Cary W. Ludtke
Vice President and General Manager
As the vice president and general manager of Ball Aerospace's Operational Space strategic business unit, Cary is responsible for the acquisition and execution of space programs for operational, commercial, and international customers. Cary brings proven experience in spacecraft and space instrument management, systems and design engineering to the position.
During his 27-year career Cary has demonstrated the ability to manage Earth observing, operational and commercial programs.
Cary provides executive leadership for operational Earth observing missions including the Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership, the Joint Polar Satellite System and the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. He has also provided leadership for other significant Earth observing missions including: Cloudsat, IceSat and QuikSCAT.
Additionally, Cary has significant experience in commercial spacecraft development. This experience includes the development of five remote sensing spacecraft for DigitalGlobe. Cary’s experience in commercial space opportunities includes the first commercial contract for a privately funded deep space mission.
During his twelve-year career as a business unit vice president Cary has provided leadership for many other notable programs such as the Kepler mission and instruments for the final servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope. He also previously served as vice president of Engineering.
Cary was Program Manager of the QuikSCAT program – a 12-month, fixed price spacecraft development program for Goddard Space Flight Center’s Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition (RSA) office. His team set a new standard for the design and fabrication of the QuikSCAT satellite in less than one year, thereby winning the Aviation Week & Space Technology 1999 Aerospace Laurel Award and a NASA public service medal.
Cary serves on the Board of Directors for the Space Science Institute and for espace, the Center for Space Entrepreneurship, a non-profit organization that supports the creation and development of entrepreneurial space companies.
Cary holds a B.A. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University, and is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the American Astronautical Society.