Top space veteran to lead Sierra Space launch as company prepares the first commercial spaceplane
Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, today announced two key appointments as the company moves toward launch of the Dream Chaser® spaceplane in 2023.
Mukwatsibwoha “Kwatsi” Alibaruho joins as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Mission & Launch and Recovery Operations and Jeff Davis is appointed Vice President (VP) of Flight Operations. Both appointments will report directly to Sierra Space’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeff Babione and will play a key role as the Dream Chaser takes flight.
In his new role, Alibaruho will provide leadership for mission operations, pre-launch, recovery and refurbishment of all Sierra Space vehicles, platforms and products. Alibaruho will also assume responsibility for mission operations activities at all Sierra Space sites. Davis expands his contributions to the development and execution of Sierra Space’s growing family of Dream Chaser® spaceplanes and LIFETM habitat.
“On behalf of Sierra Space, we are very pleased to have both Kwatsi and Jeff as part of the team,” said Babione. “The addition of these two key members and their exceptional expertise and leadership truly reflect the amazing growth trajectory that Sierra Space is experiencing, as we accelerate toward launch and build the team we need to bring our dreams worth chasing to reality.”
“Sierra Space is already effectively shaping the commercial space industry, and I look forward to helping the company further bring its projects to life,” added Alibaruho. “I am honored to join the company and assist in all of its initiatives around the world. Space provides opportunity for all on Earth, and I look forward to helping Sierra Space democratize access through Dream Chaser, the LIFE Habitat, Orbital Reef and all other ongoing projects.”
“As a long-time member of the Sierra Space team, I have had the pleasure to participate in the development of Dream Chaser since its inception and overseeing test flight operations,” commented Davis. “I am honored to accept this new role and to further contribute to Dream Chaser as we strive toward launch from Kennedy Space Center next year.”
Prior to Sierra Space, Alibaruho served as SVP, Program Management, for EATON PLC where he oversaw the New Product Development Program Portfolio for its $12 billion industrial sector. Alibaruho also spent 18 years at NASA where he served as Flight Director for the Space Shuttle and Space Station Missions, having been mission director for the last Space Shuttle mission, STS-135.
Additionally, Davis is a former NASA space shuttle flight controller and systems engineer with more than 35 years of NASA and private industry spaceflight systems development, test and operations experience. As a key member for Sierra Space since 2011, Davis has served in a variety of roles including Avionics Lead, Director of Design & Development, and Test Conductor for the successful test flight of the Engineering Test Article (ETA) in 2017. Davis also led the Flight Operations team in making notable contributions to Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) 2, including multiple successful program milestones and helping to architect the Mission Control Center and Sierra Space’s approach to plan, train, and fly Sierra Space missions.
Alibaruho has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Avionics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration from Rice University. In addition, Davis has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Sierra Space recently announced its plans for a Human Spaceflight Center and Astronaut Training Academy that will recruit, train and prepare the future astronaut corps that will be required to support Dream Chaser® and the commercialization of space.