SpaceGen United Keynotes

The following is a list of Keynotes topics that will be the focus of SpaceGen United. All the keynotes speeches and panels will be open to everyone and you can join the Live Streaming sessions by clicking the icons below!

Fore more information about all our Live Streaming sessions please check our schedule!

Lockheed Martin Keynote Speech: Sunday, July 19th 2020 / 5-6pm CET

Paul M. Anderson
Human Lander System (HLS) Program Director

Paul Anderson has over 34 years of experience at Lockheed Martin and is presently the Human Lander System (HLS) Program Director. His recent assignments included serving as the Artemis Mission-2 Director; the Service Module Integrated Product Team (IPT) Director; and the Avionics IPT Director for the Orion program.

Paul also has significant previous program management leadership experience on programs including GOES-R, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Exploration Rover. He is Lockheed’s Executive to the Colorado School of Mines where he serves on the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Advisory Board as well as Chairman of the Aerospace Industry Advisory Council. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and recently served as the Rocky Mountain Section Chairman.

Paul attended the Colorado School of Mines where he competed on the varsity Basketball and Golf teams while earning his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1985. He attained his M.S. from the University of Colorado in Engineering Management in 1991. Paul resides in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, has been married for 28 years, and has successfully raised two daughters.

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Planet Keynote Speech: Monday, July 20th 2020 / 3-4pm CET

Agnieszka Lukaszczyk
Senior Director – European Affairs, Planet

Agnieszka Lukaszczyk is the Senior Director for European Affairs at Planet. A Polish/American national, has worked at the European Commission, Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit. She also worked at the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, Space Policy and Research Unit.

Before she joined the Commission, Agnieszka was the Brussels Office Director for the Secure World Foundation. In addition, she is the former Chairperson and the former Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. Agnieszka also worked at the European Space Policy Institute as a research fellow. Agnieszka serves as the Vice President – Europe for the World Space Week And Sits on the Board Of Directors for the Women in Aerospace-Europe. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Space Security at the Polish Defence Academy.

She holds a Master’s degree from the Warsaw School of Economics in Management of Space in New Economies and a Master’s degree from the American University School of International Service in International Politics plus a Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. She also studied at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium; the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and the World Trade Institute in Berne, Switzerland. She gained professional experience at the Political Section of the Polish Embassy in Washington DC, American Electronics Association in Brussels, European Department of the Polish Senate in Warsaw and the Warsaw Business Journal.

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HE Space Keynote Speech: Monday, July 20th 2020 / 4-5pm CET

Yannik Dubois
International Recruiter for the Space Sector – HE Space

Yannik Dubois is working at HE Space since 2019 as an International Recruiter.

Yannik is passionate about space, people and culture(s). He aims to providing the best service and experience to candidates and customers. He loves to support candidates, especially Young Graduates, preparing their applications and job interviews to land their dream job in the space sector. Besides recruitment Yannik is keen on employer branding activities and shares a strong interest in new technologies.

Prior to the space industry he has worked in the FMCG and Logistics industry in recruitment and in Human Resources where he gained a holistic understanding of HR processes.

Yannik holds a Bachelor degree in International Business Management from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

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NASA PDCO Keynote Speech: Monday, July 20th 2020 / 5-6pm CET

Lindley Johnson
Planetary Defense Officer and Program Executive of the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office (NASA PDCO)

Lindley Johnson graduated from the University of Kansas in 1980 with a BA in Astronomy and a commission from Air Force ROTC.  He also has an MS degree in Engineering Management from the University of Southern California.  He is now assigned to NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Science Division, as the Lead Program Executive for the Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the NASA Planetary Defense Officer, tasked with warning and response to any potential impact of Earth by an asteroid or comet.  Prior to NASA he served 23 years of Air Force active duty, obtained the rank of lieutenant colonel and numerous military awards and decorations while working on a variety of national security space systems.  

After joining NASA in 2003, he was the Program Executive for NASA’s Deep Impact mission to comet Tempel 1, launched in January 2005 to deliver an impact probe to the comet’s surface on July 4, 2005, and explore the composition and interior structure of comets.  He then served for eight years as the Lead Program Executive for the Discovery Program of mid-class Solar System exploration missions.  NASA’s Near Earth Objects Observations program has discovered over 19,000 near-Earth asteroids and comets since Lindley became its manager, over 87% of the total known.  Lindley has received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for his work on comet and asteroid missions.  Asteroid 5905 (1989 CJ1) is named “Johnson” to recognize Lindley’s efforts in detecting Near Earth Objects. 

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OHB Keynote Speech: Monday, July 20th 2020 / 6-7pm CET

Fritz Merkle
Senior Consultant of the Executive Board, OHB

Fritz Merkle is on the board of U.S. Space Foundation, and former Member-Management Board at OHB System AG and Chief Marketing Officer of OHB SE, where he continues to be linked as senior consultant to its Executive Board. Dr. Merkle previously held the position of Managing Director at Erwin Kayser-Threde GmbH, Vice President for Carl Zeiss AG and Vice President for Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH. Dr. Merkle received a doctorate from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.

Andrea Jaime
Business Development Manager, OHB System AG

Andrea Jaime Albalat (Andrea Jaime) is a Spanish aerospace engineer, currently working as Business Development Manager at OHB System AG. She earned, in 2007, a double bachelors degree in both Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona. During these studies, she spent one year at the North East of Wales Institute (NEWI) in the United Kingdom. In 2010, Andrea earned her masters in Aerospace Science and Technology, also from UPC in Barcelona (2010). Additionally, Andrea is an alumni of the International Space University’s (ISU’s) Summer Studies Program (SSP) 2009 which was hosted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California, USA, and has also completed the CVA (Communauté des Villes Ariane) Summer School, hosted by Rome in 2011.

 She started her professional career during her studies, working as part of organisational committees of several workshops and conferences including ISU’s SSP 2008 in Barcelona. After her graduation, Andrea has worked at the European Space Agency as a Young Graduate Trainee. Based at ESTEC in the Netherlands she worked for the Human Spaceflight and Operations Directorate. In October 2011, she moved to Vienna to work as the Deputy Executive Director of SGAC, which led her to become the Executive Director in July 2012. In 2015 she moved to Munich, Germany, and started working as Business Development Manager for OHB SE, as domain manager for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration.

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European Space Agency (ESA) Keynote Speech: Tuesday, July 21st 2020 / 3-4pm CET

Isabelle Duvaux-Béchon
Head of the Member States Relations and Partnerships Office in the ESA Strategy Department

Isabelle Duvaux-Béchon is in charge of the Relations with ESA Member States ensuring the coordination at corporate level of the information on Agency’s policies and actions towards the 22 ESA Member States, acting as their entry point to the Agency and aiming at optimisation of mutual current and future interests. She is also in charge of the coordination across ESA of transverse initiatives representing global challenges on Earth, with a thematic (Sustainable Development, Security) or geographical approach (Oceans, Arctic, Antarctic, Alps, Africa…), making the links between ESA and potential users, and coordinating partnerships with non-space entities. She is co-chairing the ESA Space & Arctic Task Force and chairing the ESA Blue Worlds Task Force formed with interested ESA Member States.

After 4 years in the space industry, she joined ESA in 1987 and worked in various areas: Microgravity, International Space Station, Budget, Education, Corporate Planning, Finance, Studies, Advanced Concepts. 

Isabelle Duvaux-Béchon is a diplomed engineer from Ecole Centrale Paris (specialisation in Air & Space engineering) and an auditor of the French Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence (IHEDN). She is a Commander in the citizenship reserve of the French Navy and a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

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Secure World Foundation Keynote Speech: Tuesday, July 21st 2020 / 6-7pm CET

Peter Martinez
Executive Director – Secure World Foundation

Peter Martinez is the Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation. He has extensive experience in multilateral space diplomacy, space policy formulation and space regulation. He also has extensive experience in capacity building in space science and technology and in workforce development.

Prior to joining SWF, from 2011 – 2018 he chaired the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) Working Group on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities that negotiated a set of international consensus guidelines to promote the safety and sustainability of space operations.  In 2012 and 2013 he was South Africa’s representative on the United Nations Group of Government Experts on transparency and confidence-building measures for space activities. From 2010 – 2015 he was the Chairman of the South African Council for Space Affairs, the national regulatory authority for space activities in South Africa.  From 2014 – 2018 he was Professor of Space Studies at the University of Cape Town. Before this he acquired fifteen years of executive level management experience and associated general management skills gained in the research and development environment of the South African Astronomical Observatory, a National Facility under the South African National Research Foundation.

He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, the International Institute of Space Law, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications on topics in space policy, space sustainability, astronomy, space research, space law and space policy.

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Virgin Orbit Keynote Speech: Wednesday, July 22nd 2020 / 6-7pm CET

Dan Hart
President and CEO, Virgin Orbit

Over the course of his career, Dan has served in senior leadership roles across a wide range of aerospace programs, spanning human spaceflight, satellite development, launch, and missile defense, and running through all phases of the aerospace product life cycle, from research and development through design, production, and space-flight operations. 

Dan currently serves as President and CEO for Virgin Orbit, Richard Branson’s pioneering commercial space firm, launching small satellites into space from a rocket carried under the wing of a modified Boeing 747. It is Virgin’s contribution to the massive transformation going on in space technology, and has the clear goal of opening access to space to improve life on Earth. 

Dan joined Virgin Orbit after more than three decades of aerospace leadership at the Boeing Company, where he most recently served as Vice President of Government Satellite Systems. In that position, he oversaw Boeing’s government satellite programs, developing and managing missions for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA, and other national programs. Dan’s portfolio included marquee programs such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Wideband Global SATCOM, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) system, and the X-37 spaceplane. 

After beginning his career with McDonnell Douglas supporting the Spacelab Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Dan was soon loaned to the European Space Agency to support system integration, followed by roles on the Delta and Delta II launch crews, then leading the Systems Engineering, Integration and Test Team for the development of the Delta IV Launch Vehicle. Dan was subsequently named Chief Engineer for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) anti-ballistic missile system before becoming Chief Engineer over all of Boeing’s space programs. 

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the State University of New York at Albany and attended the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. 

He is a passionate and committed advocate for STEM education, and serves on the Executive Board of the California Science Center. 

Dan knows his way around an electric guitar and full drum kit, but is holding out for the return of Virgin Records before unleashing his debut album on the world. 

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KPMG / PwC Coffee Hour: Thursday, July 23rd 2020 / 2-3pm CET

Jacob Hacker
Space Industry Account Lead, KPMG Australia

Jacob leads KPMG’s Space Industry Account. The space sector in Australia is growing rapidly and KPMG are supporting government, the emerging space start-up sector as well as other companies ‘entering space’. Jacob has supported clients with strategy, operating model development and market analysis. Prior to joining KPMG Jacob was the SGAC Treasurer as well as the Intern in Vienna. He has recently been recognised as a finalist in the Australian Space Industry awards for his work in the sector.

Sofia Lanfranconi
Manager, KPMG Futures, KPMG Australia

Sofia is part of KPMG Futures, a team within KPMG’s Innovation, Solution and Venture division which looks at the intersection of signals of change across society, technology, economics and politics to identify and understand emerging trends and their potential to reshape and reimagine our world. She has contributed to a number of reports on future trends, including the recently-launched 30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Space.

Luigi Scatteia
Partner – Space Practice Leader, PwC Advisory

Luigi is a Partner in PwC Advisory France. He leads the global PwC Space Practice, and its core advisory team based in Paris, a strategy and policy consulting team dedicated to serving institutional and commercial stakeholders in the space sector, as well as non-space companies with specific commercial interest in space products and applications.

He has 20 years of experience in the space sector along the wider value chain, including downstream applications, and 8+ years in consulting for the industry and institutions in the sector. Prior to PwC, Luigi has worked for the Italian Aerospace Research Centre in Capua, Italy, as a scientists and programme manager; for the European Space Agency European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, serving as course developer and coordinator for the basic training in microgravity material science research; for Booz and Company as strategy consultant in the space sector in Amsterdam. Luigi is a trusted advisor in space market assessments, industrial policy, and regulatory matters, and he has extensively supported the European Space Agency, the European Commission, Space Agencies in Europe and Worldwide, and the space industry on market assessments, market entry and new business models.

His recent extensive activity in programme governance and economics had led him to consolidate a solid understanding of the space policy environment and of the space economy and of its wider knock-on effects. His recent work targeting the space downstream also allowed him to develop extensive insights on the impact of space imaging data within the general data economy and the role it can play in new digital products and services based on advanced analytics and data fusion.

Luigi holds a Ph.D in Material Science from the University of Naples “Federico II” and a MBA with honors from IE Business School in Madrid. He has 15 publications on peer-reviewed journals and books, and 80+ publications at international conferences and symposia. He is a member of the International Astronautical Federation Programme Committee, and a regular keynote and panel speaker at space-related events worldwide.

Tala Atie
Senior Associate – Space Practice, PwC Advisory

Tala ATIE is a senior consultant in PwC Advisory France. She works in the Space practice of PwC that is based in Paris and that provides strategy and policy consulting services to global institutions and private companies addressing space-related topics or interests. 

Her work in PwC entailed market assessments, policy and regulatory framework assessments, socio-economic impact assessments etc. Her knowledge and expertise of the space sector span several disciplines across the space value chain including Earth Observation, Space Exploration and Space Resources Utilization, Big data analytics etc. 

Prior to PwC, Tala obtained her degree Physics at the American University of Beirut, and went on to get her Masters degree in Aerospace engineering from ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse.

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NASA Keynote Speech: Thursday, July 23rd 2020 / 6-7pm CET

Mike N. Gold

Acting Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations, NASA

Mike Gold currently serves as the Acting Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of International and Interagency Relations. He is also responsible for providing strategic direction to the Office of General Counsel and supporting NASA’s LEO Commercialization efforts. Prior to joining NASA, Mr. Gold was the Vice President of Civil Space at MAXAR Technologies, and was also General Counsel for the company’s Radiant Solutions Business Unit. Additionally, Mr. Gold spent 13 years at Bigelow Aerospace where he established the company’s Washington office, oversaw the launches of its Genesis 1 and 2 spacecraft, and received a team award from NASA for his contributions to the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

Mr. Gold has been appointed to and held leadership positions on a wide variety of Boards and Federal Advisory Committees. Specifically, in 2008, Mr. Gold was appointed to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (“COMSTAC”, the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation’s Federal Advisory Committee) by the Secretary of Transportation. Mr. Gold established the COMSTAC’s Export Control Working Group in that same year and became its first Chair. In 2012, Mr. Gold was appointed Chair of the COMSTAC as a whole and he continued to serve as Chair until he joined NASA in 2019. Moreover, in 2018, Mr. Gold was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council (“NAC”) by Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Mr. Gold served as the first Chair of the NAC’s Regulatory and Policy Committee until joining NASA in the following year.

Mr. Gold has also served on the Executive Board of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (“CSF”) and was the Chair of the CSF’s Export Control Committee. Mr. Gold has been a member of the U.S. delegation to numerous meetings of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as a Private Sector Advisor and COMSTAC Chair.

In 2014 to 2017, Mr. Gold supported the work of the National Academies as a member of the Space Technology Industry-Government-University Roundtable. Additionally, Mr. Gold was selected by the National Academies Committee on International Security and Arms Control to support space policy as part of the delegation to the India – US Cooperation on Global Security Dialogue on Strategic Security Threats of the 21st Century.

Mr. Gold has testified before both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on space policy and law as well as International Space Station utilization. Mr. Gold has authored three law review articles and one book chapter on various aspects of space law and policy in addition to publishing several editorials and conducting interviews in trade press such as Space News as well as national media including The New York Times, Fox News, and The Economist.

Mr. Gold has held previous positions as an attorney with the law firms of Patton Boggs and McGuire Woods, and was also an aerospace business development officer for the Department of Commerce in his home state of Montana.

Mr. Gold is admitted to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia, and he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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Space Leadership and Public Engagement –  A European Perspective

Friday, July 24th 2020 / 3-4pm CET

Walter Cugno
Vice President, Exploration and Science Domain, Torino’s site responsible

Walter was born the 7 th April 1955 in a small village located at the bottom of the Alps surrounding the city of Torino in the North west of Italy. He got a degree in Aeronautics Engineer back in 1974 and he did Aerospace Engineering studies while already employed in the Aeritalia Company, the biggest Italian aerospace company at that time. Since 2016, Vice President, the Exploration and Science Domain and responsible of the Torino site at Thales Alenia Space Italia.

Starting from 1975, Walter spent all his career in the Space Business, specifically in the Exploration and Human Space Flight field, starting from the first European Space Manned space laboratory, named Spacelab until the Moon Gateway and the Artemis project today passing though and with important project management responsibilities on the International Space Station Programs, such as Node 2 Harmony, Node 3 Tranquility, Cupola , the Permanent Multipurpose Module, The Cygnus Cargo, ExoMars – the European double mission for the search of life on Mars. Walter had significant roles in projects like Spacelab, Tethered Satellite, IRIS (Italian Research Interim Stage), Lageos II, Hipparcos Satellite and BeppoSax Satellite.

Federico Fierli
Expert in Atmospheric Dynamics and Chemistry, Eumetsat

Federico Fierli is working at EUMETSAT since 2019 as Training Officer – Expert in Atmospheric Dynamics and Chemistry. With a strong technical background about atmospheric and climate science, his job focuses on the teaching about many aspects of satellite data and applications to a wide range of Users. In particular he specializes on the coupling between the composition and circulation of the atmosphere and its climatic impact, explored worldwide with campaign, satellite data and models.

Since 2002 he worked as Senior Scientist at National Research Council, Italy (now on-leave) and Associate Professor of Climate Physics at the University of Rome.
Previously he received a PhD from the Paris University and then an European Space Agency Fellowship.

Alexander Mager
Institutional Relations and New Space activities, Arianegroup

Alexander Mager (50) finished grammar school in Munich in year 1988 before joining the German Armed Forces for two years where he ran through Officer training. He holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

During his trainee program with Airbus from 1990 to 1994, he studied part-time business information technology in Munich (Degree: Diploma), and subsequently (1995-1996) business administration (Degree: MBA) in Dallas, USA.

He worked from 1994 until 1998 in the sales and marketing organization of Airbus Helicopters in Dallas, USA and in Marignane, France. After a stay of two years in former Dasa (today Airbus) headquarters in Munich he was appointed “Head of CEO office” in year 2000 with former Astrium (today Airbus Defence and Space) in Paris, France. Starting in 2002, he worked as “Head of Business Development and Strategy” with the prime contractor “Galileo Industries” in Munich and Rome, Italy, which developed the European satellite-based navigation system “Galileo”. From 2008 until 2011, he returned to former Astrium in Paris and accounted for “strategic marketing” and “export coordination” activities. 

In September 2011, he moved to Airbus CTO department in Munich where he has been appointed Managing Director of “Ludwig Bölkow Campus GmbH”, the development and marketing company for the innovation campus for aerospace and security applications founded in March 2012. In January 2020, he joined ArianeGroup where he is in charge of “institutional relations” and “new space” activities.

Elizabeth Seward
Senior Space Strategist, Airbus Defence and Space


Elizabeth Seward is a Senior Space Strategist at Airbus Defence and Space, responsible for strategic topics across all areas of satellite manufacturing. Previous roles include leading the Earth Observation, Navigation and Science marketing team, thermal engineering and mission systems engineering for future programmes.

Elizabeth is on the executive board of Women in Aerospace Europe and the chair of the UK local group. She is also active in the International Astronautical Federation, sitting on the several committees, including the Entrepreneurship and Investment committee. Elizabeth is the Airbus representative on the Seraphim Advisory Board.

Norbert M.K. Lemke
Deputy Director of Predevelopment, Space System Studies and Proposals, OHB

Norbert M.K. Lemke is, since 2014, deputy director of Predevelopment, Space System Studies and Proposals at OHB and responsible for the Munich site and technology developments. He is the responsible program director for Quantum Technologies within OHB (including Quantum communication, QKD, Time/Frequency standards, Atomic Clocks/Frequency Comb Technologies) and co-initiator, member and expert advisor, of the Quantum Technologies Working Group.

Norbert is project manager for various EU/EC, ESA and DLR funded projects on various topics. He is responsible for QUBE, a cubesat demo mission to test QKD technologies in space, QKD for European Critical Infrastructure, SpaceQuest, and the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure QCI4EU. He is project manager for the ESA’s Earth Explorer 9 (EE9) mission candidate SKIM and for the payload and instrument suite of the current EE10 mission candidate DAEDALUS.

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NASA Keynote Speech: Friday, July 24th 2020 / 4-5pm CET

Patrick A. Troutman

Lead for human exploration strategic assessments, NASA Langley Research Center

Patrick A. Troutman graduated in 1984 from Virginia Tech with a BS in Aerospace & Oceanographic Engineering along with a minor in Computer Science. In the past 35 years he has worked for NASA designing and assessing the International Space Station, leading systems analysis related to future space scenarios including managing the NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) program, helping to define the Vision for Space Exploration, leading the integration for the Constellation Program lunar surface architecture, and leading human space exploration mission design for the NASA Human Spaceflight Architecture Team and the Evolvable Mars Campaign. Mr. Troutman currently serves as the lead for human exploration strategic assessments at the NASA Langley Research Center where his current efforts include developing what the next set of activities for humans should be beyond the international space station including crewed missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

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Astronaut Panel – perspectives from commercial and government astronauts
Friday, July 24th 2020 / 5-6pm CET

Christopher J. Ferguson
Boeing Test Pilot Astronaut & CST-100 Starliner Director of Crew and Mission Systems Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program

As Boeing’s first commercial test pilot astronaut, Christopher J. Ferguson will be among the first to fly to space aboard the CST-100 Starliner – a system that is on a course to open up space to more people than ever before. Ferguson is uniquely qualified to pilot the Starliner on its maiden flight to the International Space Station, having led the development of the spacecraft’s mission systems and crew interfaces. 

Since the beginning of Boeing’s Commercial Crew Program in 2011, Ferguson has worked with NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Directorate; Johnson Space Center’s Engineering, Flight Crew and Mission Operations organizations; and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy Space Center to ensure Boeing’s design supports NASA’s human rating requirements. He also played a key leadership role in the development and testing of system concepts and key technologies for the spacecraft’s launch and ground systems. 

The development of a safe, reliable and cost-effective solution for crew transportation to and from the International Space Station will allow the on-orbit research facility to continue to fulfill its promise as a world-class laboratory. With NASA as the anchor customer, Boeing’s Starliner is setting the foundation for commercial passenger flights to and from low-Earth orbit destinations, to include international astronauts, scientists and even tourists. 

A retired U.S. Navy captain and former NASA astronaut, Ferguson piloted STS-115 (Atlantis) and commanded STS-126 (Endeavour) and the final shuttle mission, STS-135 (Atlantis). He has logged more than 40 days in space and 5,700 hours in high-performance aircraft. He also served as deputy chief of the NASA Astronaut Office and was spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for the STS-118, STS-120, STS-128 and STS-129 missions. His experience in crew communications, both on orbit and in the CAPCOM role, is a strong ass et to Boeing and the Starliner team. 

Ferguson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He has been recognized with numerous service awards, including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Strike/Flight Air Medal, NASA Spaceflight Medal (three), Navy Commendation Medal (three) and the Navy Achievement Medal. 

Edward Michael “Mike” Fincke
(Colonel, U.S. Air Force, Ret.) NASA Astronaut


Michael Fincke was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1996. The Pennsylvania native is the veteran of three spaceflights, Expedition 9 in 2004, Expedition 18 in 2009, and STS-134 in 2011. For Expedition 9, Fincke served as Science Officer and Flight Engineer during his six-month stay onboard the International Space Station. While there, he performed four spacewalks. For Expedition 18, Fincke served as Commander, where he and his crew prepared the station for future six-person crews. For STS-134, Fincke served as Mission Specialist and completed three spacewalks.

Fincke is currently training for the crew flight test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, the first crewed flight for that vehicle.

Fincke and his crewmates are working closely with Boeing to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will provide roundtrip crew transportation services to the International Space Station and, along with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, return the ability to launch humans into space from United States soil. The program is intended to stimulate development of privately operated crew vehicles to be launched into low Earth orbit.

Kavya K. Manyapu
Spacesuit Lead / Flight Crew Operations and Test Commercial Crew and International Space Station Programs Space and Launch, The Boeing Company

Dr. Kavya K.Manyapu is a Space Scientist working in Flight Crew Operations and Testing building the next generation human rated spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, at the Boeing Company. She is the Starliner Spacesuit Lead and also serves as a Flight Test Director for Starliner’s Flight Tests. She served as a Mission Evaluation Room (MER) Duty Officer for the International Space Station (ISS) and currently participating in Boeing’s efforts on future Lunar missions. She an Adjunct Faculty at University of North Dakota (UND) in the School of Aerospace Sciences.

Dr. Manyapu holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institue of Technology (MIT), and a Ph.D in Aerospace Sciences from UND. Her research envelops novel, next generation spacesuit technologies for planetary missions with a focus on self-cleaning spacesuits for moon and mars missions and holds five patents. Spacesuit samples based on her research work were recently launched to the International Space Station.

Prior to joining Boeing, Kavya worked on the Orion/Constellation program at Lockheed Martin and Mars Bio-satellite program at Georgia Tech and MIT. She served as a crewmember on NASA’s 15-day asteroid simulation mission at Johnson Space Center and two Analog Mars Missions in Utah, researching technologies for long-duration human spaceflight missions. She is a private pilot, certified underwater SCUBA diver, aerobatic pilot, an avid hiker and a Indian classical dancer. Kavya enjoys educating and inspiring students to pursue careers in STEM fields. 

Kavya served as the NCAC Regional Coordinator for Space Generation Advisory Council from 2016-2019,  serves an Aerospace Officer and 2nd Lieutenant at the Civil Air Patrol, Ellington Squadron in Houston. She currently works with astronauts Chris Ferguson and Mike Fincke training them in spacesuit operations for their first test flight. She is passionate about human space exploration with a belief in the universal applicability of space research for the betterment of our planet.

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