Virgin Galactic lures Moore out of retirement

Former Delta Air Lines executive joins Richard Branson's space company

Virgin Galactic Holdings has recruited former Delta Air Lines executive Mike Moore as Executive Vice President, Spaceline Technical Operations. Reporting to Virgin Galactic’s CEO Michael Colglazier, Moore will be tasked with Virgin Galactic’s technical operations and maintenance team in charge of ensuring the company’s vehicles are ready for flight.

As part of this new position, he will help design and implement the operational model and technical infrastructure needed to support high cadence spaceflights during commercial service.

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“A major part of delivering the Astronaut experience at Virgin Galactic sits with our technical operations team, which ensures our Spaceflight system is fit and ready to fly,” Colglazier said.

“I am thrilled that Mike is joining us to lead the expansion of our talented technical operations team at Spaceport America as we develop our capabilities in preparation for commercial service,” he remarked.

VSS Imagine, the first SpaceShip III in the Virgin Galactic fleet | © Virgin Galactic 2021

Moore joins Virgin Galactic with 37 years in aviation under his belt, more than 28 of which have been overseeing daily aerospace operations. His career included a decade with Delta Air Lines, where he led Delta’s TechOps Services Group as Senior Vice President, Maintenance Operations & MRO Services Group. While at Delta, Moore supported the introduction of two major next-generation engine maintenance partnerships with Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.

“What could bring me out of retirement? Space. I’m very excited to be joining the great team at Virgin Galactic!” he boasted on LinkedIn.

“Joining the world’s first commercial spaceline during this pivotal period of expansion is an honor,” said Moore. “Virgin Galactic is an industry pioneer with a distinctive product and an exceptionally talented team. Entering high-frequency commercial service will

Michael Moore, incoming EVP, Spaceline Technical Operations

see a step-change in their day-to-day technical needs, and I look forward to working with the team to expand, build on their cutting-edge operations and exceed their goal.”

Moore commences in his position with Virgin Galactic later this month.

Commercial launch delayed, again

His appointment comes the same day that Virgin Galactic confirmed to investors that it was pushing back the launch of commercial space flights, once again, now until Q2 2023.

“While our short-term plans now call for commercial service to launch in the second quarter of 2023, progress on our future fleet continues and many of the key elements of our roadmap are now in place to scale the business in a meaningful way,” Colglazier said.

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