Former Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides Joins Next Space Flight

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides

CNBC | Michael Sheets

George Whitesides, Former CEO Virgin Galactic, CNBC learned to participate in the company’s next space flight test.

Sir Richard Branson He made his announcement at a party in Las Cruces, New Mexico on July 11th, after thanking Whiteside for leading the company for 10 years following his own space flight.

“when [Branson] Thanks to George, he said very casually, “and George will lead our next flight,” and people cheered. Lori GorvaghFormerly NASA’s deputy administrator, he told CNBC.

Gerber was one of more than 100 office workers and VIPs celebrating Branson’s successful space flight at Hotel Encant de la Cruces. Another person attending the event confirmed Branson’s comment on CNBC.

A Virgin Galactic spokesman said in a statement that the company “has not confirmed the details of the Unity 23 manifest at this time.” Whitesides did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

After serving as CEO of Virgin Galactic from 2010 to 2020, Whitesides turned to the role of Chief Space Officer of the company last year. When the company welcomed Michael Colglazier as CEO.. He is currently chairing Virgin Galactic’s Space Advisory Board.

Gerber says Whiteside is the only member of the next crew that Branson mentioned at the celebration, and three more are expected to participate in space flight.

The timing of the launch is still unknown, but Virgin Galactic has previously stated that it aims to complete the next two spaceflight tests this summer. There was a 50-day gap between the last two Virgin Galactic space flights, so the Whiteside launch would occur in late August or early September if the company took similar time to prepare. There is likely to be.

Virgin Galactic shares fell 4% on Friday trading, closing at $ 29.58.

Virgin Galactic passenger rocket-powered aircraft VSS Unity, carrying Richard Branson and its crew, stopped from video on July 11, 2021 at the edge of space above Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA. Start climbing in the image.

Virgin Galactic | Via Reuters

Virgin Galactic has launched four test space flights so far. The latest space flight is called Unity22 and carries the founder of a millionaire. The company’s leadership has previously announced that it will fly two more tests on the VSS Unity spacecraft. In the first test, four more “Mission Specialists” were on board, and in the second test, flight members of the Italian Air Force were on board.

Billionaire Richard Branson and his crew boarded Virgin Galactic passenger rocket-powered aircraft VSS Unity on July 11, 2021 on Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA. Start climbing unrestrained at the edge of the space.

Virgin Galactic

The company’s spacecraft VSS Unity was designed to carry six passengers in addition to two pilots, but Virgin Galactic says that space flight with Branson is a “fully crew” launch. I confirmed.

Virgin Galactic is conducting space flight tests as the final step in vehicle development with the goal of launching passenger aircraft in early 2022. The company has booked about 600 tickets for future flights.

Since Branson’s flight, shares have fallen from a high of nearly $ 55 per share, trading at nearly $ 30 per share.Some declines followed Branson’s announcement of Virgin Galactic the day after space flight. Sell ​​up to $ 500 million in common stock..

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Former Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides Joins Next Space Flight

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