San Diego Business Journal

Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) has named former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to its board of directors. Bridenstine served in the top job at NASA from April 2018 until January of this year. Carlsbad-based Viasat made the announcement on April 1.

From 2013 to 2018, Bridenstine served in Congress as a representative from Oklahoma. During his tenure he served on the House Armed Services Committee.

Viasat offers satellite equipment and services, selling into the military, government and consumer markets. It had $2.31 billion in revenue during its last fiscal year.

With the appointment of Bridenstine, Viasat’s board now has eight members. Six are independent directors. Bridenstine’s initial term will expire at the company’s annual meeting in 2022.

Bridenstine served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. He flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and accrued 1,900 flight hours and 333 carrier-arrested landings.

While he was administrator at NASA, the space agency launched the Artemis program, a new human lunar exploration mission. He also backed the development of two advanced aircraft, the X-59, a quiet supersonic aircraft, and the X-57 Maxwell, NASA’s first all-electric airplane.

“Jim is a welcome addition to Viasat’s board of directors,” said Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s co-founder and executive chairman. “His insight into all aspects of advanced space programs can help ensure Viasat remains at the forefront of space system and network technology globally. And, because of the pivotal role he’s played in expanding the U.S. manned space program, Jim is also an ardent proponent of preserving safe access to space via proactive measures to protect the space environment and contain orbital debris.”