George Whiteside, the former chief executive officer of Virgin Galactic Holdings, will fly into space on the airspace’s next test spaceflight, CNBC reported Friday.
Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Galactic, reached the final frontier earlier this month, beating Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. Branson announced the news about Whiteside during a party in New Mexico on July 11 after his own spaceflight, the report said.
Former NASA deputy administrator Laurie Garver was present at the party and told CNBC that Branson said, “George will lead our next flight.”
Branson, whose spaceflight marked a symbolic milestone in the initiative he launched 17 years ago, referred to the mission as a precursor to a new era in space tourism.
Bases and three others, including the world’s three-year-old astronaut and astronaut Wally Funk, flew into space shortly after his space agency Blue Origin’s rocket.
Virgin Galactic did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.
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