Takeoff! THE SPACESHIP COMPANY. Yes, you read that correctly. The Spaceship Company, founded in 2005, is dedicated to building the first fleet of spaceflight systems for commercial space travel. Talk about a cool place to work, right?
As Director of Production, Joe is responsible for the construction of the world’s FIRST FLEET OF COMMERCIAL SPACESHIPS for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Joe took some time to come back to Earth and share with us how his career took off.
What does your role as Director of Production Operations for The Spaceship Company entail?
My job involves managing the day-to-day operations of two manufacturing facilities in Mojave, CA. One facility is focused on fabricating composite (carbon fiber) parts for our spaceships and has roughly 30-40 technicians and 5-10 engineers. The second facility is focused on assembling our spaceships which include bonding composite structures, installing aircraft/spacecraft systems (electrical, pneumatics, mechanical, etc.) and has roughly 20-30 technicians and 10-15 engineers.
How did you become involved with spaceship production?
My father loved to fly and regularly put me in the pilot’s seat, which got me excited about airplanes at a young age. I always loved designing and building things so I became an engineer, landed an internship at Boeing, and learned as much as I could about composite structures, thinking that they were the future of aerospace. Getting tapped to lead the setup of a new operation building spaceships and motherships for Virgin Galactic was a dream come true!
What is the most interesting aspect of the job?
Seeing the full start to finish process of building a spaceship, and even sometimes getting my own hands dirty and actually helping to build these vehicles.
Thanks for sharing Joe!
You can book a ticket on Virgin Galactic’s website. Get on board!