Virgin Orbit has appointed Brig. Gen. Mark Baird (US Air Force, retired) as the new President of VOX Space, the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary that provides launch services to the national security community.
In his new role, Mark will leverage more than 30 years of aerospace experience spanning both government and private entities to lead the VOX Space team forward as it builds on its early successes.
Entering the Air Force in 1989, Mark served the US’ national security space community for three decades, including positions as the Deputy Director of the National Reconnaissance Office; the Director of Space Acquisition for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force; the Vice Commander of the US Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, and the Director of Space Superiority Systems. As the Deputy Director of the Space Force Planning Task Force at the Pentagon, Mark was responsible along with the Director for overseeing the detailed planning activities required to establish the US Space Force, as well as all requisite activities from the US Air Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Executive Branch, and Congress.
Most recently, Mark served as Lockheed Martin’s Principal Director of Strategy for its space and special programmes, where, among other achievements, he spearheaded the development of a ~$50bn next-gen mission architecture for a classified customer.
Mark joins VOX Space after the success of Virgin Orbit’s Tubular Bells: Part One mission, which delivered satellites for the US Department of Defense’s Space Test Programme directly into their target orbit on June 30, 2021.
Speaking about the new appointment, Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Mark to the team. Mark has been a key leader across the national security space community over a distinguished career. He has unparalleled insights into how the space architecture must quickly evolve to maintain a critical edge for our nation and our allies. He’s joining a VOX team that has shown it can spearhead flawless missions for the national security customer community, and help our partners design entirely new ways to think about the launch and resilient, responsive space. With the combination of insight, innovation, and leadership in place, we are all set to supercharge our VOX Space team in support of our customers.”
Brig. Gen. Mark Baird added: “I’m deeply honoured to be joining the Virgin Orbit family to lead the incredibly talented VOX Space team. The technology and the systems that Virgin Orbit has already proven out fundamentally change the nature of space, much like we’ve seen happen over the past decade due to the rapid advancement of small satellite capabilities. At a time when space is increasingly relied upon by both the US commercial and national security sectors, and is becoming more and more contested, the unique advantages of anytime, anywhere air-launch capabilities are vital to the US and its allies. I’m excited to dive in alongside the VOX team and our partners in government and industry to bring this capability to bear in ensuring the success of national security space operational plans and the commercial sector, both now and in the future.”