Spaceflight Insider

Virgin Galactic begins Astronaut Readiness Program

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity - Copy

Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic

In a first-of-its kind event, Virgin Galactic has begun its exclusive customer training experience known as the Astronaut Readiness Program.

This specialized training program is designed to prepare future Virgin Galactic space customers for their first flight into orbit. Hosted at Under Armour’s headquarters in Baltimore, MD, the exclusive provider of the company’s spaceflight suits. The training is tailored for the private customer to ready themselves for the thrills and challenges of suborbital space flight.

The Virgin Galactic program is not nearly as rigorous as the training current NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX astronauts are currently undergoing for flights to the International Space Station. It is tailored for the private customer to ready themselves for the thrills and challenges of suborbital space flight. The specifics of the training were not detailed in the press release.

Virgin Galactic CEO, George Whitesides, said via a company press release,‘’Introducing our Astronaut Readiness Program to our first customers marks an exciting point in our journey as we move closer to the start of commercial service. It is an important step in the process to ensure that our customers are prepared and equipped with the knowledge and training that will help ensure that they savour every second of their spaceflight which we hope will go beyond expectations. My introduction to Virgin Galactic was as a customer, so I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of involving Future Astronauts as we prepare each individual for the trip of a lifetime.’’



Having a life-long interest in crewed space flight, Desforges’ passion materialized on a family vacation in 1999 when he was able see the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-96. Since then, Desforges has been an enthusiast of space exploration efforts. He lived in Orlando, Florida for a year, during which time he had the opportunity to witness the flights of the historic CRS-4 and EFT-1 missions in person at Cape Canaveral. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 2017, holds a degree in Aviation Management, and currently works as an Operations Analyst in the aviation industry in Georgia.

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