09 February 2021

Virgin Galactic Launches Space Advisory Board

first commercial research flight - large

Virgin Galactic today announced the establishment of its Space Advisory Board.

The Virgin Galactic Space Advisory Board will provide advice to senior management as the company moves forward to open space for the benefit of all.  The Space Advisory Board, composed of leading experts from the aerospace sector, will be a resource as the company starts commercial spaceflight service and develops next generation vehicles. The Space Advisory Board will also serve as a forum to discuss technical and operational best practices, and provide awareness of opportunities in commercial, civil and government-related markets.

The Space Advisory Board members announced today are:

Chris Hadfield: Decorated astronaut, engineer, and test pilot who served as commander of the International Space Station. He has flown to space three times, to the International Space Station and the Russian Space Station Mir.  He has performed two spacewalks and flown over 100 types of aircraft.  He was NASA's Chief CAPCOM, the voice of Mission Control to astronauts in orbit, for 25 Space Shuttle missions, and served as chief of International Space Station Operations at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

Sandy Magnus: Former NASA astronaut and deputy chief of the Astronaut Office, with three flights to space including a long duration mission on the International Space Station. Dr. Magnus is a member of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Board and has served in leadership roles at the Department of Defense and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

David Whelan: Chief-Scientist of Cubic Corporation, having previously served as Chief Scientist, Boeing Defense, Space and Security and director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. Member of the National Academy of Engineering, former member of the Defense Science Board and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

George Whitesides: Chairman of the Space Advisory Board and Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic. Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, George served as the Chief of Staff of NASA.

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said: “We are excited to welcome these talented space professionals, as initial members of the Space Advisory Board.  They each bring incredible depth, experience, and insight, and together they will help us drive our mission forward.’’

Chris Hadfield said, “As an astronaut, I know the profound personal impact of spaceflight, and the opportunity it gives for exploration and self-awareness here on Earth. Virgin Galactic is opening that door of opportunity to many, and I am honored to serve on the Space Advisory Board to help make that happen.”

Dr. Magnus stated, “The movement to open access to space for a broader group of people is a part of the natural evolution in the development of human spaceflight.  I am excited to be a part of the next steps in that effort!” Dr. David Whelan added, “To be part of the team that brings people to space and the frontiers that lie ahead is an incredibly exciting opportunity.”

George Whitesides shared, “I am excited to chair the Space Advisory Board alongside leading experts in the aerospace industry as we explore and pursue opportunities in commercial, civil and government-related markets. This Space Advisory Board will assist senior management with the mission of opening space for all, and I am honored to be a part of this journey.”

About Virgin Galactic Holdings

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. It is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique and transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.com/

For media inquiries: Aleanna Crane - Vice President Communications Virgingalacticpress@virgingalactic.com

For Investor Relations inquiries: VirginGalactic-SVC@SARDVERB.com

Source: Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.

You can download all press materials including images and broll from the Virgin Galactic Press FTP.

GEORGE WHITESIDES

GEORGE WHITESIDES

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR

George T. Whitesides is the Chair of the Space Advisory Board, where he is responsible for bringing together aerospace leaders to advise the Virgin Galactic senior management team on the journey towards regular commercial spaceflight, developing the next generation vehicles and exploring new opportunities. Previously, George served as the Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic, spearheading the development of future technologies, including high speed, point-to-point travel and orbital flight, after stepping down as CEO in 2020.

George joined Virgin Galactic in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer. During George’s 10 years with the Company, he built the company from 30 people to a workforce of over 900, successfully guiding Virgin Galactic through its human space flight R&D and flight test program, culminating in two space flights. These historic flights saw the first humans launched into space from US soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, as well as the first woman to fly on a commercial space vehicle. George led the transition of operations from Mojave, California to Spaceport America, New Mexico, and oversaw the company’s successful public listing making it a multi-billion dollar company and creating the world’s first publicly traded human spaceflight venture.

Prior to Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA. Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.

George’s volunteer service includes Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Antelope Valley Economic Development & Growth Enterprise. He is a fellow of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He previously served as Vice Chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, chair of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group for the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic, a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies, and the Board of Virgin Unite USA. George has testified on American space policy before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. An honors graduate of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, George later earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.

He resides in California with his wife Loretta and two children.

CHRIS HADFIELD

CHRIS HADFIELD

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Colonel Chris Hadfield is a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and test pilot who has commanded the International Space Station. Formerly NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia and veteran of three spaceflights, Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Hadfield is a three-time NYT bestselling author, a renowned musician, an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation, and host of several internationally acclaimed television series. In addition, Hadfield leads the space stream at the Creative Destruction Lab, one of the world’s top tech incubators.

DR SANDRA MAGNUS

DR SANDRA MAGNUS

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus is the Principal at AstroPlanetview, LLC. Most recently she served as the Deputy Director of Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the Undersecretary of Research and Engineering. In that role she served as the “Chief Engineer” for the Department of Defense establishing engineering policy, propagating best practices and working to connect the engineering community across the department.

Dr. Magnus is the former Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Prior to leading AIAA, she was a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps for 16 years. During her time at NASA she flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002, and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. In addition, she flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after four and a half months on board.

Following her assignment on Station, she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.

While at NASA, Dr. Magnus worked extensively with the international community, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as with Brazil on facility-type payloads. She also spent time in Russia developing and integrating operational products and procedures for the International Space Station.

Before joining NASA, Dr. Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer. While at McDonnell Douglas, she worked on internal R&D and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program.

Dr. Magnus has received numerous awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 40 at 40 Award (given to former collegiate women athletes to recognize the impact of Title IX).

DAVID A. WHELAN

DAVID A. WHELAN

SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Dr. David A. Whelan is the SVP Chief-Scientist of Cubic Corporation. Dr. Whelan retired from Boeing in 2017, as the Vice President, Engineering (BDS) and Board of Directors for HRL Laboratories. Whelan served as Director of the Tactical Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and began his career at Northrop as designer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Whelan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Physical Society and IEEE. He earned his Ph.D. Physics from UCLA; He holds over 75 US patents.