Chuck Beames is leaving Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace, developer of the Stratolaunch air-launch system. In an internal email, Allen said that Beames, who had been president of Vulcan Aerospace since 2014, “decided that now is the right time” to leave the company. Jean Floyd, the CEO of Vulcan-owned Stratolaunch Systems and a longtime Orbital ATK employee, will take over as interim executive director of Vulcan Aerospace. Vulcan’s major project is Stratolaunch, featuring a giant aircraft that will carry an as-yet unannounced launch vehicle for launching satellites.
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation has a new chairman. The industry group elected Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute as the new chairman of its board of directors. Stern, the principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission that flew past Pluto last year, is also the chief scientist of World View, a company developing high altitude balloons for research and tourism. The CSF also added several new member companies, including small launch vehicle developer Vector Space.
A longtime White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) executive is the new CEO of New Mexico’s Spaceport America. The spaceport’s board announced Sept. 22 that it hired Daniel Hicks to run the spaceport, succeeding Christine Anderson, who retired in August. Hicks worked at WSMR for 34 years, most recently as deputy executive director and director of plans for the U.S. Army facility in southern New Mexico.