Debra Facktor joined Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. at the outset of the pandemic, bringing with her extensive experience in space engineering, business and communications.
“Taking on a new job during a pandemic was not my plan, but Airbus has been providing U.S. customers with innovative solutions for more than 50 years,” Facktor said. “The opportunity to build the U.S. space business was too exciting to pass up!”
Her Day 1 mission was to build up a space and engineering team brimming with satellite experience and hit the ground running. She did just that, leveraging Airbus OneWeb satellites, Airbus’ small satellite manufacturing joint venture with OneWeb, and kicked off satellite programs for OneWeb, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other Airbus customers.
Diving in feet first also meant joining the AOS board and successfully shepherding the joint venture through the pains of COVID and orchestrating the merger of Airbus Houston operations into Airbus U.S.
In 2021, Facktor and her team are looking to further leverage the Airbus Arrow commodity satellite bus design and state-of-the-art satellite manufacturing factory in Florida for U.S. government customers. This solution is already underway for DARPA and promises to aid the Space Development Agency in fielding proliferated low-Earth orbit constellations to counter defense threats.
Additionally, Facktor is looking to grow the Airbus U.S. space exploration business. From customer access to the Airbus’ Bartolomeo platform on the International Space Station to assembly, integration, test and launch operations in support of the European Service Module, gaining market acceptance for Airbus U.S. space capabilities and catering to U.S. government customers will be key to her success.