Virgin Galactic CEO is’really excited’ about the opportunity to fly NASA astronauts and Investigators

Virgin Galactic is steadily moving closer to flying clients into the advantage of space to the very first period but the space tourism organization is anticipating the developing chance to fly NASA employees too.

“I am very excited about this one since for a very long time NASA was considering utilizing suborbital vehicles, those that we have obtained, to train their astronauts and other NASA workers like investigators to enter space,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides informed CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on “Squawk Alley.”

NASA, for its part, is yanking the program for how it’ll fly employees on suborbital spaceflights. Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin signify both major U.S. firms in creating spacecraft that will fly people to the border of space. The bureau earlier this week announced the invention of this Suborbital Crew office inside its present Commercial Crew program, appointing Scott Colloredo from Kennedy Space Center to direct the new workplace. NASA issued a request for advice from businesses offering suborbital flights, together with responses due on Aug. 7.

“We are eager to find out what business has and that is the intention behind the present step of this procedure,” Colloredo told reporters during a media conference on Tuesday.

Even though suborbital flights might serve another function than orbital missions, NASA hopes flying its employees with Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin would be less expensive than the purchase price of flying to orbit with SpaceX or Boeing.

“I believe it would be really helpful for NASA,” Whitesides said.

Virgin Galactic also declared earlier this week it signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA which will enable Virgin Galactic to give logistics and training for orbital flights, too. Even though Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft can not attain the International Space Station, the business would attempt to purchase chairs for passengers on flights into the space station, for example on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.

[But] now we’re on the last run towards industrial operations… we felt as though it was a great moment to have a peek at this and also to check if we could form of expanding our brand within this region.”

Although Virgin Galactic does not intend to develop a spacecraft that will fly into the space station, the agreement”sets us up to be a participant in the supply of this support,” Whitesides clarified.

“I believe that the overall region of orbital human spaceflight is a huge market and when we could play a helpful part in some manner I think that it’ll be a significant place for the organization,” Whitesides added.

Taking steps before commercial Support

The space tourism firm on Thursday finished its next glide flight test from New Mexico. That landmark should prepare the enterprise to restart rocket-powered flights, presuming the organization’s engineers do not find anything bothering during a data inspection of this slide test.