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Skyrora hires former Musk high flyer as COO

Lee Rosen with Barack Obama and Elon Musk

Rocket company Skyrora has hired a former high flyer with Elon Musk’s SpaceX company as chief operations officer.

Lee Rosen, a retired US Air Force colonel and former VP at SpaceX, is a veteran of more than 150 missions, and will apply his extensive operational expertise to help Edinburgh-based Skyrora become the first UK company to launch from British soil.

Skyrora is aiming for 16 launches per year from the Saxavord launch complex in the Shetland Islands alone by 2030.

Over the course of his career, Col Rosen has built experience as an engineer, space operator, and acquisition professional, first discovering his passion for launch at an early age as the president of his high school rocketry club. He spent 23 years in the US Air Force with command tours at both launch bases, Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral, prior to joining SpaceX. 

Lee Rosen: exciting time to join Skyrora

He said“With Skyrora leading the way in UK launch and building infrastructure for the future of the UK’s space economy, it’s an exciting time to join the company.

“Currently, the UK is completely reliant on the US and, although this is a crucial relationship, Skyrora is building towards a future when space capabilities in this country will allow for regular sovereign launches.”

Founder and CEO Volodymyr Levykin said: “Developing sovereign, mobile and sustainably focused launch services is of the utmost importance for the UK’s ability to follow through on its commitments to address climate change, provide cutting edge defence capabilities, and fulfil its potential in the emerging global space economy.

“Having completed some 200 launches over the course of his career, we’re delighted that Lee has joined Skyrora and offering his unparalleled leadership and expertise to the team as we continue to hit crucial milestones in our push towards a maiden launch from UK soil.”

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