Space Cowboy

“Stucky had piloted SpaceShipTwo on two dozen previous test flights, including three of the four times that it had fired its rocket booster, which was necessary to propel it into space. On October 31, 2014, he watched the fourth such flight from mission control; it crashed in the desert, killing his best friend. On this morning, Stucky would be piloting the fifth rocket-powered flight, on a new iteration of the spaceship. A successful test would restore the program’s lustre.” There’s no doubt that the pilots helping to make advances in space travel have the right stuff. The question is whether the risks are being taken for the right reason, namely to take you on trip across the universe (or at least 50 miles above the earth for a suborbital flight and quick float inside the cabin). The New Yorker’s Nicholas Schmidle on the ace pilot risking his life to fulfill Richard Branson’s billion-dollar quest to make commercial space travel a reality. Virgin Galactic’s Rocket Man.

Copied to Clipboard