Mark Sirangelo’s Resignation Letter to Jim Bridenstine

Mark Sirangelo (Credit: SNC)

May 20, 2019

Jim,

Over the last couple of months we have accomplished much together and it has been truly exciting. After having gone through an evaluation of our conversations and the future path you have outlined for NASA it is with regret that I believe that it is time for me to end my role as the Special Assistant to the Administrator.

I truly appreciate that you reached out to me earlier this year to join NASA in support of the developmental to return the U.S. to the Moon. It was such a challenging and amazing opportunity that it led me to halt all the other aspects of my life to join you and NASA. As NASA wished to expedite my entry, NASA offered, and I agreed upon the position of Special Assistant as an interim role. This role was to help develop the top-level technical path, budget and potential future management structures for the America’s Lunar 2024 challenge with the understanding that a further Agency level role might develop for me from this.

(more…)

Mark Sirangelo Departs NASA After 44 Days

Mark Sirangelo (Credit: SNC)

Well, that was fast.

On April 9, NASA announced the appointment of Mark Sirangelo as a special assistant to Administrator Jim Bridenstine for the purpose of overseeing the space agency’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.

On Thursday, Bridenstine announced that his new assistant is departing the agency. Sirangelo’s tenure lasted 44 days.

In announcing the appointment last month, Bridenstine said Sirangelo would

lead the planning for the proposed agency restructuring to create the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate that will manage the programs to develop the Gateway, human rated lander and surface systems to return to the Moon and establish a permanent presence. The new proposed Directorate will also manage the Exploration Research and Technology programs to enable capabilities for exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Yesterday, the NASA administrator blamed House and Senate members for refusing to approve the creation of the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate.

The proposal was not accepted at this time, so we will move forward under our current organizational structure within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEO). We are exploring what organizational changes within HEO are necessary to ensure we maximize efficiencies and achieve the end state of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

As you also may know, Mark Sirangelo has been serving as an advisor on our lunar exploration plan and the reorganizational proposal that went forward to Congress. Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities. I want to personally thank Mark for his service and his valuable contributions to the agency.

Sirangelo previously served as head of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems and CEO of SpaceDev, its predecessor company. He resigned from the company in July 2018 and became a scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The announcement came on the same day NASA announced the awarding of a $375 million contract to Maxar Technologies for the power and propulsion element of the human-tended Lunar Gateway. The facility will serve as a base for human missions to and from the lunar surface.

Bridenstine Appoints Sirangelo as Special Assistant to Oversee Lunar Plans

Mark Sirangelo (Credit: SNC)

Appointment of Mark Sirangelo
Message from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Mark Sirangelo as Special Assistant to the Administrator. In this role, Mark will have broad responsibility to work across the Mission Directorates to further develop the Exploration Campaign. This includes a strategy to meet the Administration’s policy to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. he will also lead the planning for the proposed agency restructuring to creat the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate that will manage the programs to develop the Gateway, human rated lander and surface systems to return to the Moon and establish a permanent presence. The new proposed Directorate will also manage the Exploration Research and Technology programs to enable capabilities for exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Mark N. Sirangelo has a long history in space and aerospace having lead program teams that participated in over 300 space missions, including over 20 planetary missions and 70 NASA missions. His recent work experience has been as Scholar in Residence for Engineering, Applied Science and Aerospace at the University of Colorado. Formerly, he was the head of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems and CEO of SpaceDev, its predecessor company. He also served on the Defense Innovation Board for the Secretary of Defense and as the Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Colorado.

His personal and organizational recognitions include being inducted int the Space Foundation’s Technology Hall of Fame, being an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, named one of the World’s Top 10 Innovative Space Companies by Fast Company, and recognized as Manufacturer Builder of the the Year by ColoradoBiz, The Best Place to Work by the Business Journals, and part of Inc. Magazine’s top 200 companies.

Mr. Sirangelo was a founding member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the founder and Chairman of eSpace, the Center for Space Entrepreneurship. He has been working to make the world a safer place for children as a foundational Board member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

He holds Doctorate, MBA and Bachelor of Science degrees, is a long-term licensed pilot, and has served his country proudly as a U.S. Army officer.

Please join me in welcoming Mark to the NASA leadership team.

Sirangelo Joins CU Boulder Engineering as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Mark Sirangelo (Credit: Alyson McClaran)

BOULDER, Colo. (CU Boulder PR) — Mark Sirangelo, who just concluded his career as the head of aerospace giant Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems, is joining the University of Colorado Boulder as an entrepreneur-in-residence beginning this month. Bobby Braun, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, announced today that Sirangelo will join CU Boulder after nearly 10 years at SNC.

“Mark is an aerospace visionary who recognizes that CU Boulder is a premier research and innovation engine for the United States and the hub of Colorado’s aerospace ecosystem,” Braun said. “A leader in entrepreneurial space, a contributor to national security, a pilot and veteran, Mark’s expertise and creativity are a perfect mix for this groundbreaking institution.”

(more…)

Sirangelo Resigns from Sierra Nevada Corporation

Mark Sirangelo (Credit: SNC)

Mark Sirangelo has resigned from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) for what CEO Fatih Ozmen, owner says are personal reasons, Space News reports. He had run SNC’s Space Systems Division for nearly a decade after his former company, SpaceDev, was acquired.

“We are proud and grateful for all we have achieved in partnership with Mark over the last ten years,” Ozmen said. “Mark has an inspiring enthusiasm for space and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, both of which he has cultivated among our exceptionally talented Space Systems team.”

In an internal memo, Sirangelo said his departure was a “friendly transition” from the company and “is being made from a positive personal place.” The memo, obtained by SpaceNews, was first published by SpaceRef.

“I understand this change may be perceived as challenging but I wanted you to know that the state of our business is very good with strong leadership behind it,” Sirangelo said in the memo to employees. “We were a founding entity of the new commercial space industry and are now seen as one of its most successful leaders.”

Sirangelo said that Fatih Ozmen and Eren Ozmen, the president and co-owner of SNC, were “completely and positively committed” to its space systems business, and that he had been working with them on a transition plan for his departure for weeks. Sirangelo said he would work with company leadership on transition activities through July and serve in a “strategic advisory capacity for some time” after leaving the company.

Program Updates from ISPCS

The second SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by WhiteKnightTwo on its first captive carry flight. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
The second SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by WhiteKnightTwo on its first captive carry flight. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

NASA and various commercial companies gave updates on their programs during the International Symposium on Commercial and Personal Spaceflight this week in Las Cruces, NM.

What follows are summaries that include:

  • suborbital programs (Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin)
  • commercial cargo (SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation)
  • commercial crew (NASA, Boeing, ULA).

The summaries are based on Twitter posts from attendees. A big thanks to Thanks to Tanya Harrison (‏@tanyaofmars), Frank Slazer ‏(@FSlazer), Jeff Foust (‏@jeff_foust), Michael Simpson ‏(@SpaceSharer), and Melissa Sampson (‏@DrSampson) for the coverage.

(more…)

SNC Dream Chaser Program Preparing for Second Free-Flight Test and First Orbital Test

SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser ETA. (Credit: SNC)
SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser ETA. (Credit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev., October 7, 2015 (SNC PR) – In anticipation of a second phase of flight testing, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems has announced significant updates to two Dream Chaser®  spacecraft currently in development. The spacecraft are the atmospheric engineering test article (ETA) and the advanced composite orbital vehicle, which when tested will undergo a suborbital and orbital flight regimen, respectively. SNC’s Mark Sirangelo provided a program update at the International Symposium for Commercial and Personal Spaceflight (ISPCS) in New Mexico.

(more…)

CSF Adds New Member Companies

CSF_logo2WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomed several new member companies at its Executive Board meeting this week, expanding its membership to more than 60 companies.

Spaceport Camden of Camden County, Georgia joined CSF as an Executive Member. Steve Howard, Spaceport Camden project leader, will represent his organization on the CSF Board of Directors. “CSF’s mission strategically aligns with Camden’s goals, and we are pleased to join other industry leaders as part of this organization,” Howard said.

(more…)

Sierra Nevada Corporation and the German Aerospace Center Announce New Dream Chaser® Program Cooperation

Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)
Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev. (April 16, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC’s) Space Systems and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announce the signing of a new Dream Chaser® program cooperation during the U.S. German Aerospace Roundtable (UGART) at the 31st annual Space Symposium hosted by the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We highly value our partnership with the German Aerospace Center,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president, SNC’s Space Systems. “This relationship is a great example of the best-in-industry and government agency partnerships, both domestic and international, that we have sought.  Our Dream Team will continue the advancement of the Dream Chaser, which is a true global program. We look forward to the next phase of our cooperation with DLR as we enter this new agreement.”

(more…)

Sierra Nevada Corporation and Houston Airport System Announce New Agreement

Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)
Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev. (March 24, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems and the Houston Airport System (HAS) announce a new follow-on agreement to utilize Ellington Airport’s Spaceport as a future landing site for SNC’s Uncrewed Dream Chaser® spacecraft – SNC’s solution for NASA’s Cargo Resupply needs and other critical space operations.

(more…)

CSF Elects Frank DiBello as New Chairman, Adds New Associate Member

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that it has elected Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, as its new Chairman succeeding Stuart Witt, CEO of Mojave Air & Space Port. At its semi-annual Board of Directors meeting this week in Jacksonville, Florida, the CSF also elected Mike Gold of Bigelow Aerospace and Sean Mahoney of Masten Space Systems to the Executive Committee of the Board, joining DiBello, Tim Hughes (SpaceX), Rob Meyerson (Blue Origin) and Mark Sirangelo (Sierra Nevada Corporation), who were reelected.

Also at the meeting, the full Board approved adding Interflight Global Corporation to the associate membership of the organization.

(more…)

Sierra Nevada, Lockheed Martin Unveil First Dream Chaser Orbital Structure

 

SNC's Dream Chaser® orbital structural airframe at Lockheed Martin in Ft. Worth. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)
SNC’s Dream Chaser® orbital structural airframe at Lockheed Martin in Ft. Worth. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

SPARKS, Nev., Aug 1, 2014 – In a joint press conference, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems and Dream Chaser® program partner, Lockheed Martin unveiled the Dream Chaser orbital spacecraft composite airframe. This structure will be used to conduct the first orbital launch of the Dream Chaser spacecraft due to launch in November, 2016, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

(more…)