Edinburgh rocket company appoints new chief operating officer

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Edinburgh-headquartered rocket company Skyrora has appointed a new chief operating officer.

Lee Rosen, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, was also the former vice president of mission and launch operations and customer operations and integration at SpaceX.

Having flown more than 150 missions for Elon Musk’s rocket company, he brings his vast operational expertise as Skyrora aims to be the first UK company to launch from British soil.

This will be vital, given its target of carrying out 16 launches a year from the Saxavord Launch Complex in the Shetland Islands alone by 2030.

Throughout his career, Rosen has gained experience as an engineer, space operator and acquisition professional. He spent 23 years in the US Air Force with command tours at both launch bases, Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral, before joining SpaceX.

Rosen said: “The UK is currently entirely dependent on the US and, although this is a crucial relationship, Skyrora is heading towards a future where that country’s space capabilities will enable regular sovereign launches.

“Space capability is now key to providing a defense advantage – Skyrora’s mobile, agile and responsive launch and in-orbit capability can provide the UK with something it has been missing and strengthen its special relationship with the United States. United.”

Founder and Managing Director Volodymyr Levykin said: “Developing sovereign, mobile and sustainability-focused launch services is of the utmost importance to the UK’s ability to meet its climate change commitments. , to deliver cutting-edge defense capabilities and realize its potential in the emerging global space economy.

“Having completed some 200 launches in his career, we are delighted that Lee has joined Skyrora and offers his unparalleled leadership and expertise to the team as we continue to reach crucial milestones in our push towards a maiden launch since the British soil. ”

Skyrora recently completed a successful test of its 70 kN rocket engine, another milestone in its contract under the European Space Agency’s Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support program.

A new rocket engine test facility was also opened in Midlothian in March, adding to Skyrora’s portfolio of development, manufacturing and test facilities across Scotland.

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