ScoMo Wants To Take Oz To The Moon After Poaching Virgin Galactic Boss
The Chief Operating Officer of Richard Branson’s spaceflight company Virgin Galactic has been poached by the government to be the new Head of the Australian Space Agency.
Enrico Palermo is returning home to Australia to take up the new role, replacing former head Dr Megan Clark, who is due to finish up in December before commencing at the Chair of the Australian Space Agency Advisory Board in 2021.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Palermo’s appointment will help launch Australia’s ambition of being a key player in the international space industry.
“Mr Palermo’s leadership will rocket Australia toward our goal of becoming a major player in the international space industry, while providing benefits across our economy,” the Prime Minister said.
“By 2030, we want to triple the size of our space sector – adding $12 billion to our economy and creating up to 20,000 new, high-skilled jobs.”
Palermo, originally from Perth, has spent the last 14 years at Richard Branson’s space tourism and aerospace-system manufacturing organisation.
He has been president of Virgin Galactic’s arm The Spaceship Company since 2018 and was based at the company’s Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
Palermo said he was honoured by the appointment, and is excited to take up the role in January.
“In its first two years, the Australian Space Agency has made significant progress and achieved many firsts. I look forward to working with the Agency team to continue the mission of growing and transforming Australia’s space industry,” Palermo said.