Markus Rufer CEOMarkus Rufer, President, Chief Executive Officer

Markus Rufer has an international general management and manufacturing plant operations background that spans across various industries, including Aerospace & Defense, Industrial, Automotive and Energy. He was named Chief Executive of Scorpius Space Launch Company after serving as its COO for several years. He is also one of the principal inventors of key enabling technologies for low cost access to space, such as the PRESSURMAXX all-composite linerless tank technology as well as the Sapphire*77 cryogenic resin system.

He played a key role in start-up and growth of several companies and built and managed worldwide manufacturing operations for large multinational corporations as well as new business enterprises in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Rufer brings an industrial manufacturing approach to the company that constitutes one of the main ingredients of the superior cost profile of the Scorpius family of Space Launch Vehicles.

He served in executive positions at Aura Systems Inc., a California Technology Conglomerate, where he set up and managed a power generator production facility that received ISO 9001 certification. He was Director of Operations and a board member at BAT International Inc., a Zero Emissions Vehicle manufacturer in Burbank, CA. As Vice President Manufacturing at Vector Aeromotive Corporation, he built and managed the production environment for three high performance car manufacturing facilities in Wilmington, CA. Earlier, Mr. Rufer directed an overseas anti-aircraft systems overhaul and upgrading program for a billion dollar multi-national corporation. He received M.S. degrees in Engineering and in Business Management respectively.

He serves the company as a board member and is a co-author of several technical publications in astronautics, systems engineering and manufacturing. Mr. Rufer was selected as one of the authors of the reference book Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD

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Alice Wertz CFOAlice Wertz, Chief Financial Officer

Mrs. Wertz is a majority stockholder and serves as CFO of Microcosm, Inc.- Scorpius Space Launch Company’s sister corporation., She is currently Acting CFO of Scorpius Space Launch Company as well. Mrs. Wertz also is the head of Contracts and serves on the Board of Directors for both companies.

Mrs. Wertz has overseen Microcosm’s financial well-being since its inception in 1984 and has done the same for Scorpius Space launch Company since 2008. Her past scientific experience as an educator (at both the secondary and college levels) and as a U.S. government researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave her preparation for understanding the complexities of the scientific and technical problems to be faced by the start-up company(s). She set up the company financial system for a company of three and has grown Microcosm annual revenues to $5M-$15M annually. As Microcosm is primarily a government R&D contractor, she has expertise to handle government cost accounting, as well as calculation and application of indirect rates.

In addition to the oversight of the accounting department of each company, Mrs. Wertz negotiates all contracts—both governmental and commercial. She is also in charge of contractural deliverables.

Having completed the extensive training required of a Facility Security Officer, Mrs. Wertz also serves in that capacity at Microcosm.

Based on her years of small business experience, Mrs. Wertz has mentored other small companies in the aeropace sector and is active in aerospace groups in the Los Angeles area.

Mrs. Wertz received a B.S. degree in Biology and an M.A. degree in Zoology from University of Texas at Austin.

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Dr. Nicola Sarzi-Amade, VPDr. Nicola Sarzi-Amade, Vice President, Business Development

Dr. Sarzi-Amade is Vice President of Business Development of Scorpius Space Launch Company, and is responsible for finding new applications for the Scorpius family of low cost orbital launch vehicles as well as for the all-composite cryogenic tank technology. He is in charge of creating and executing marketing and growth strategies for the company and for its expansion into new markets.

Dr. Sarzi-Amade is a member of the Space Systems Division of Microcosm where he provides technical expertise in areas such as interplanetary mission design, systems engineering, space mission engineering, spacecraft design, spacecraft formation flying, astrodynamics, and absolute orbit control. Dr. Sarzi-Amade is manager of the magnetic torquer program, being responsible for budgets, customer interactions, and the execution of proposals, quotes, acceptance test reports, quality assurance plans, and testing. He contributed, among other missions, to DSX, NuSTAR, STP-SIV, and JMAPS. He has over 10 years of international experience in space systems engineering.

Dr. Sarzi-Amade previously covered the position of mechanical and test engineer at Fossil Energy Research Corporation, where he provided R&D and engineering services in the area of combustion and air pollution control.

As a Ph.D. researcher at the University of Southern California, Dr. Sarzi-Amade designed a Mars rapid round trip mission. At UC Irvine, he participated in numerous research projects including the design of a turbine burner for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and a miniature liquid fuel-film combustor with applications in attitude & control, microsatellites propulsion, portable-power generation, and power/propulsion systems for Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAV’s).

Dr. Sarzi-Amade is a member of the Space Systems Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and is the AIAA Programs Chair for the Los Angeles ?Las Vegas Section. He is also a member of the organizing committee of the Reinventing Space Conference that is held annually in Los Angeles. Dr. Sarzi-Amade is also the Director of Chapter Development and on the Board of Directors/Executive Committee of the Space Tourism Society, and a member of the Mars Society and the National Space Society.

Dr. Sarzi-Amade is one of the authors of the book Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD. He is co-author of several technical publications in astronautics and systems engineering, and regularly presents at conferences and seminars.

Dr. Sarzi-Amade is a certified private pilot.

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Dr. James Wertz, ChairmanDr. James Wertz, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Dr. Wertz is the Chairman of the board of Directors of Scorpius Space Launch Company. He is the principal architect of the Scorpius SLC & Microcosm relationship and the inventor of the LOW COST ACCESS TO SPACE paradigm. As an internationally recognized authority on space mission engineering, he is also providing his expertise for our customer’s innovative space mission design needs.

As President of our parent company, Microcosm Inc, Dr. Wertz has technical and management responsibility for work in Microcosm’s main business areas: satellite orbit and attitude control systems, space mission engineering, low cost space launch systems, autonomous navigation and orbit control, space sensor design, and space software development. His experience includes virtually all mission phases: concept exploration, hardware design and development (both at spacecraft and component levels), spacecraft integration and test, launch support, and mission operations. He is the editor and principal author of:

  • Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control (D. Reidel, 1978, 858 pg.), the standard reference work in this field now in its 14th printing.

  • Space Mission Analysis and Design (Kluwer Academic, 1st edition, 1990, 2nd edition, 1992, 3rd Edition, 1999.), the most widely used astronautics text and reference in print.

  • Reducing Space Mission Cost (Kluwer Academic and Microcosm, 1996, 617 pg.), recent volume aimed at changing the way we do business in space.

  • Mission Geometry; Orbit and Constellation Design and Management (Kluwer Academic, 2001, 934 pg.), first of a 3-volume series intended as the new standard reference in Spacecraft Orbit and Attitude Systems.

He is also managing editor of the Space Technology Library (since 1985).

Dr. Wertz holds multiple patents in orbit and attitude systems. He has taught courses worldwide in “Space Mission Analysis and Design,? “Orbit and Attitude Systems,?“Reducing Space Mission Cost,?and “Constellation Design, Management and Economics.?His teaching has spanned providing professional systems and mission engineering training at JPL, JSC, GSFC, LaRC, ESA, ESTEC, CNES, CSA, AFRL, SMC, and at numerous corporate venues in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Dr. Wertz is an Adjunct Professor of Astronautics at USC, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a Fellow of both the British Interplanetary Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Dr. Wertz has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin, an S.B. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a M.S. in S&T Adm. from George Washington University.

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Jack Kulpa, DirectorJack Kulpa, Director

Jack Kulpa was the President and CEO of Scorpius Space Launch Company from its inception in 1999 through 2013. He currently serves on the board of directors. He has over thirty-five years experience in the Space business having been the Mission Director for the launch of 50 major US satellites and the Program Director of several space programs with satellites ranging from a few hundred pounds to over ten tons. He is a retired Air Force Major General having spent most of his military career in Air Force and NRO space activities.

He has been on the Board of Directors of several corporations, a Trustee of ERIM and Chairman of the Board of ERIM, and a Los Angeles County Commissioner. He was founder and President of AstroTech, headed the C3I activities for McDonnell Douglas, and was Senior Vice President and Group Leader of Eaton Corporation Government Information Systems Group. He played a key role in start-up and growth of Spectrum Astro

His activities in space systems development, satellite mission operations and launch operations have been recognized with numerous awards and honors including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Air Force Distinguished Service Medal; CIA National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal; NASA Exceptional Service Medal; the National Geographic Thomas D. White Space Trophy; and the Air Force Association Schriever Space and Missile Award. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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Dr. Robert Conger, DirectorDr. Robert Conger, Director

Dr. Conger is the program manager for the development of the Scorpius vehicles and Executive Vice President of Microcosm, Inc. As a director of Scorpius SLC, Dr. Conger is heavily involved in the requirement analysis and support efforts in space systems for access to, activities in and performance of systems in space. Dr. Conger has participated in and led numerous studies in cost effective missions incorporating space as well as ground assets. Under his direction, a new generation of significantly lower cost launch vehicles were created, which have an impact on virtually all-new DoD and civil missions, as well as commercial applications and space architectures.

Prior to joining Scorpius SLC / Microcosm, Dr. Conger was the Group Vice President of Comarco, Inc. where he managed divisions and two separate Corporations responsible for decision and system analysis, hardware and software development and national operations. Dr. Conger also had direct responsibility for a nation wide computer network supporting NAVAIR, and other specialized agency systems. Dr. Conger’s experience includes extensive work in the fields of concept development, system design, and development and manufacturing for both hardware and software. As President for Logicon-Intercomp, Inc., he managed the efforts in specialized operating systems, multi-path special processors, and multi-function real time systems. This included special systems for data gathering and process internationally.

With Dicom Industries, Dr. Conger was responsible for operations including manufacturing and engineering development of complex electrical/mechanical commercial products. At Hewlett-Packard, Dr. Conger was the engineering development manager for computer based data acquisition and control systems. While with the Air Force Special Weapons Laboratory, he worked on large complex systems, satellite experiments, and space programs concerning solar wind and radiation effects.

Dr. Conger has a Ph.D. in Engineering Management from Pacific Western University, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Santa Clara, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

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Scorpius Space Launch Company
4940 W. 147th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250-6708 USA

Phone Number: (310) 219-2700

Fax Number: (310) 219-2710

Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


From LAX:
Take Sepulveda Blvd. SOUTH. Take 105 EAST for 0.9 miles. Take 405 SOUTH for 0.2 miles. EXIT Rosecrans Ave. Turn RIGHT onto Hindry Ave. Then turn RIGHT onto Rosecrans Ave. Continue under the overpass then turn RIGHT at Ocean Gate Ave. Follow Ocean Gate until it turns left and becomes West 147th St.

From the I-105 Westbound:
Take the 405 South Exit. Proceed on the 405 South for 0.2 miles then EXIT Rosecrans Ave. Turn RIGHT onto Hindry Ave. Then turn RIGHT onto Rosecrans Ave. Continue under the overpass then turn RIGHT at Ocean Gate Ave. Follow Ocean Gate until it turns left and becomes West 147th St.

From the I-405 Northbound:
EXIT Rosecrans Ave. Turn RIGHT onto Rosecrans Ave and stay in the right lane. Turn RIGHT at Ocean Gate Ave. Follow Ocean Gate until it turns left and becomes West 147th St.

Lat/Long Coordinates: N 33 ?53' 51.6" W 118 ?21' 50.0"
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