What It Takes to be a Space Pilot

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. The craft is flown by human pilots to space. (Credit: Steve Mann/Shutterstock)

Taking control of a 3,000-pound rocket motor launching into an inhospitable environment at speeds exceeding 2,000 mph sounds terrifying to some. But others will spend their whole careers in pursuit of those ephemeral, weightless moments.

With the expansion of commercial space exploration, more pilots will be needed to guide spacecraft beyond the bounds of Earth. These pilots com

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