Just two months into my role as CEO at Virgin Galactic, and I’ve had to start catching myself whenever I say the word, ‘amazing’.
The definition of that word is to cause ‘great surprise, wonder or astonishment’ and it’s definitely been my most used adjective of late. The complexity of the technology, the consistency of the drive and passion of our team members, and the sheer ambition of our company’s purpose have all caused me to drop “amazing” on a near-daily basis.
Virgin Galactic has a family-like atmosphere, mixed with a true sense of pride and ambition within our team. It is this notion that drives so much of what it is and means to work at this company. This team is literally taking their dreams and turning them into reality as they build and launch spaceships from U.S soil and turn teammates into astronauts in the process.
Speaking of launching, my recent visit to the Gateway to Space facility at Spaceport America, New Mexico was… yes… amazing! The welcoming, confident energy created by the team at our spaceflight operations headquarters will mentally and emotionally prepare each Future Astronaut for their flight so that they can fully take in the changed perspective of Earth from space. I’m looking forward to working with the teams to develop and expand the customer experience in New Mexico to ensure an experience like no other.
The upcoming year sees a number of anticipated moments ahead, including the continued development and build of our fleet of spaceships, and the progression to the next stages of SpaceShipTwo Unity’s flight test program. The teams are preparing for the company’s first powered flight from New Mexico as I type. For me personally, this will mark my first ever flight day at Virgin Galactic, and I am sure this flight will once again alter my perspective on this incredible journey and the work ahead.
I understood coming in that part of our purpose at Virgin Galactic is to create life-changing transformational journeys by enabling people to experience the wonder of space. What I hadn’t appreciated until a few weeks in is that this vision is part of a greater purpose embedded into the DNA of Virgin Galactic. Because we believe that enabling, amplifying, and sharing a physically changed perspective of our planet from space will open the door to creating, sharing, and supporting a changed perspective to create good back here on Earth. And that will truly be amazing.