Stratolaunch LLC today announced that Thomas Bussing, Ph.D., has been named Co-Chair of the Board of Directors. Alongside Co-Chair Jim Geisler, he will support the Stratolaunch management team on its mission to accelerate hypersonic technology.
Dr. Bussing is an aerospace and defense industry leader with more than 35 years of experience at prominent organizations, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He most recently served as the Vice President and Deputy General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Projects program, known as Skunk Works, overseeing a range of aircraft designs and highly classified R&D programs. Prior to Lockheed Martin, Dr. Bussing served as Vice President of the Advanced Missile Systems product line for Raytheon Missile Systems, where he executed several multi-hundred-million dollar development programs, which lead to Raytheon winning several multi-billion dollar missile franchise programs, including one hypersonic program.
“Stratolaunch is transforming the hypersonic environment,” said Jim Geisler, Co-Chair of Stratolaunch Board of Directors. “The team continues to achieve critical milestones, including the successful completion of its recent Talon-A separation test. Tom is joining at a truly exciting time for the company. His deep aerospace and commercial background will make him an incredible partner as we execute on our game-changing mission.”
Dr. Zachary Krevor, president and CEO of Stratolaunch, added: “Tom has led the development of world-class capabilities and systems solutions for significant aerospace programs. We’ll benefit immensely from his experience as we reshape hypersonic testing by making it more reliable and accessible for commercial and government customers.”
Dr. Bussing commented: “The advancement of hypersonics has never been more important. Stratolaunch is on the forefront with its innovative testing approach and cutting-edge technologies. I’m looking forward to working with Jim, Zachary, and the entire Stratolaunch team to support this national imperative and set a new standard for in-flight hypersonic testing.”
Dr. Bussing’s appointment follows the recent addition of defense leader Jim Faist to the Board on November 1, 2022. Mr. Faist previously served as Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities at the Department of Defense, where he led an organization in the development and integration of new technology to maintain U.S. technological superiority. He was also responsible for establishing a Department of Defense joint mission engineering capability, oversight of developmental testing and test facilities as well as demonstration and validation of technology prototype and rapid fielding activities.
Mr. Geisler concluded: “Our team brings together many of the nation’s top minds in aerospace and defense. Together with our customers, we are committed to driving innovations that enable the future of hypersonic testing.”
Talon-A Vehicle Separation Test
During May 2023, Stratolaunch completed a successful separation release trial of its Talon-A separation test vehicle, TA-0, demonstrating clean and safe separation of hypersonic vehicles and confirming telemetry between the vehicles and on-the-ground communication assets. With this landmark test complete, the team will progress toward its first hypersonic flight of the TA-1 expendable testbed in late summer of 2023. Read more on the launch here.