Home Business Spaceport Cornwall chief Quinn blasts off for Slingshot job

Spaceport Cornwall chief Quinn blasts off for Slingshot job

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Melissa Quinn, who ran the company behind Britain’s first spaceport for a decade, is to become general manager of US-based Seradata, Sky News understands.
City editor
Monday 5 June 2023 23:02, UK
The outgoing boss of Britain’s first spaceport is to join an American start-up amid an intensifying global battle for industry expertise.
Sky News has learnt that Melissa Quinn, whose departure as chief executive of Spaceport Cornwall was announced last month, is to become general manager of Seradata, a leading space sector research platform.
Industry sources said Ms Quinn’s appointment was likely to be announced by Seradata’s parent company, Slingshot Aerospace, on Tuesday.
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Her exit after a decade at Spaceport Cornwall comes several months after the failure of its inaugural mission, the Virgin Orbit launch in January which ended calamitously because of a dislodged fuel filter.
It was seen as a blow to Britain’s space industry, although data to be released this week is expected to show that it delivered a multibillion-pound boost to the UK economy last year.
Virgin Orbit has since filed for bankruptcy and seen a number of its assets sold for token sums in the context of its erstwhile $3bn valuation.
„Heading into the launch which I hoped would go really well, but either way, it was the pinnacle for me,” Ms Quinn told an industry publication last month.
„I would have achieved everything I had set out to do as the head, and I really wanted to look at what was next and to hand over to someone else to take the project into that next chapter.”
Her appointment at Seradata will see her replace Tim Fuller, who has run it since 2013.
Seradata tracks every launch dating back to Sputnik in 1957.
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It was acquired by Slingshot, which has offices in Texas, California and Colorado, last year.
„Melissa’s pioneering work in establishing the UK’s first spaceport, coupled with her passion for space, purpose-driven leadership, aerospace expertise, and strong business acumen, make her an invaluable addition to our team,” Melanie Stricklan, CEO of Slingshot Aerospace, said in a statement.
„Her dedication to advancing women in tech further aligns with our values and mission.
„I’m excited about the dynamism she will bring to expanding Seradata’s capabilities and broadening Slingshot’s global reach.”
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