U.S. DOT Names New Members to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee

Friday, October 21, 2022

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is welcoming 21 new members to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg approved the nominations along with the re-appointment of seven members.

Committee members provide information, advice and recommendations to the FAA and DOT about technology, business and policy issues regarding oversight of the U.S. commercial space transportation sector.
COMSTAC membership consists of senior executives from the commercial space transportation industry; manufacturers and customers from the satellite industry; state and local government officials; representatives from firms providing insurance, financial investment and legal services for commercial space activities; and representatives from academia, space advocacy organizations and industry associations.

The new members are:

  • Joe DePete, President, Air Line Pilots Association
  • Mat Dunn, Senior Director of Global Government Affairs, SpaceX
  • John Elbon, Chief Operating Officer, United Launch Alliance
  • Tony Frego, Vice President of Mission Management, Spaceflight, Inc.
  • Matt Ganser, Vice President of Business Operations, Astra
  • Moriba Jah, Associate Professor Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Therese Jones, Senior Director of Policy, Satellite Industry Association
  • Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Roosevelt (Ted) Mercer, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority
  • Megan Mitchell, Vice President Government Relations, Blue Origin
  • George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies/ Global Spaceport Alliance
  • Dr. Michelle Parker, Vice President and Chief Engineer, Space and Launch Engineering, Boeing
  • Melanie Preisser, Vice President of National Systems, York Space Systems
  • Caryn Schenewerk, Vice President of Regulatory & Government Affairs, Relativity Space
  • Amanda Simpson, Vice President for Research and Technology, Airbus
  • Ganesh Sitaraman, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University 
  • Jay Skylus, Chief Executive and Chief Engineer of the Aether Transport System, Aevum
  • Sita Sonty, Partner & Associate Director, Boston Consulting Group
  • Janice Starzyk, Vice President of Government Operations, Virgin Orbit
  • Melanie Stricklan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Slingshot Aerospace
  • Julie Zoller, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, Project Kuiper, Amazon

The re-appointed members are:

  • Edward Bolton, SGE, Former FAA Associate Administrator
  • Karina Drees, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation / COMSTAC Chair
  • Mike French, Vice President Space Systems, Aerospace Industries Association / COMSTAC Vice-Chair
  • Dale Ketcham, Vice President, Government & External Relations, Space Florida
  • Kate Kronmiller, Vice President of Government Relations, Jacobs
  • Mike Moses, President of Space Missions and Safety, Virgin Galactic
  • Ann Zulkosky, Vice President, Commercial Civil Space, Lockheed Martin

In May 2022, COMSTAC delivered recommendations about the FAA issuing human spaceflight occupant safety rules should the Congressional moratorium expire in October 2023. This included input on whether the FAA should update its recommended practices with guidance for suborbital vs. orbital flights, flights longer than two weeks, flights beyond low-Earth orbit and rendezvous and docking operations, among other topics.