Virgin Orbit has added two space industry leaders to its executive team. Kirk Pysher has joined the company as its new Vice President of Mission Assurance, Quality and Safety, and Janice Starzyk as Vice President of Government Operations.
The announcement comes on the heels of Virgin Orbit’s successful orbital launch demonstration in January, when the company’s unique air-launched LauncherOne system carried 9 smallsat missions to space in support of NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services Program. Having now fully demonstrated all elements of LauncherOne, the Virgin Orbit team is turning its full attention to serving its growing manifest of customers, and as such is expanding its executive team to better serve its growing customer base.
Kirk Pysher brings more than 30 years of experience in the design, development and operation of expendable launch vehicles. Kirk most recently served as the President of International Launch Services (ILS) where he oversaw the implementation of sweeping changes to the quality management system through the introduction of factory efficiencies and automated processes, resulting in a new run of successful Proton launches. In addition to this critical mission assurance process, Kirk also oversaw ILS product development, including performance upgrades and new capabilities intended to align with customers’ future requirements. Prior to ILS, Kirk served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Systems Engineer for the Sea Launch venture.
In her role as VP of Government Operations, Janice Starzyk will head up Virgin Orbit’s Washington, DC, office. Her extensive experience and contributions in the space industry include leading the consulting practice at Bryce Space and Technology and the commercial strategy and market intelligence for launch service providers United Launch Alliance (ULA) and International Launch Services (ILS). At Futron Corporation, Janice also worked with a range of civil, military and commercial space industry customers.
“I’m very excited to welcome Janice and Kirk to the Virgin Orbit family. Richard Branson has always said that the greatest asset of any successful business is its people, and it’s clear that we’re building the best team in the business,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “We have now brought to the world a new way to launch, and this team is ready to get more customers into orbit and completely uproot everyone’s expectations of what a launch provider can do.”