Fairchild Space and Defense Corp. in Germantown has hired a veteran aeronautics and astronautics official whose career dates back to the early days of the U.S. space program to serve as president of its satellite-making company.
Larry P. Yermack, 54, took over as president of Fairchild Space Co. last month. He was also named a vice president of the parent organization, Fairchild Space and Defense Corp.
Fairchild Space, located off Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, is a manufacturer of satellites and satellite components.
Mr. Yermack brings nearly 30 years of experience in the aeronautics and astronautics industries to his new job with Fairchild. In 1962 he served as a project administrator with RCA Corp.'s Astro Electronics division in East Windsor, N.J.
There, he helped build a Navy satellite -- developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory near Columbia -- that was used to pinpoint the locations of ships operating around the world.
"In the 1980's," he added in a recent telephone interview, "I worked on the Tiros weather satellite that has never missed a hurricane. They have saved thousands of lives, and I feel good about that."
In 1984 he was appointed director of space station programs foAstro Electronics. The following year, he was promoted to division vice president.
When General Electric Co. acquired RCA in 1986, Mr. Yermack assisted in the merging of the Astro Electronics division and GE's Spacecraft Operations division.
In 1987 he was appointed program general manager, responsible for the remote sensing and navigation program for GE's Astro Space division.
"It was exciting work," he said, "but you get used to it over the years."
Mr. Yermack is a 1960 graduate of the University of Pittsburg with a degree in electrical engineering. Two years later he earned a master's degree in industrial management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr. Yermack said he brings "a number of years of successful experience" to his new job.
"The opportunity presented itself," he said, "and I jumped at it. It seemed like a good idea to me."