Virgin Galactic hires former NASA and military pilots to take passengers into space

As Virgin Galactic prepares for its first commercial space flights planned for later this year, the company is adding some heavy hitters to its roster of pilots. Former NASA pilot Frederick "CJ" Sturckow and former US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michael "Sooch" Masucci have joined the Virgin Galactic team, and both bring some pretty impressive credentials as the company moves into final testing phases before the program’s full launch. Sturckow participated in four space shuttle missions, has more than 26 years of military flight service, and has put in more than 1,200 hours in space and 6,500 flight hours overall.
Masucci hasn’t been to space yet, but he’s a similarly accomplished pilot — he has 30 years of civilian and military flight experience totaling more than 9,000 hours across some 70 different aircrafts. Both pilots will be working out of Virgin Galactic’s Mojave, CA location where they will be trained and begin testing with the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo aircrafts — the latter of which recently completed its first rocket-powered test flight.