Former Virgin Galactic chief Will Whitehorn is focusing on transportation of a more Earthly kind. He will join Stagecoach Group plc. as a non-executive directorÂ beginning May 1. Whitehorn will replace Sir George Mathewson as a member of the Remuneration Committee and serve on the Nomination Committee.
Tag: Will Whitehorn
Below is Virgin Galactic’s official press release announcing Will Whitehorn’s departure from the company. With traveling and the holidays, I overlooked it until now.
VIRGIN GALACTIC PRESS RELEASE
Dec. 23, 2010
Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic since the formation of the company in 2004, is to retire from that role in January 2011. George Whitesides, who was appointed as the first full time CEO in May 2010, assumes the title of President and CEO.
Virgin Galactic’s president announces his resignation
Los Angeles Times
Will Whitehorn, president of the worldâ€™s first spaceliner Virgin Galactic, will retire from that role in January.
He will be replaced by George T. Whitesides, a former NASA chief of staff, who was also appointed as Virgin Galacticâ€™s first full-time chief executive earlier this year.
Whitehorn is leaving the company to “concentrate on other business interests,” a press release said.
Read the full story.
The Guardian reports that Virgin Galactic’s Will Whitehorn was “hopping mad” over a recent study indicating that SpaceShipTwo might not be as clean as the company claims:
“The research was fundamentally wrong,” he says. “If you had a Virgin Galactic program running for ten years, if you assumed that we weren’t using biobutinol (which we will) we’re talking about less environmental impact over ten years than 1.5 shuttle launches.”
Private SpaceShipTwo Heads for New Territory
Whitehorn said more SpaceShipTwo glide tests are in the offing. Those tests will include a high-altitude drop of the craft that will allow the pilots to feather and unfeather the SpaceShipTwo’s novel, care-free tail section used during the fall back into Earth’s atmosphere. This configuration allows a “hands-off” re-entry to Earth and greatly reduces aerodynamic and thermal loads on the craft.
These tests will be followed by attachment of the spaceplane’s hybrid rocket motor.
“There will be very short firings of the motor, and then we’ll extend those burns and we’ll start climbing into space,” Whitehorn told SPACE.com. “I think we can pretty safely say now that we’ll be in space in 2011. It’s taken a little bit longer. But the point is that it has been done safely.”
Read the full story.
BA â€œdirty tricksâ€ pushed Virgin into space – Whitehorn
Virginâ€™s latest plans to push travellers into space was the direct result of what Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn calls Brtish Airways â€œdirty tricksâ€ campaign of 1993.
Budget Space Travel with Virgin
Edinburgh Napier News
Whitehorn delivered a lecture to an audience at Edinburgh Napier University this week on the Virgin Galactic project in which he reassured listeners that the cost of a ticket is expected to drop gradually to just $90,000 per person…
Richard Branson has been on the receiving end of a fair few jokes in his time. One of the more memorable was in 2000, when British satirical magazine Private Eye ran a front cover of the entrepreneur dressed as Santa Claus with the caption; â€˜No-one believes in you anymore.’
Virgin Trains, his railway operation, was coming under fire for its shocking time-keeping record and Branson himself had just made a failed bid for the franchise of the UK’s National Lottery.
There was a panel discussion at the Oshkosh airshow last night that featured Scaled Composites Burt Rutan and Bob Morgan and Virgin Galactic’s Will Whitehorn. Some highlights:
- Economy is not affecting sales very much; at $200,000 apiece, you either have the money to go or you don’t;
- Just sold 3 tickets at a Grand Prix event in Bahrain;
- The experience will take require four days for the training and spaceflight;
- Unlike Soyuz orbital flights, SpaceShipTwo doesn’t require months of technical and language training (of course, you’re talking about 4-5 minutes of weightlessness vs. 12-14 days).
- Some Virgin employees will go into space as part of test flight program prior to paying passengers;
- Very interested in flying out of the Persian Gulf, where there is a lot of interest in flying (12 tickets thus far);
- United States is biggest area, but also a lot of interest in the UK;
- In some cases, the nationals of countries will be the first ones from those nations to go into space;
- In 10-15 years, space tourism will be “regularlized” with 4-5 spaceports around the world conducting flights; will carry more people into space in the first year than have gone there since 1961.