Headlines > News > Michael S. Kelly joins the X PRIZE Foundation as Vice President of Operations for the X PRIZE CUP

Michael S. Kelly joins the X PRIZE Foundation as Vice President of Operations for the X PRIZE CUP

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:09 pm
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Santa Monica, CA. (July 10, 2005) — The X PRIZE Foundation has announced the appointment of Michael S. Kelly as Vice President of the Foundation. Mr. Kelly will be responsible for all engineering, safety and operational activities associated with the annual X PRIZE CUP & PERSONAL SPACEFLIGHT EXPO, a partnership of the X PRIZE Foundation and the state of New Mexico.

“Mike is a tremendous new asset to the capabilities of the X PRIZE Foundation, especially in our efforts with the state of New Mexico to develop the Southwest Regional Spaceport and X PRIZE CUP & PERSONAL SPACEFLIGHT EXPO activities,” said Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman. “

Michael Kelly brings to the X PRIZE Foundation 25 years of experience in intercontinental ballistic missile systems and expendable and reusable space launch systems design. He is a technical innovator, experienced system engineer project and program manager and an entrepreneurial corporate founder and CEO.

“His passion is to work in the next-generation of space business, something he started 44 years ago,” said Rod O’Connor, X PRIZE Foundation President. “In this position, Mike will be designing the first real inland spaceport, and working one-on-one with every private space transportation developer.”

Michael Kelly comes to the X PRIZE Foundation from Northrop Grumman/XonTech. Previously he was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Kelly Space & Technology and a staff engineer for TRW, Inc. at the Engineering Mechanics Laboratory where he identified and developed new business opportunities. He also co founded the TRW Launch Services Organization. He began his career at TRW Ballistic Missiles Division, supporting development of the Peacekeeper ICBM.

Mr. Kelly’s accomplishments include the invention of a process to convert organic waste into natural gas; Chairmanship of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) Working Group, which advises the FAA on regulatory matters pertaining to space launch,; receipt of a patent for aerial towing technique for space launch, and demonstrating the technique in a series of manned flight tests at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.

Michael Kelly is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering.

About the X PRIZE Foundation

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs in space and technology for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by Burt Rutan and funded by Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spacecraft to the edge of space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. Because of the dramatic nature of the achievement, the X PRIZE Foundation is now widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through the use of competitions.

About the X PRIZE CUP

Based on the success of the Ansari X PRIZE, The X PRIZE Foundation has partnered with the state of New Mexico to present the X PRIZE CUP & PERSONAL SPACEFLIGHT EXPO, an annual event in Southern New Mexico. The Foundation will also assist in the development of the state’s Southwestern Regional Spaceport.

The 2005 Countdown to the X PRIZE CUP activities, scheduled for October 6-9, includes a public symposium on the future of spaceflight at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces on October 6th; educational and public activities at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo on October 7-8; and a Personal Spaceflight Expo at the Las Cruces International Airport on October 9th from 11a-5p.

Beginning in 2006, the X PRIZE CUP & PERSONAL SPACEFLIGHT EXPO will be a week-long series of space-related events and launches. Full details and e-tickets are available at www.xprize.org.

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