — World View, the leading stratospheric ballooning company, today announced an expansion of services that includes the global launch of the first-of-its-kind, edge-of-space experience. The World View space tourism experience is the most affordable, longest duration and most accessible space experience on Earth. As a purpose-first company, World View is focused on inspiring, creating and exploring new perspectives, offering participants more accessibility to space tourism experiences than ever before. World View’s mission is to bring as many people as possible to the edge of space so that at 100,000 feet, they’ll see a world without borders or species and come back driven to make the world a better place. The company believes that by reaching a critical mass of people experiencing what has been labeled the Overview Effect that humanity will be able to markedly improve the future of our fragile Earth.

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One Giant Leap for Lunar Landing Navigation Taken in Mojave

This map of the Moon shows the five candidate landing sites chosen by the Apollo Site Selection Board in February 1968. Photographs gathered during earlier uncrewed reconnaissance missions gave NASA information about terrain features. (Credit: NASA)

By Nicole Quenelle
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center

MOJAVE, Calif., September 13, 2019 (NASA PR) — When Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, it first flew over an area littered with boulders before touching down at the Sea of Tranquility. The site had been selected based on photos collected over two years as part of the Lunar Orbiter program.

But the “sensors” that ensured Eagle was in a safe spot before touching down – those were the eyes of NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong.

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Poynter Steps Down as World View Appoints New CEO

Ryan Hartman

TUCSON (World View PR) — World View is pleased to announce that the company’s Board of Directors has appointed Ryan Hartman as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Jane Poynter, World View’s co-founder, has stepped down from her role as Chief Executive Officer and will remain a Strategic Advisor and member of the Board of Directors.

“It has been a tremendous honor and adventure to serve as the CEO of World View since founding the company. I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished together in just a few short years,” said Poynter. “We’ve made amazing progress and have built a strong foundation for the company to thrive under Mr. Hartman’s leadership. I couldn’t be happier with his appointment and the Board and I are confident that, as a seasoned leader with unrivaled aerial systems expertise, he is the right person to build on our momentum and carry the vision forward.”

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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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NASA Flight Opportunities Program Selects 15 Space Technologies for Tests

New Shepard booster over the landing pad. (Credit: Blue Origin)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities program has selected 15 promising space technologies to be tested on commercial low-gravity simulating aircraft, high-altitude balloons and suborbital rockets. These flights will help advance technologies for future spaceflight, taking them from the laboratory to a relevant flight environment.

During an Aug. 28 visit to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, where the Flight Opportunities program is managed, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency will focus on funding more of these payload flights in the future.

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NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program Adds New Flight Provider to its Roster

One of Raven Aerostar’s Super Pressure Balloons. (Credit: Raven Aerostar)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads for demonstration on commercial suborbital reusable platforms. The list includes a new flight provider: Raven Aerostar.

In addition, three companies currently working with Flight Opportunities renewed their IDIQ contracts:

  • Blue Origin Texas, LLC, Van Horn, Texas
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Littleton, Colorado
  • World View Enterprises, Inc., Tucson, Arizona

Based in Sioux Falls, SD, Raven Aerostar specializes in long-duration and navigational stratospheric missions through its fleet of high-altitude balloons.

Through these new NASA awards, selected companies will receive a five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for integration and flight services.

To learn more, read the full NASA news release.











Former SSL CTO Matteo Genna Joins World View

Matteo Genna

TUCSON (World View PR) — World View is pleased to announce that former SSL Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Dr. Matteo Genna, has joined the company to lead engineering and manufacturing. Dr. Genna will provide executive leadership and direction in shaping World View’s future in pursuit of the company’s mission to pioneer a new economy in the stratosphere.

In his new role as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing, Dr. Genna will be responsible for leading the continued technical progress and development of all flight services and vehicles, including World View’s hallmark Stratollite platform, a balloon-borne vehicle analagous to a satellite that operates over cusotmer-specified areas of interest for long duration missions. He brings more than 20 years of experience in leading engineering, product development, and manufacturing teams to World View.

“World View is honored to welcome Matteo to the team,” said Jane Poynter, World View co-founder and CEO. “Throughout his career, Matteo has demonstrated remarkable success in building and developing high performance teams and products. He is a great fit with our organizational culture and will be an exceptional leader for our innovative and growing team and mission.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Genna to the World View team! We look forward to a bright future under his guidance and leadership.











NASA Selects US Firms to Provide Commercial Suborbital Flight Services

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space. The selection is part of NASA’s continuing effort to foster a viable market for American commercial reusable suborbital platforms that allow testing of new space technologies within Earth’s atmosphere.

Through these new awards, selected companies will receive an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for integration and flight services, drawing from a pool of commercial space companies. The five-year contracts have a combined potential contract value of $45 million. The flights will carry a variety of payloads to help meet the agency’s research and technology needs.

The selected companies are:

  • Aerostar International (Raven Aerostar), Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Blue Origin Texas, LLC, Van Horn, Texas
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Littleton, Colorado
  • World View Enterprises, Inc., Tucson, Arizona

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is charged with maturing crosscutting technologies to flight readiness status for future space missions. The agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, manages the Flight Opportunities Program for STMD.

During the coming year, STMD will make significant new investments that address several high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep space exploration. It continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in important technology thrust areas. These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep space exploration.

For more information on the program, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/flightopportunities











Jane Poynter & World View Making the Stratosphere Accessible

Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum are both veterans of Biosphere 2. (Credit: World View)

TUCSON (PISCES PR) — Jane Poynter is no stranger to big ideas. World View, the Tucson-based stratospheric flight and technology company, is just the latest game-changing venture for Poynter, the biospherian turned entrepreneur/CEO and humanitarian.

Most wouldn’t describe Ms. Poynter’s journey in life as ordinary. Quickly after primary school, Poynter developed an early and insatiable appetite for audacious projects. This gravitational force led her on an international trek of self-exploration and education that concluded with her earning a spot on the eight-person roster of Biosphere 2, a project widely regarded as the first large-scale, terrestrial space colonization experiment.

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World View Executes NASA Flight Opportunities Program Mission

Balloon launch. (Credit: World View)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, announced today that it has successfully executed a Z-Class high-altitude mission commissioned by the NASA Flight Opportunities program office (FOP) for two principal customers, the NASA Ames Research Center  and Space Environment Technologies, both of whom are studying radiation detection and its energy levels at different altitudes.

The Z-Class mission launched from Spaceport Tucson at approximately 9:39 a.m. PT on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

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World View Raises $26.5 Million Series C Round Led by Accel

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, announced today that it has successfully closed a $26.5M Series C round of financing led by Accel. The Series C also included major investment by Canaan and Norwest Venture Partners, both of whom participated in World View’s previous Series B round of financing.

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