Aerospace Corporation to Build a Second Facility in Colorado Springs

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) — The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) announced today it is investing nearly $100 million in a second state-of-the-art research and development facility in Colorado Springs, Colo.

This facility, recently approved by the Aerospace Board of Trustees, is planned to be 70 percent classified space and includes a multi-purpose high-technology center to meet the growing requirements of the U.S. Space Command, the U.S. Space Force, and a variety of other customers.


Matthew Isakowitz

Matthew Isakowitz

Some very sad news to report. Matthew Isakowitz passed away on May 25. He was 29.

Matthew served as associate director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) for three years after graduating from Princeton University in 2009. While an undergraduate, he worked for two months at SpaceX on the Dragon spacecraft.

After leaving CSF, Matthew worked at the asteroid mining company, Planetary Resources. More recently, he was working at Astranis, a startup focused on building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites that would deliver Internet connectivity to areas of Earth not currently being served.

Matthew was the son of Steve Isakowitz, who is president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation. He is survived by his mother, Monica, and three sisters: Jennifer, Rachel, and Sophie.

Future Space Leaders is collecting donations for a “to-be-announced initiative that will further Matthew’s legacy in the field of human space exploration.”

Matthew’s Obituary

Editor’s Note: My deepest sympathies to Matthew’s family for their loss. It’s terrible to lose someone so young. His contributions to advancing space exploration will not be forgotten.



Isakowitz Leaves Virgin Galactic to Run Aerospace Corporation

Virgin Galactic President Steven J. Isakowitz (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
Steven J. Isakowitz (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corp PR) — Steve Isakowitz, president of Virgin Galactic, has been elected president of The Aerospace Corporation effective Aug. 1. He will assume the position of Aerospace president and CEO upon the retirement of Dr. Wanda Austin on Oct. 1.

“After a year-long search process, the board of trustees is pleased with the result. Building on Dr. Wanda Austin’s legacy of excellence and accomplishment, Steve Isakowitz has the right set of skills and experience—in government and industry—to lead Aerospace in a rapidly changing environment of constrained customer resources, challenging threats, and exciting new space technologies,” said Ambassador Barbara Barrett, chair of The Aerospace Corporation board of trustees.


ISPCS Panel Discussion: Platforms for Innovation

ispcs_logoPlatforms for Innovation

Chair: Jeff Foust, Editor, The Space Review


  • Steve Isakowitz, President,Virgin Galactic
  • Brett Alexander, Director, Business Development and Strategy at Blue Origin
  • Khaki Rodway, Director, Payload Sales and Operations, XCOR Aerospace


  • LA [Michael Lopez-Alegria] says @jeff_foust is a certified “Smart Guy” – and he’s ready to roll at #ISPCS (Kay Anderson ‏@SpaceRiter)
  • Reply to @SpaceRiter @jeff_foust — So the vehicles they are flying will be licensed but not certified, but there’s a certification for Smart Guys. Huh! (
  • Watching @jeff_foust on the podium at #ISPCS talk about the various types of innovation quoting from Jon Gertner’s book (Wayne Hale ‏@waynehale)


Virgin Galactic Appoints Steve Isakowitz President

Virgin Galactic President Steven J. Isakowitz (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
Virgin Galactic President Steven J. Isakowitz (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

MOJAVE, Calif. (VG PR) — George Whitesides, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, today announced the appointment of Steven J. Isakowitz as President of Virgin Galactic LLC. Isakowitz has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer since he joined the company in 2011. He will continue to report directly to Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.


AIAA Conference Briefs: Antares, Liberty, WhiteKnightTwo and More

Hey everyone.

Greetings from Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl, the Tournament of Roses Parade, and (for this week only) the AIAA Space 2012 Conference & Exposition.

Not much news being made this week, but here are a few tidbits:

  • Orbital Sciences Corporation is STILL waiting for the Commonwealth of Virginia to turn over the Antares launch site on Wallops Island. The turnover is expected to occur soon. Once it does, Orbital will be able to begin its launch campaign. The company is hoping to conduct the maiden Antares launch in October and a cargo demonstration mission with the Cygnus freighter to ISS in December.
  • Virgin Galactic Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Steve Isakowitz spoke last night and participated in a panel on space entrepreneurs this morning. He gave a pretty standard VG presentation. They are still on course for powered flights by the end of the year. Beyond that, they will see how the tests go.
  • ATK plans to continue developing the Liberty rocket with internal funding in the wake of being passed over for NASA’s commercial crew program. The company will focus on developing the launcher for commercial payloads.
  • You’ll be happy to know that my experiment, “The Effects of Variations in Elevation on Empty Plastic Water Bottles,” has yielded some fascinating results. This is what they look like after going from Mojave in the High Desert (2,781 feet) to Pasadena (864 feet):

NASA Admin Update: Gration Headed for Africa

The New York Times reports that we can scratch one more person off the list of possible NASA administrators:

President Obama plans to appoint a close adviser and retired general to be his special envoy to Sudan as the administration ratchets up pressure against the government in Khartoum for expelling humanitarian relief organizations from the ravaged region of Darfur, administration officials said Tuesday.


NASA Admin Update No. 204: Isakowitz Out of the Picture?

Bill Nelson and Co. take down Obama’s NASA frontrunner
Orlando Sentinel

Word is that Steve Isakowitz, the frontrunner for the NASA Administrator’s job, has been taken down by a group of his opponents on Capitol Hill.

According to Washington insiders and Hill staff, a group of lawmakers led by Florida’s Democratic senior Senator Bill Nelson are taking credit for pushing Isakowitz out of the picture.


Report: DOE CFO Isakowitz Front Runner for Top NASA Job

Steve Isakowitz leads the pack for NASA Administrator job
Orlando Sentinel

According to administration insiders, the list of candidates to be Barack Obama’s new NASA Administrator now stands at four: Retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles; retired Air Force Gen. Scott Gration; former NASA astronaut and retired Marine Corps general, Charles Bolden; and Steve Isakowitz, the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Energy and a former top NASA official…