Retired US astronaut Tim Kopra will be joining the leadership team of MDA as Vice President of Robotics and Space Operations. His position takes effect immediately and will be responsible for the work of the robotics and space operations teams at MDA sites in Brampton, Ottawa, Saint-Hubert, and Houston. 

“We are thrilled to have Tim join our executive leadership team,” said Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer of MDA. “As we embark on the next decade of space exploration, with the Artemis lunar program, commercial on-orbit servicing and on-orbit manufacturing, as well increasing activity on Mars, MDA has a large role to play and I believe Tim’s operational experience and leadership skills will be essential to our continued growth and success.” 

Tim Kopra

Kopra has a wide range of experience from working in various roles with the US military, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), private equity, and venture capital landscape. From 1985 to 2010, he served as Army Aviator in the US Army achieving the rank of Colonel with aviation operations during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm within Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq. In Germany, he led an attack helicopter company and also served as an experimental test pilot on various projects. 

He was assigned to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston as a vehicle integration test engineer in 1998 and selected as an astronaut in 2000. At NASA, he served in many technical and leadership assignments relating to International Space Station (ISS) hardware and aviation safety. 

During his preparation for a space mission, he trained in the US, Russia, Japan, Germany, and Canada on ISS hardware and systems, ISS assembly, and scientific experiments. He later flew on two spaceflights, serving as Space Shuttle Mission Specialist on STS-127/128 and ISS Expedition 20 Flight Engineer from July-September 2009, and later as ISS Expedition 46 Flight Engineer, Expedition 47 Commander, and Soyuz 19M Spacecraft co-pilot from December 2015-June 2016. He logged a total of 244 days in space and executed assembly tasks using Canadarm2. Kopra was on three spacewalks totalling 13 hours and 31 minutes.

He also served on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Aquarius underwater laboratory as part of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 11, testing space suit design concepts, communication protocols, construction techniques, and the use of robotic devices. He formally retired from NASA in October 2018. 

Since 2016, Kopra has been a partner and advisor at Blue Bear Capital, a private equity firm that invests in high-growth technology companies and start-ups across the energy, infrastructure, and climate industries. He also served in advisory roles in other private equity and venture capital firms.