Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson's pioneering space tourism company, has indicated that it means business as it has advertised publicly to fill 'pilot-astronaut' vacancies.
While Galactic currently has three such vacancies, the venture – which has collected 410 potential space passengers at $200,000 a pop before it even has a suitable spacecraft – is planning to hire more would-be pilot-astronauts from the private sector as its commercial space flight project progresses.
The space-line has also commenced bookings from those inclined to become inter-galactic tourists.
And, Virgin seems to be in a hurry to make its recruitments; the closing date for receiving applications is 30 April, who will start on their new assignment in June 2011. Additional Pilot-Astronauts will be drafted as the flight test program reaches key milestones towards commercial launch activities.
The hired hands will report to the chief pilot and operate Virgin Galactic's space flight system.
''This unique opportunity initially involves working as part of the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo spaceflight system test and development team in Mojave, California, then taking the experience gained from that program to the spaceline's commercial operations at its operating base, Spaceport America in New Mexico'' the space line says on its website's careers page.