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Orbex Appoints New Chief of Spaceport Operations

By Mark Holmes | August 15, 2023

      Lesley Still. Photo: Orbex

      Orbex, has appointed a former British Airways exec Lesley Still as its new chief of spaceport operations. The company announced the appointment, Aug. 15. Orbex is advancing preparations for the United Kingdom’s mainland’s inaugural vertical rocket launch.

      Still will oversee the operational management of Sutherland (formerly Space Hub Sutherland), ensuring its readiness for the first launch of Orbex Prime. This includes managing the Spaceport Licence application and interacting with the various stakeholders involved. When the spaceport construction has concluded, she will oversee the operations of the spaceport and work closely with the local community and stakeholders to ensure that the facility plays an important role in the area.

      Orbex Prime is a 19 meter-long rocket designed to launch small satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits, and it became the first full orbital micro-launcher rocket to be unveiled in Europe in May 2022. Orbex has already announced several commercial launch contracts with satellite manufacturers.

      “This is the perfect time to be joining Orbex. The progress the team has already made in recent months is impressive, and I’m eager to play my part in the U.K. mainland’s first vertical rocket launch. As chief of spaceport operations, I will be working hard to ensure the success of both Sutherland Spaceport and Orbex, and further cementing their places in the local community,” Still said in a statement.