Blue Origin establishes an Advisory Board

Blue Origin is setting up an advisory board to advise the organization on its long-term view of space growth, including a retired Air Force secretary as well as retired NASA center managers. The corporation revealed on December 1 that, as per a firm statement, it was setting up a 7-person advisory board that would offer “strategic advice on the organization’s goals to significantly lower the cost of space access and the use of the in-space services.” Bob Smith, who serves as the chief executive officer of Blue Roots, said the board would support the mission in the future, offer them counsel on their strategic projects as well as function as technical consultants to their management team.

Many of the board members are retired government employees as well. They entail Heather Wilson, a retired Air Force Secretary; Kari A. Bingen, a former Deputy Undersecretary who was in charge of Defense for the Intelligence and Security; and former Deputy Director of the Office of National Reconnaissance, Maj. Gen. Sue Mashiko. Charles Elachi, retired NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chief, as well as Todd May, retired NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director, is on the advisory board. 

The board’s structure suggests that they will help Blue Origin attract more government work. For the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 race, Blue Origin submitted the Latest Glenn launch vehicle yet lost to Unified Launch Alliance and SpaceX. Blue Origin is among the three NASA HLS (Human Landing System) award companies to build crewed lunar landers for the agency’s Artemis program. Still, NASA will probably not get the full support it requested for Human Landing System in its budget plan for the 2021 financial year needed to hold the program on track.

Why they wanted these people to be part of the advisory board was not revealed by Blue Origin. A company source, talking on the background, stated that it selected individuals best matched with its values as an organization, offered experiences and viewpoints that they need, and reflected their market diversity. Also, the organization did not share specifics about how the board would operate. A company source further said daily board meetings with the Blue Origin management and additional talks would take place as required.

The board of advisory full roster will include Kari A. Bingen, Dr. Charles Elachi, Dr. Dan Hastings, Maj. Gen. Sue Mashiko, Todd May, Bill Smith, and Hon. Heather Wilson, who serves as President at the University of Texas, served as Secretary of the United States Air Force and also was in the House of Representatives.

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