MOJAVE, Calif. (AVBOT PR) – Senior executives of two companies partnered in pioneering civilian space travel and new commercial space business will be among the speakers for the Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference at Southern California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.
The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, organizer of the annual day-long event, announced that George T. Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson, and Kevin Mickey, President of Scaled Composites, which won the X-Prize by being the first private company to carry passengers to space and back, have accepted invitations to appear on the program.
The two private sector aerospace leaders will address an audience of up to 800 at the conference, which also includes Astronaut Mark Kelly. Email [email protected] for ticket reservations.
Scaled Composites, founded by legendary Antelope Valley aerospace innovator Burt Rutan, achieved international recognition in the mid-1980s for designing and building “Voyager,” which his brother Dick flew around the world non-stop and unrefueled. Scaled found greater fame with the first ever private launch of people into space aboard SpaceShipOne.
Scaled Composites, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp., is developing SpaceShipTwo and its launch vehicle, WhiteKnightTwo , in addition to designing and building the world’s largest wingspan airplane for Stratolaunch a Paul Allen company
Last year Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, took full ownership of its sister organization, The Spaceship Company, earlier formed under a joint venture with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic.
During this development phase, The Spaceship Company completed the build out of manufacturing and assembly facilities at Mojave Air and Space Port, established a specialized workforce and transitioned assets from Scaled to begin building Virgin Galactic’s commercial fleet of WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo (SS2) manned sub-orbital spacecraft. The vehicles will be used for Virgin Galactic’s spaceline operations at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico.
George Whitesides is responsible for guiding all aspects of the company to commercial operation, including oversight of The Spaceship Company at Mojave, CA.
Before joining Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA, where he provided policy and staff support to the agency’s Administrator. Upon departure from NASA, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers. Prior to his role at NASA, George served as Executive Director of the National Space Society (NSS), a space policy and advocacy group founded by Apollo program leader Wernher von Braun and the journalist Hugh Downs.
George began his career at Orbital Sciences Corporation as Executive Intern, and later, Special Assistant to the President. He served as Vice President of Marketing for Zero Gravity Corporation, a private space-tourism company, during its launch period, and Director of Marketing for Blastoff Corporation, a space experience company funded by film and technology leaders.
Currently, George serves on the board of Virgin Unite USA, the philanthropic organization of Virgin Group. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Space Security; an advisory board member of the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation; a fellow of the UK’s Royal Aeronautical Society; and an associate fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He previously chaired the Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group for the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. He served for four years on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University.
An honors graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, George earned his undergraduate degree in public and international affairs. He earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge in England, and was a Fulbright Scholar to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.
Scaled Composites LLC President Kevin Mickey is an officer and senior management committee member of Scaled, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.
Previously, Mickey was Executive Vice President/General Manager. Prior to that he served as Vice President/CFO, where he co-led the sale of Scaled to Northrop. He is a senior member of the leadership that increased revenues ten-fold and held the line on profits throughout that rapid growth. He was responsible for directing the company’s overall financial policies and oversight of all financial functions including accounting, budget, insurance and tax.
As President, Mr. Mickey is concerned with the leadership and management of the enterprise as a whole. Responsibilities include overall program performance, strategic planning, new business and overall customer management and satisfaction for a broad range of customers.
He is a 20-plus year veteran of aerospace and has participated in or been responsible for over 25 manned flight vehicles and held a senior leadership position during Scaled’s successful winning of the $10M Ansari X-prize for the first private manned funded spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 328,000 feet.
Before rejoining Scaled in 2006, Mickey held positions of increasing responsibility in project management and leadership at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, CA. His responsibilities encompassed the management of projects demonstrating new methods, technologies and air vehicles associated with low observables.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business/Technical Management from the University of LaVerne and a Masters in Business Administration in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Mr. Mickey also holds a Program Management Certification from the Defense Acquisition University and has served as Adjunct Instructor on the topics of program management and business at Embry-Riddle University.
He served as Vice Chairman of the Aviation and Aerospace Commission for the city of Palmdale, appointed by the Mayor. He is a frequent speaker on program management and the creative/innovative environment to organizations such as Coca-Cola, British American Business Counsel, Society of Plastics Engineers and the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Processes (SAMPE).