US DOT Appoints New Members to Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Board – Parabolic Arc

WASHINGTON—The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) welcomes 21 new members to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg approved the appointments as well as the reappointment of seven members.

Committee members provide information, advice, and recommendations to the FAA and DOT on technology, business, and policy issues regarding oversight of the U.S. commercial space transportation industry.

COMSTAC members are senior executives from the commercial space transportation industry; satellite industry manufacturers and customers; state and local government officials; representatives of companies providing insurance, financial investment and legal services for commercial space activities; and representatives from universities, space advocacy organizations and industry associations.

The new members are:

  • Joe DePete, President, Air Line Pilots Association
  • Mat Dunn, Senior Director of Global Government Affairs, SpaceX
  • John Elbon, Chief Operating Officer, United Launch Alliance
  • Tony Frego, Vice President of Mission Management, Spaceflight, Inc.
  • Matt Ganser, Vice President of Business Operations, Astra
  • Moriba Jah, Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Texas at Austin
  • Therese Jones, Senior Policy Director, Satellite Industry Association
  • Dava Newman, Apollo Program Astronautics Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Roosevelt (Ted) Mercer, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority
  • Megan Mitchell, Vice President of Government Relations, Blue Origin
  • George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies/Global Spaceport Alliance
  • Dr. Michelle Parker, Vice President and Chief Engineer, Space and Launch Engineering, Boeing
  • Melanie Preisser, Vice President of National Systems, York Space Systems
  • Caryn Schenewerk, Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Relativity Space
  • Amanda Simpson, Vice President for Research and Technology, Airbus
  • Ganesh Sitaraman, New York Chair of Alumni Law, Vanderbilt University
  • Jay Skylus, Managing Director and Chief Engineer Aether Transport System, Aevum
  • Sita Sonty, Partner and Managing Partner, Boston Consulting Group
  • Janice Starzyk, Vice President of Government Operations, Virgin Orbit
  • Melanie Stricklan, Co-Founder and CEO, Slingshot Aerospace
  • Julie Zoller, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, Project Kuiper, Amazon

The renewed members are:

  • Edward Bolton, SGE, Former FAA Associate Administrator
  • Karina Drees, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation / President COMSTAC
  • Mike French, Vice President Space Systems, Aerospace Industries Association/Vice President COMSTAC
  • Dale Ketcham, Vice President, Government and External Relations, Space Florida
  • Kate Kronmiller, Vice President of Government Relations, Jacobs
  • Mike Moses, President of Space Missions and Security, Virgin Galactic
  • Ann Zulkosky, Vice President, Commercial Civil Space, Lockheed Martin.

In May 2022, COMSTAC made recommendations on the FAA issuing safety rules for human spaceflight occupants if the Congressional moratorium were to expire in October 2023. This included comments on whether the FAA should update its recommended practices with guidance for suborbital versus orbital flights, flights longer than two weeks, flights beyond low Earth orbit, and rendezvous and docking operations , among other topics.

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