Starlab Space unveils leadership team to propel space exploration ventures

Starlab Space unveils leadership team to propel space exploration ventures

by Clarence Oxford

Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 13, 2024

Starlab Space LLC, the ambitious transatlantic joint venture formed between aerospace giants Voyager Space and Airbus, has officially announced its leadership lineup, introducing a cadre of accomplished professionals set to steer the company into a new era of space exploration.

At the helm as CEO of Starlab Space is retired NASA astronaut and seasoned Voyager executive, Tim Kopra. Kopra’s appointment is a strategic move, leveraging his vast experience in space exploration and prior leadership roles, including overseeing the Starlab program at Nanoracks (a key component of Voyager’s Exploration Segment). His multifaceted career encompasses significant stints as an engineer, astronaut, International Space Station Commander, and various leadership roles in the aerospace sector. Kopra expressed his enthusiasm about leading Starlab, emphasizing the joint venture’s mission to not only meet but exceed current space exploration standards and revolutionize the commercial space sector.

Joining Kopra in navigating the financial cosmos of Starlab is Mohit Sharma, assuming the role of CFO. Sharma brings over 15 years of experience from Airbus, where he served as Head of Mergers and Acquisitions Finance at Airbus Defence and Space. His tenure at Airbus saw him driving international cooperation and spearheading innovative business ventures, including the notable NewSpace Satellite Constellation Venture OneWeb. Sharma’s expertise in finance and fundraising is expected to play a pivotal role in expanding and developing Starlab’s financial strategy to support its growth trajectory.

The leadership team is further bolstered by notable figures such as Voyager Space’s CTO Marshall Smith, former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Airbus U.S. Space and Defense’s SVP and Head of Space Systems Debra Facktor, and CFO Mohamed Denden, all joining the Starlab Board of Directors. Dr. Marc Steckling, SVP and Head of Earth Observation, Science and Exploration at Airbus Defence and Space, will serve as a permanent guest on the board, adding to the venture’s extensive expertise pool.

The management board also includes Thomas Ayres as General Counsel, Paul Schauer as Chief Procurement Officer, and other members who will be nominated in the coming weeks, including the Managing Director of Starlab’s European entity, once established.

Kopra’s diverse background, which spans military aviation, space exploration, and technology ventures, coupled with Sharma’s deep financial acumen and the comprehensive experience of the board members, positions Starlab Space LLC for a promising future in the commercial space industry. The leadership team’s collective expertise is expected to drive Starlab towards realizing its vision of transforming space exploration and establishing a solid foundation for future commercial space endeavors.

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