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Approximately 75 pilots will be required to operate the SpaceShipTwo fleet.
The first announcements regarding Virgin Galactic flight personnel were made in late March 2006. [list][*][b]Steve Johnson[/b] (Virgin Atlantic training captain, ex-Red Arrows pilot): Chief Astronaut Pilot
[*][b]Alastair Hoy[/b] (Virgin Atlantic training captain, ex-Red Arrows pilot): Chief Training Astronaut
[*][b]David MacKay[/b] (Virgin Atlantic line captain): Test pilot[/list] Virgin Galactic flight training will last 27 months: pilots will receive nine months of aerobatic, fast jet and executive jet training to prepare them for zero gravity flight. The next nine months will be spent in flying the White Knight Two mothership and participating in Mission Control work. The final nine months will be spent flying Virgin Galactic spacecraft into space.
From 2008, Virgin Galactic expects to have around thirty astronaut pilots recruited from the various Virgin Group airlines, trained with NASA assistance.
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