Joe Rothenberg

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Joe Rothenberg

Mr. Rothenberg has over 57 years of space systems experience including the last 20 years in the commercial “new” space industry, 18 years at NASA and 19 years in the government aerospace business. While at NASA Mr. Rothenberg held Human and Scientific Space Flight institutional and program leadership positions and has wide recognition in the National and International Space community and post NASA as one of the pioneers in the commercial “new” space industry.

Mr. Rothenberg is currently an Independent Consultant and a member of the Board of Directors for 2 non-profits, the Conrad Foundation and 007 Benefit LTD. From February of 2018 until June 2021, he led the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for MethaneSAT LLC. Mr. Rothenberg also is a lifetime “Associate Member” of the National Academy of Science – National Research Council and serves on Academy Study Committees. Mr. Rothenberg retired from Google in October of 2016 where, as Director of Skybox Imaging/Terra Bella Engineering and Operations, he was responsible for the development and initial deployment of Google’s Skybox/Terra Bella satellite Constellation. From June of 2009 – August 2014 when he joined Google, he was an Independent Consultant, his clients included the Swedish Space Corporation, Skybox Imaging and Paragon Space Development Corporation. From June 2002 until June of 2009, Mr. Rothenberg served as the President and a member of the Board of Directors of Universal Space Network (USN). During his tenure at USN he played a key role in both the Acquisition of the DataLynx’s Alaska Ground Station and the sale of USN to the Swedish Space Corporation(SSC).

Mr. Rothenberg retired from NASA in 2001 as the Associate Administrator for Space Flight, a position he held from January 1998. In this position he was responsible for establishing the policies and direction of NASA’s space flight and operations programs including the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, space communications, expendable launch services and human exploration of space. Prior to his assignment as Associate Administrator for Space Flight from April 1995 until January 1998, Mr. Rothenberg was Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He was responsible for the space systems development, operations and the scientific research program execution for NASA’s Earth orbiting science missions. Mr. Rothenberg joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1983 as Operations Manager for the Hubble Space Telescope, Prior to being appointed as the Center Director, he held senior Program and Institutional Management positions, including directing the development and execution of the highly successful first HST on-orbit servicing mission which corrected the telescope’s flawed optics.

Mr. Rothenberg was with Grumman Aerospace from 1964 until 1981 where he held a variety of project engineering and management positions for hardware development, systems engineering, test and operations for spacecraft, aircraft, and submersible research vehicles.

Mr. Rothenberg holds an MS degree in Engineering Management and a BS degree in Engineering Science, from C. W. Post College of the Long Island University and an AAS degree from the State University of New York A&T Institute at Farmingdale New York. In 1997 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and in 2000 an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the C.W Post College. Mr. Rothenberg was recipient of numerous NASA awards including the Exceptional Service Medal in 1990, Distinguished Service Medals in 1994 and 2000, Outstanding Leadership Medals in 1996 and 2001, Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Awards 1994 and 2000 and the Presidential Rank Distinguished Executive Award in 1997. He has also received the National Aviation Association Collier Trophy, the AIAA Goddard Astronautics Award, the National Space Club’s Nelson P. Jackson Award, and was inducted into the Smithsonian’s Aviation Week and Space Technology Hall of Fame.

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