Pilot Thomas A. Haas is taking over the United States’ airframe and logistics businesses after years of work with rival Boeing.
The deal to buy the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket engine business, and a fleet of Atlas 5s and Delta 4 rockets, from United Launch Services (ULS) was finalized on Monday.
It’s the first major ULA deal in years, but the acquisition will also bring Haas to the table as the company seeks to revive the Atlas 5 business, which was spun off in 2007 to help compete with SpaceX and Boeing.US space policy has long been a key concern for Haas, who previously served as a top executive at Boeing and Lockheed Martin before moving to Boeing as CEO in 2017.US President Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to cut funding for the United Nations and US astronauts, and to move the US space agency from a civilian to a military role, and he has called for more funding for space exploration.USSpace chief Haas was named CEO of ULS in 2017 after spending seven years with the company, where he was responsible for the Atlas 4, a rocket used for commercial launches.
“With the success of our Atlas 4 mission program and the recent launch of our second stage, I am pleased to welcome Thomas Haas to our company as President and Chief Executive Officer,” said USSpace CEO David Stoynoff.
“We are looking forward to building on the strong synergies we have already built with our customers, and we are confident in the long-term prospects of the Atlas business and the business of the United Kingdom.”
The ULA business is based at the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida.ULA has been operating in the US since 2007, when the company spun off Atlas 5 launch services from Lockheed Martin.
In 2017, Haas replaced Tom Blasey Ford, who left the company to head up SpaceX, the private spaceflight company.
In 2018, Haas took over as ULS’ chief operating officer, but was replaced in 2019 by Jeff Bezos, who took over from Blaseey Ford.
In 2019, Haas was a candidate for the CEO job at SpaceX, but he decided against running for president.