Today, April 15, is normally called “Tax Day” in the United States; it’s the day when thousands of people across the nation stand in long, long lines outside their local post offices to mail their tax returns in at the absolute last minute. This year, though, the filing deadline is delayed until Monday the 18th. So, you’ve got a little extra time before your taxes are due. What to do with that time? Well, if you’re looking for a job, you might apply for one of the Pilot – Astronaut positions over at Virgin Galactic.
It’s been a long time coming, and they’re still not completely operational. A story published on AVWeb on April 13 provides a little more detail about what they’re looking for. Normally, it might be a little difficult to find experienced pilots with their ambitious experience requirements, but as the article points out, this is good timing for Virgin Galactic because NASA is winding down the space shuttle program that it’s been running for the last 30 years or so. Quote:
“Virgin is ready to select three candidates, one to start now and the others to come on board as needed. The pilots will participate in the ongoing test-flight program for WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo in Mojave and later will help launch commercial operations and train new pilots at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Virgin is looking for graduates of test-pilot school with experience flying high-performance jets and large multi-engine aircraft as well as “low lift-to-drag ratio glide experience (e.g. simulated flameout landings) in complex aircraft.” Their ideal candidate would have spaceflight experience as well — a criterion that might not be so hard to meet as NASA winds down its shuttle program, leaving their astronaut corps grounded.”
So, if you’re leaving NASA and are looking for work, the skies have just opened up these new possibilities. Good luck to you. I look forward to flying in your spaceship some day.