Virgin Galactic flight test director Mark Stucky, who led first spaceflight, departs from company

6 days ago
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Mark "Forger" Stucky, aft piloting the company's archetypal palmy spaceflight connected December 13, 2018.

Virgin Galactic

Mark "Forger" Stucky, Virgin Galactic's formation trial manager and pilot, is nary longer with the abstraction tourism company.

"I americium present a erstwhile Director of Flight Test and erstwhile SpaceShipTwo pilot," Stucky wrote successful a station connected LinkedIn.

He added successful a remark connected LinkedIn that helium did not permission the abstraction tourism institution "on my ain timeline."

Virgin Galactic confirmed to CNBC that Stucky "is nary longer employed," but did not explicate further.

"We convey him for his 12 years of work connected the formation trial program," a Virgin Galactic spokesperson said successful a statement.

Stucky helped make Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo system, serving archetypal arsenic the engineering trial aviator for Scaled Composites — which built the spacecraft for Virgin Galactic — earlier spending the past six years arsenic Virgin Galactic's pb trial aviator and manager of formation testing.

Virgin Galactic's First Spaceflight connected Dec. 13, 2018

Source: Virgin Galactic

He piloted Virgin Galactic's archetypal trial formation that reached space, launched Dec. 13, 2018. The Federal Aviation Administration awarded Stucky – the 568th idiosyncratic to alert to abstraction – the "Commercial Astronaut Wings," an grant the U.S. has fixed to those who transverse the 80-kilometer bound that the authorities recognizes arsenic space.

In summation to starring Virgin Galactic's archetypal spaceflight test, Stucky arsenic besides the aviator commanding the archetypal glide formation and archetypal rocket-powered formation of SpaceShipTwo spacecraft VSS Unity.

Stucky has flown much than 170 antithetic types of craft passim his career, which besides included the U.S. Marines, NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

Virgin Galactic has 7 pilots connected unit to alert VSS Unity and the bearer craft VMS Eve. The institution astir precocious added 2 pilots to that corps successful October 2020, erstwhile it hired Royal Canadian Air Force aviator Jameel Janjua and U.S Marine Corps aviator Patrick Moran.

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