AirLaunch LLC Appoints Debra Facktor Lepore as President.
Gary Hudson, founder and Chairman of AirLaunch LLC, said: "I am delighted to have Debra on board as President. She is a dynamo in the industry and well-known and respected by everyone. AirLaunch will benefit from her many unique experiences operating in a commercial, entrepreneurial environment."
As President of AirLaunch LLC, Lepore is responsible for the external activities of the company, including development and execution of the company's business plan, marketing plan, and government relations.
In accepting her new position, Ms. Lepore stated: "It is an honor and a privilege to work with Gary Hudson and fitting that I continue my career with a small entrepreneurial launch company. I'm proud of the AirLaunch team and what they have accomplished with DARPA in such a short time."
Prior to joining Kistler Aerospace in 1997, Debra Facktor Lepore served as Chief of Moscow Operations for ANSER's Center for International Aerospace Cooperation in Moscow, Russia and was project lead and senior engineer at ANSER in Arlington, VA, where she conducted technical, business, financial and policy analyses for government and commercial clients around the world.
Among other distinctions, Debra Facktor Lepore is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); an alumna of the International Space University (ISU); and a member of the International Women's Forum (IWF). She is an active leader in the community and in major professional organizations, including Secretary of the IAA's Commission on Space Policy, Economics and Law and elected Member-at-Large (2005) and Vice-Chair (2006) of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Space Council Executive Steering Committee. In April 2005, Ms. Lepore was appointed by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to serve a two-year term on the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Debra Facktor Lepore earned a Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) in aerospace engineering and a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering, both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
AirLaunch LLC and its team of contractors have been developing the QuickReach(TM) booster for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force as part of the Force Application and Launch from the Continental United States (FALCON) program to create a breakthrough low-cost small satellite launcher. The FALCON goal is to develop a booster that can launch a small satellite for less than $5 million with only 24 hours notice. The AirLaunch LLC design achieves responsiveness by carrying the booster to altitude inside the cargo bay of an unmodified C-17A or other large cargo aircraft. The company demonstrated the safe release of a dummy booster from an Air Force C-17A cargo plane on September 29, 2005. AirLaunch LLC will be headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, as of November 1, 2005.