Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) has named Dr. Andrew Aldrin as President, bringing his 20+ years of business leadership and policy experience in high-profile, aerospace companies to MoonEx as it undergoes accelerating growth on the back of rapid technological progress and business expansion. The announcement was made at the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.
Dr. Aldrin's appointment happens as the company enters a watershed year of staff build-up and the construction and test its MX-1 lunar lander system in preparation for a maiden flight to the Moon in late 2015. The company has been successful at attracting high profile investors, raising over $15 million in equity financing since its founding in 2010, and continues on a solid financial path to meeting its corporate objective to become the first private company to reach the Moon. The company has grown to more than 40 employees between its NASA Ames Research Park headquarters in Silicon Valley and its propulsion development and test facilities in Huntsville, Alabama, making it the largest dedicated engineering staff in the U.S. focused solely on returning American spacecraft to the surface of the Moon for science, exploration and commerce.
As President of Moon Express, Dr. Aldrin will be responsible for day-to-day operations for the company. "Andy is a space industry veteran with an exceptional talent for strategic management and assimilating advanced technology concepts into market winners," said Bob Richards, Moon Express Co-Founder & CEO. "I have known Andy for decades, admiring the expanse of his space career from big picture thinker to street smart business executive. Andy's experience will be invaluable to MoonEx, and I have every confidence in an Aldrin piloting us toward the Moon."
Dr. Aldrin is the son of Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, who along with Neil Armstrong made their historic Moon landing on July 20th, 1969, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world.
Prior to joining Moon Express, Dr. Aldrin was Director of Business Development and Advanced Programs at United Launch Alliance (ULA) where he oversaw development of corporate strategies, business capture, senior customer relations and advanced program development for civil space markets. Before ULA, Dr. Aldrin headed Business Development and Advanced Programs for Boeing's NASA Systems, and Launch Services business units. He has also served as a Resident Consultant at the RAND Corporation and Professional Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses.
"I am thrilled to be part of an entrepreneurial company that is helping transform the commercial space industry," said Aldrin. "It is exciting to join a pioneering enterprise filled with passion and dedication to the bold dream of unlocking the Moon's mysteries and resources, and putting the United States back on the surface of the Moon in a permanent way."
Dr. Aldrin holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA, an MBA from TRIUM, a MA in Science Technology and Public Policy from The George Washington University, a BA in International Relations from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is a graduate and Adjunct Faculty member of the International Space University. He has also been Adjunct Faculty at the University of Houston and California State University at Long Beach.