Mark “Forger” Stucky, after piloting the corporate’s first profitable spaceflight on December 13, 2018.
Mark “Forger” Stucky, Virgin Galactic‘s flight take a look at director and pilot, is now not with the area tourism firm.
“I am now a former Director of Flight Test and former SpaceShipTwo pilot,” Stucky wrote in a put up on LinkedIn.
He added in a touch upon LinkedIn that he didn’t depart the area tourism firm “on my own timeline.”
Virgin Galactic confirmed to CNBC that Stucky “is no longer employed,” however didn’t clarify additional.
“We thank him for his 12 years of service on the flight test program,” a Virgin Galactic spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.
Stucky helped develop Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system, serving first because the engineering take a look at pilot for Scaled Composites — which constructed the spacecraft for Virgin Galactic — earlier than spending the final six years as Virgin Galactic’s lead take a look at pilot and director of flight testing.
Virgin Galactic’s First Spaceflight on Dec. 13, 2018
Source: Virgin Galactic
He piloted Virgin Galactic’s first take a look at flight that reached area, launched Dec. 13, 2018. The Federal Aviation Administration awarded Stucky – the 568th particular person to fly to area – the “Commercial Astronaut Wings,” an honor the U.S. has given to those that cross the 80-kilometer boundary that the federal government acknowledges as area.
In addition to main Virgin Galactic’s first spaceflight take a look at, Stucky as additionally the pilot commanding the primary glide flight and first rocket-powered flight of SpaceShipTwo spacecraft VSS Unity.
Stucky has flown greater than 170 several types of plane all through his profession, which additionally included the U.S. Marines, NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Virgin Galactic has seven pilots on workers to fly VSS Unity and the service plane VMS Eve. The firm most not too long ago added two pilots to that corps in October 2020, when it employed Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Jameel Janjua and U.S Marine Corps pilot Patrick Moran.