Virgin Galactic (“Virgin”) is a vertically-integrated aerospace company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles.
Virgin Galactic (VG) is recruiting pilots to support the development and the flight test programs of its current and future spaceflight vehicles, and to operate commercial spaceflights.
Successful applicants will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Some work will also take place from time to time at other locations in NM, and in other States.
The primary responsibilities are test flying and commercial pilot duties. Pilots will support the development and operation of the VG spaceflight system in accordance with government regulations and company policies and procedures, and operate the sub-orbital spaceflight service for VG Customer-Astronauts and Science-Research Payload customers.
In addition to flight duties on the VG Spaceflight System vehicles and other aircraft, duties will also include flight planning activities, mission control support roles, the development of training assets, vehicle operations documentation, planning, testing and developing follow-on vehicles, recruitment, record keeping and training obligations, as well as supporting the safety, engineering, maintenance, commercial and marketing teams, and supporting customer hospitality and training.
What You Bring
- US citizen or US person – compliant with ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)
- Graduate of an SETP-recognized test pilot school full (one year) course with extensive post-graduate test program experience.
- Degree level qualification in a relevant technical field.
- Proven successful team member.
- Excellent communication skills.
- The position is to be based in New Mexico.
- A minimum of 2½ years post-graduate test pilot school flight test experience.
- A diverse flying background with at least 2,500 hours flying experience to include: multi-engine aircraft with asymmetric thrust performance and handling considerations; high performance fast jet aircraft, and low lift-to-drag ratio glide experience (e.g. simulated flameout landings) in complex aircraft.
- Operational experience of a commercial aerospace aviation project or business.
- Excellent and current knowledge of a diverse range of aerospace matters.
- A current FA commercial (or equivalent) pilot license and FAA Class 1 medical.
- Ability to communicate aviation knowledge and safety related information simply, succinctly, and clearly.
- Previous responsibility for authorizing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure safe and efficient flight operations.
- Previous experience in spaceflight and commercial flight operations with customer interaction is a plus, but all qualified applicants will be considered.
Virgin Galactic (“Virgin”) is a vertically-integrated aerospace company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. Using their proprietary and reusable technologies, and supported by a distinctive, Virgin-branded customer experience, they are developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique, multi-day, transformative experience. This culminates in a spaceflight that includes views of Earth from space and several minutes of weightlessness that will launch from Spaceport America, New Mexico. Virgin believes that one of the most exciting and significant opportunities of our time lies in the commercial exploration of space and the development of technology that will change the way we travel across the globe in the future. Virgin is opening access to space to change the world for good.
Over the past decade, several trends have converged to invigorate the commercial space industry. Rapidly advancing technologies, decreasing costs, open innovation models with improved access to technology and greater availability of capital have driven significant growth in the commercial space market. According to a December 2019 article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the commercial space market is expected to grow 6% per year, from $385 billion in 2017 to at least $1.5 trillion by 2040, reaching 5% of U.S. gross domestic product. As a result of these trends, Virgin believes the exploration of space and the cultivation and monetization of space-related capabilities offer immense potential for the creation of economic value and future growth. Virgin is at the center of these industry trends and well-positioned to capitalize on them by bringing human spaceflight to a broad global population that dreams of traveling to space.
The market for commercial human spaceflight for private individuals is new and untapped. As of December 31, 2021, only approximately 600 humans have ever traveled above the Earth’s atmosphere into space to become officially recognized as astronauts, cosmonauts or taikonauts. Overwhelmingly, these men and women have been government employees handpicked by government space agencies such as NASA and trained over many years at significant expense. Private commercial space travel has been limited to a select group of individuals who were able to reach space, generally only at great personal expense, risk and discomfort. Virgin is planning to change that. They believe a significant market opportunity exists to provide individuals with a dynamic spaceflight experience at a fraction of the expense incurred by other private individuals to date. This market opportunity is supported by the more than 700 reservations and over $90.0 million of deposits Virgin had booked as of December 31, 2021.
Who we are
Virgin Galactic is transforming humanity’s relationship with space. By making it more open and accessible, we are connecting the world to the love, wonder and awe inspired by space travel, helping to create new opportunities for the benefit of life on Earth. Whether it’s supporting cutting-edge research missions for scientists and students, or offering life-changing experiences for the adventurers among us, Virgin Galactic is THE spaceline for Earth. Such an audacious vision requires a team as driven as they are curious – one capable of redefining the boundaries of what’s possible.
To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.
Virgin Galactic is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Galactic is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.
As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. teammates, as well as newly hired employees. As of October 1, 2021, all new hires must be able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, (“fully vaccinated” means at least two weeks have expired since receiving the vaccination’s last dose as recommended by the manufacturer) or have a valid religious or medical exemption. If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met be your date of hire. Virgin Galactic complies with federal, state, and local laws with regard to accommodations related to this policy.