MOJAVE, Calif. – July 29th, 2014 – The Spaceship Company (TSC), the space manufacturing venture owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s aabar Investments PJS, announced today that Doug Shane has been named President. TSC, the sister company of Virgin Galactic, is responsible for manufacturing the full fleet of Galactic’s innovative SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo space vehicles and has built extensive capabilities in all aspects of aerospace vehicle design, analysis, fabrication and test.
Shane will continue to report to George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.
Previously EVP and General Manager of TSC, Shane joined the company a year ago after serving as the President of Scaled Composites. TSC has now grown to over 250 employees, and is roughly 50% through the second Spaceship build. TSC’s Mojave, California operations extend over 175,000 square feet encompassing state of the art composite fabrication, system integration, final assembly and testing facilities.
“Over the past twelve months, Doug has brought his focused and experienced management style to the build of our second set of vehicles as well as our test flight efforts,” said Whitesides. “His continued leadership will be essential as the team moves rapidly through the second half of spaceship construction and on to the next vehicles.”
“It’s been a great first year for me at TSC,” said Shane. “We have an incredible team that is working together to build the next generation of spaceships and carrier aircraft. I can’t wait for the world to see what this company can accomplish!”
ABOUT VIRGIN GALACTIC
Virgin Galactic, owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and aabar Investments PJS, is on track to be the world’s first commercial spaceline. To date, the company has accepted more than $80 million in deposits from approximately 700 individuals, which is 20% more than the total number of people who have ever gone to space. The new spaceship (SpaceShipTwo, VSS Enterprise) and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve) have both been developed for Virgin Galactic’s vehicle fleet by Mojave-based Scaled Composites. Founded by Burt Rutan, Scaled developed SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 claimed the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the world’s first privately developed manned spacecraft. Virgin Galactic’s new reusable vehicles, which will be manufactured by The Spaceship Company in Mojave, Calif., share much of the same basic design, but are being built to carry six customers, or the equivalent scientific research payload to space. The vehicles will allow an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with astounding views of the planet from the black sky of space for tourist astronauts and a unique microgravity platform for researchers. The VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve test exhaustive test flight program is in its final stages leading to Virgin Galactic commercial operations, which will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico.