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Retired NASA Astronaut Tim Kopra Named Nanoracks CEO; Matthew Kuta Quoted

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Retired NASA astronaut Tim Kopra has been named CEO of Nanoracks by Voyager Space.

Kopra is slated to guide the company’s expansion within the commercial space services market, which includes the ongoing development of the Starlab Space Station, the two organizations announced from Houston, Texas on Wednesday.

Voyager President and COO Matthew Kuta emphasized the expertise Kopra brings to the table and the role it will play in furthering the company’s developments in space-related ventures.

“As an astronaut who served on the International Space Station, he understands the unique needs, challenges, and opportunities for commercial space services and will provide invaluable insight as we continue down our development path on Starlab,” he said.

Previous corporate leadership roles held include vice president of robotics and space operations at MDA and president of OneWeb technologies.

Preceding his entry into the private sector, Kopra dedicated 18 years to NASA working as an astronaut, during which he served as a flight engineer on Expedition 46 and as commander of Expedition 47. 

The leader additionally dedicated nine years to the U.S. Army. During his time with the military, Kopra served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also studied aerospace engineering, propelling him to engineering roles within the Army, one of which supported the NASA Johnson Space Center.

“I am looking forward to applying my skill set and experience as a former astronaut as well as a space industry executive to further our technologies and capabilities powering the space revolution, forging the next generation of space infrastructure and technology,” Kopra commented.

His appointment follows the announcement of multiple new projects for Voyager and Nanoracks. The two organizations partnered with Hilton in September to design crew lodging and hospitality suites for the Starlab Space Station. This task coincides with the companies’ collaboration with Lockheed Martin to build the overall station, in which Nanoracks is the prime developer.