Mark Stucky, Virgin Galactic Test Pilot, Gets Fired and Joins Blue Origin2nd Nov 2021
Mark Stucky, a former Virgin Galactic test pilot, joins Blue Origin after getting fired from Virgin earlier this year. While Virgin Galactic has not shared an official comment on firing its pilot, Mark ‘Forger’ Stucky had a few ideas about this development.
Former Virgin Galactic Test Pilot History with the Company
Stucky spent six years in Virgin Galactic and became the first person to pilot SpaceShipTwo to the edge of space in 2018. Since NASA abandoned its Space Shuttle Program in 2011, this flight became the first manned mission to space in almost a decade.
However, the flight was not as successful as Virgin claimed it to be, which was explained in the 2019 book ‘Test Gods’ by Nicholas Schmidle. In the book, the former Virgin Galactic test pilot openly spoke about spacecraft spinning out of control, drawing to the verge of an accident. The publishing of the book seemed to change Virgin Galactic’s attitude to its pilot. According to Stucky, he was fired shortly after the publication, but even before the official announcement, the attitude within the company has changed drastically.
Stucky’s public response to Virgin Galactic also took a rapid turn for the worst as the former pilot criticised many events, including Virgin’s recent deviation from the planned trajectory.
Mark Stucky on His New Job in Blue Origin
Stucky recently announced that he had joined Virgin’s competitor Blue Origin. He will join the ‘Advanced Development Programs’ team and, according to his statement to CNN, Stucky plans to do his best to contribute to his new employer.
However, Stucky’s new job does not presuppose any test flights, it would seem – the Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft is fully automated. Still, the former Virgin Galactic test pilot does not lose hope and believes that one day, he may fly to space as part of the Blue Origin team.