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Virgin Galactic has two freshly-minted astronauts

12 Feb 2019, 04:00 UTC
Virgin Galactic has two freshly-minted astronauts
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Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic
The private space industry has chalked up yet another “win.” This time it came with the announcement that a recent test flight of the VSS Unity had earned two Virgin Galactic pilots astronaut wings.
Test Pilots Mark “Forger” Stucky and Fredrick “CJ” Sturckow were presented with their astronaut wings on Feb. 7, 2019, by the Federal Aviation Administration in recognition of the altitude they reached during their Dec. 13, 2018, flight. They were presented to them by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
Virgin Galactic pilots Mark Stucky and CJ Sturckow were awarded commercial astronaut wings on Feb. 7, 2019. From left to right: U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, CJ Sturckow, Mark Stucky and Richard Branson. Photo Credit: Credit: FAA Office of Communications
“We are entering a new and exciting frontier in our nation’s space activities,” Chao said. “These wings represent a remarkable achievement for these crew members and tell all Americans that their access to the wonders of space may be within their reach.”
As a former NASA Space Shuttle astronaut, Sturckow already has been to space. In fact, the spaceflight veteran traveled some 250 miles ...

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