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Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson christens spacecraft White Knight Two 'Eve' after his mother, pictured left PA Images/Stefano Paltera

Fly me to the moon: Virgin Galactic on hunt for pilot-astronauts

‘Spaceline’ launches search for pilots to lead its commercial space trips – “prior spaceflight experience is an advantage”.

IS THIS THE most glamorous job advertisement of the day?

Virgin Galactic ‘spaceline’ is looking for its first “pilot-astronauts” to bring commercial space tourists to infinity and beyond. (Or at least to the moon and back).

The deadline for applications is April 30 but don’t quit the day job yet – applicants must be citizens of the United States and “prior spaceflight experience is an advantage”.

The advertisement in the careers section of says that the three successful applicants will be based at first at the spaceflight test HQ in Mojave, California, and then at the spaceline’s commercial operations base, Spaceport America, in New Mexico. It states:

Successful candidates will have to be very special: both a full-course graduate of a recognised test pilot school and highly and broadly experienced. Virgin is looking for pilots with significant experience of both high performance fast-jet type airplanes as well as large multi-engine types – not only that but prior spaceflight experience is an advantage.

Virgin Galactic is aiming to be the world’s first private spaceline and ultimately, it says, wants to open up space to “significantly more people and users”.

(Spotted by Hilda O’Brien)

Wondering what the spaceflight might be like? Check out this animated depiction “from launch to landing” – We like the zero gravity effect about 3 minutes in.

Celebrations mark 50th anniversary of man’s first journey into space>

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