George Whitesides, the former CEO of Virgin Galactic, will fly on the company’s next spaceflight test, according to a report by CNBC.
Sir Richard Branson made the announcement at a party on July 11 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after thanking Whitesides for leading the company for a decade.
“When [Branson] thanked George, he offhand, very casually, said ‘and George will be leading our next flight,’ and people cheered,” Lori Garver, who previously served as the deputy administrator of NASA, told CNBC.
Garver was among more than 100 company employees and VIPs celebrating Branson’s successful spaceflight at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces.
A Virgin Galactic spokesperson in a statement said the company has “not confirmed the details for the Unity 23 manifest at this time.”