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Former SpaceX Director Tyler Grinnell Named Virgin Orbit’s Flight, Launch VP

Tyler Grinnell, former director of launch and recovery operation at SpaceX, has joined Virgin Orbit to serve as vice president of flight and launch activities.

He will be responsible for driving team operational pacing and efficiencies to help Virgin Orbit keep up with a growing customer base for flight and launch services, the company said Friday.

Grinnell held multiple engineering and management roles related to launch operations, avionics and instrumentation at SpaceX over the past 12 years. In his most recent role at the space company, he supervised engineers, technicians and staff responsible for launch activities of Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket. He also helped the company complete 20 missions within a year.

His career also includes work at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a fluids design engineer and at Boeing (NYSE: BA) as an engineer for the Space Shuttle program.

Commenting on Virgin Orbit’s use of the LauncherOne platform, Grinnel said the 747-based launch capability enables the company to reduce the time associated with launch pad refurbishment and lessen external factors such as scheduling conflicts with other launch providers.

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