Lift - Spring 2012 - (Page 8)

F l i g ht Path by R e b e c ca D o u g l as Sean Jodoin (’97, DB), front right, and the Virgin Galactic team in front of the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo in September. Opposite page: The spaceflight system soars above the Mojave Desert. golden ticket Sean Jodoin (’97, dB) is helping make ‘Virgin’ world of commercial spaceflight possible historic spaceflight system airborne or even walking by them in the hangar still makes Jodoin pause and reflect on his good fortune. “They’re just so beautiful,” he raves of Burt Rutan’s designs. “Sometimes I can’t believe I’m a part of this.” Taking Off 8 LIFT SPRING 2012 www.ERAUALUMnI.oRG Photos by Mark Greenberg R emember how excited Charlie was when Willy Wonka invited him into his chocolate factory? That’s how Sean Jodoin (’97 DB) says he felt when Virgin Galactic , asked him to interview for the position of supply chain manager for the world’s first commercial spaceline. A glimpse of the company’s “vehicles” literally stopped Jodoin in his tracks. He was stunned by the 140-foot wingspan and dual-fuselage design of WhiteKnightTwo, but absolutely transfixed by SpaceShipTwo, the six-passenger carbon composite spacecraft that launches from it. After working for nearly a year in Virgin Galactic’s Mojave Desert facility, seeing the It all started with an online announcement from Embry-Riddle’s EagleHire Network. “I really didn’t think I had a chance at the job,” Jodoin recalls, speculating that his Embry-Riddle credentials helped secure an initial telephone interview. Today, Jodoin is part of an elite team of 43 professionals working to make suborbital flight service for commercial passengers a reality. By early 2012, more than 475 people from 46 countries had submitted deposits for a two-hour, $200,000 flight— complete with preparatory training, an outbound journey at three times the speed of sound and the opportunity for an in-cabin, zero-gravity frolic. The 524th booking is likely to garner some type of fanfare, as Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson reminds employees that only 523 people have been to space since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first in 1961. The company is also preparing to carry research payloads. An agreement regarding the first of three http://WWW.ERAUALUMNI.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lift - Spring 2012

Lift - Spring 2012
Letter from the President
Wings of Legacy
Flight Path
Home on the Range
Emphasis: Innovation
Giving to Embry-Riddle
Alumni in Action
Alumni News
Class Notes

Lift - Spring 2012