NASA & Virgin Galactic struck deal for space flights
NASA will do three spaceflights on the Virgin’s air launched space-liner, which is designed to carry eight people to orbital space. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides looked pleased with the deal and said that the deal will benefit them and getting such opportunity is rare. George Whitesides said that Virgin is dedicated to carry astronauts and also to revolutionize access to space.
George Whitesides, president and CEO of Virgin Galactic, in a statement said, “We are excited to be working with NASA to provide the research community with this opportunity to carry out experiments in space.”
“An enormous range of disciplines can benefit from access to space, but historically, such research opportunities have been rare and expensive. At Virgin Galactic, we are fully dedicated to revolutionizing access to space, both for tourist astronauts and, through programs like this, for researchers.”
According to Virgin officials, NASA will carry about 1,300 pounds or 590 kilograms of payload in the spacecraft. The payloads will be used for the experiments and they will be allowed to take 600 different payloads in a single mission.
According to Virgin officials, NASA has made a commitment for one flight, but they have options to add two more to it. Virgin’s officials added that the company will be providing a flight test engineer for every mission to NASA which will monitor and conduct experiments as per the requirement.
Virgin also made the announcement that they are hiring former NASA man in their team as Vice President. Mike Moses, NASA's former space shuttle launch integration manager will be joining Virgin and he will see Virgin’s all operations at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Mike Moses previously served as NASA’s deputy space shuttle program chief and he has huge experience of human spaceflight operations. Mike was associated with the final 12, now retired, shuttle missions of NASA which transported 75 astronauts to orbit.
Virgin CEO, Whitesides said, “Bringing Mike in to lead the team represents a significant investment in our commitment to operational safety and success as we prepare to launch commercial operations.”
In a statement Mike Moses said that he is happy to join Virgin and is excited to lay the foundation for the future space missions of NASA. Mike Moses in a statement said, “I am extremely excited to be joining Virgin Galactic at this time, helping to forge the foundations that will enable routine commercial suborbital spaceflights,”
“Virgin Galactic will expand the legacy of human spaceflight beyond traditional government programs into the world’s first privately funded commercial spaceline.”