Personnel File (07-04-16)


Heather Laychak

HEATHER LAYCHAK is joining THE AEROSPACE CORP. as chief human resources officer. She spent 11 years in HR at Northrop Grumman, including a stint with its space systems division, before leading global talent acquisition at toymaker Mattel.

ASTROBOTIC, a company developing a commercial lunar lander, has hired a veteran Lockheed Martin engineer as its new mission director. SHARAD BHASKARAN worked for 25 years at Lockheed Martin as an engineer and manager on projects ranging from space shuttle payloads to the International Space Station. Astrobotic is currently developing a lunar lander and is competing in the Google Lunar X Prize.

JOHN HORACK is the inaugural Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy at the OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. He was vice president for research at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, worked for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and most recently served as vice president of Teledyne Brown’s Space Systems group.

Isakowitz to head Aerospace Corp.

Steve Isakowitz

Steve Isakowitz

Virgin Galactic’s Steve Isakowitz will succeed Wanda Austin as the head of the Aerospace Corporation. Isakowitz, currently the president of Virgin Galactic, will become president of Aerospace Corp. on Aug. 1 and CEO on Oct. 1 when Austin retires. Virgin Galactic said it has already started a search for his replacement, with Tim Buzza, program director of Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne launch services business unit, to lead LauncherOne’s overall development upon Isakowitz’s departure.

Career Highlights: Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Isakowitz worked for White House Office of Management Budget, NASA, the intelligence community and the Department of Energy. He co-authored the AIAA International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems, which received the Summerfield Book Award in 2003.

Education: Isakowitz earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Personal: His son, Matthew, previously worked for Planetary Resources and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation before joining a “stealth startup.” Both men are longtime Cleveland Indians fans.