Former NASA shuttle pilot to fly for Virgin Galactic

Posted at: 05/08/2013 10:20 AM
Updated at: 05/08/2013 10:21 AM
By: Steve Mieczkowski,

Photo: Rick Sturckow
Photo: Rick Sturckow

Rick Sturckow, who flew on four space shuttle missions as part of NASA, was one of two pilots added to the Virgin Galactic team, the company announced Tuesday.

Sturckow is the first astronaut to be hired by Virgin Galactic. A member of NASA since 1994, Sturckow served as deputy chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office for the final shuttle missions.

“Viewing the Earth from space is such a unique and unforgettable experience,” Sturckow said. “I’m excited to be a part of the Virgin Galactic team that is revolutionizing access to space, making this opportunity a possibility for all.”

Joining Struckow at Virgin Galactic will be Michael Masucci. Masucci is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and most recently was employed by XOJET, a private airline firm.