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Virgin Galactic Looking for Space Pilots

Now this is an announcement that is sure to cause some agitation... Virgin Galactic, the company in the Richard Branson empire that will be in charge with creating the world's first commercial spaceline, announced on Tuesday that it is looking for pilot-astronauts.

That means that, if you have what it takes (or believe you do) and meet the government regulations, you can apply (you can do so by following this link) and, if lucky, become part of the first people that would regularly fly into space on board a civilian space ship.

Virgin is looking for pilots for both WhiteKnightTwo (the carrier vehicle) and the SpaceShipTwo (the craft that will actually fly into space).

To be eligible, you must be full course graduates of a recognized test pilot school. You also must have quite a lot of experience and flight hours with both high-performance fast-jet type airplanes and large multi-engine types.

Also, Virgin says that experience in actual spaceflight is not mandatory, but desirable. Know any NASA astronauts that will be left without a job this year, after the space shuttle program ends?

Before any of you apply, do some research and learn what this next step in space exploration and space vehicles are all about. You can do that by checking out the coverstory we ran on the subject, or by visiting Virgin Galactic's website.

As a quick reminder, we'll only tell you that SpaceShipTwo is a spacecraft which launches horizontally from the underbelly of the WhiteKnightTwo. SpaceShipTwo is powered by a hybrid rocket motor which uses solid fuel (rubber compound) and liquid oxidizer (Nitrous Oxide), a solution which is said to be better than standalone liquid engines or solid motor. So, no vertical liftoff...
 

 
 
 
 
 

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