Thompson joins Aerospace at a time when the company is focused on innovating to outpace the threat to the United States’ national security space leadership.
“David’s vast expertise and proven leadership will be critical assets to the board as we work to solve the nation’s toughest challenges in space,” said Steve Isakowitz, Aerospace’s president and CEO. “His experience of partnering with start-ups and developing innovative space technologies also brings an invaluable corporate perspective to Aerospace.”
Thompson co-founded Orbital Sciences Corporation – which evolved to Orbital ATK – and served as the company’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer. Under Thompson’s 36-year leadership, the company carried out more than 1,000 rocket launches and satellite missions. During that time, the company also grew from a start-up to a NYSE-listed public company with an enterprise value in excess of $9 billion.
Prior to co-founding Orbital, Thompson served as special assistant to the president of Hughes Aircraft Company’s Missile Systems Group and was a project manager and engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. As a college student, he worked on the first Mars lander missions at CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and on space shuttle projects at NASA’s Langley Research Center and Johnson Space Center.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in aeronautics from California Institute of Technology, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
About The Aerospace Corporation
The Aerospace Corporation is a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 4,000 employees nationwide. With major locations in El Segundo, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Washington, D.C., Aerospace addresses complex problems with agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership across the space enterprise and other areas of national significance. For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.