Profile: George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic

George T. Whitesides is the CEO of Virgin Galactic Holdings , a vertically integrated aerospace company that is working to become the world’s first commercial spaceline. George leads both Virgin Galactic and its manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles, The Spaceship Company. George was appointed to the role in 2010 by Sir Richard Branson, and led the transition of the organisation from a private entity to its position today as a publicly-traded human spaceflight company, listing as a SPCE on the NYSE in October 2019.

Prior to Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA . Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.

George’s volunteer service includes boards of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (Vice Chair), Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies (previously as co-chair). He is a fellow of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

An honors graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, George later earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.

He resides in Lancaster, California with his wife Loretta and two children.

Episodes and Trailers


TRAILER: Virgin Galactic Part 1

Take a ride with George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company. George is the former Chief of Staff for NASA, and today leads Richard Branson’s company working to bring commercial spaceflight to everyday people.

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The Ride



Part 1: George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic

Edwin and George ride in a Range Rover V8 Supercharged from Las Cruces, New Mexico to the beautiful Spaceport America and discuss George's tenure as the Chief of Staff for NASA, the future of space travel, The united States move to privatize low earth orbit travel, the creation of Spaceport America, the White Sands Missile Range and New Mexico's history and role in today's commercial space program, and the potential for life on other planets

Part 2: George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic

With the beautiful Spaceport America as the backdrop, George and Edwin discuss the Virgin Galactic spaceflight experience, Virgin Galactic’s journey to this point, George’s predictions for the next big milestones in space travel, and what George is most looking forward to as Virgin Galactic prepares to send every day people into space.

Behind the Scenes