Vector-R launch
The second Vector-R rocket lifts off on a low-altitude test flight from a site in Camden County, Georgia, Aug. 3. Credit: Vector

Updated 5 p.m. Eastern with corrected quote provided by the company in final paragraph.

WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle Vector has hired a new chief financial officer who previously held similar positions at Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Vector announced June 12 Stephanie Koster as its new CFO, leading the company’s finance and business operations. Koster joined the company in March, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Koster previously worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation, where she served as senior vice president of finance for a year. Prior to that, she spent six years at Blue Origin as director and treasurer, overseeing its financial operations.

“We are transitioning from a period of development into full operations,” Jim Cantrell, chief executive of Vector, said in a statement announcing the hire. “Stephanie’s proven experience leading the financial growth strategy of some of the world’s largest aerospace companies makes her well-suited to help us achieve our aggressive business goals.”

“Over the past several years, I’ve witnessed Vector quickly join the ranks to make a name for itself among the leaders in the small satellite launch industry,” Koster said in the statement.

Vector is one of dozens of companies developing small launch vehicles. It’s currently developing the Vector-R, capable of placing about 50 kilograms into low Earth orbit. The company, though, has only performed low-altitude test flights of the vehicle so far.

The next major milestone for Vector is a suborbital test flight of the vehicle. “We’re having a suborbital launch hopefully this summer,” said Greg Orndorff, vice president of government sales for Vector, during a June 6 panel discussion at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference.

He didn’t give a date for the company’s first orbital launch attempt, although the company’s June 12 statement noted that Vector now “dedicates focus” on an orbital launch attempt from Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska later this year. “Stay tuned for launch news” from the company, Orndorff said.

Vector raised a $70 million Series B round in October 2018, and has raised a total of $103 million to date. “As the company continues to forge ahead, I look forward to working alongside the team to meet its goals in the most thoughtful and efficient way possible,” Koster said. An earlier version of the company’s announcement suggested that could include an eventual initial public offering of stock.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...