June 28, 2013


MOJAVE, Calif. – Virgin Galactic today announced the appointment of Doug Shane as Executive Vice President and General Manager of The Spaceship Company (TSC).  Shane joins the company after a 31 year career at Scaled Composites LLC (Scaled), where he served as that company’s President for five years.  He will report directly to George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and TSC.

As the company progresses through its successful test flight program and approaches the start of commercial service with SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic has tapped Shane to oversee its manufacturing company, TSC, which has already begun the construction of the second set of SpaceShipTwo spaceships and WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. TSC began as a joint venture between Virgin and Scaled, until 2012, when Virgin Galactic acquired full ownership of the venture.

“Doug’s unmatched background in the design, build and flight test of new aerospace vehicles, and his deep experience with our Spaceship program, make him the perfect person to take on this leadership role to manufacture our fleet of spacecraft,” said Whitesides.  “I would also like to recognize the achievements of Enrico Palermo, TSC’s VP of Operations, who took TSC from a bare hanger to the thriving organization it is today, and who will continue in his senior leadership position supporting Doug.”

Following a distinguished career at Scaled Composites, Shane brings to TSC an intimate knowledge of both the SpaceShipTwo program and its predecessor, SpaceShipOne. While at Scaled, Shane conducted the first flights of eight different aircraft, maintained a perfect aviation safety record, and led Scaled’s acquisition of an FAA Commercial Launch License for SpaceShipOne, the first ever crewed commercial licensed launch.  In addition to serving as Director of Flight Operations, Shane served for many years as VP of Business Development, increasing Scaled’s revenue more than tenfold. Shane became President of Scaled following the retirement of company founder and aerospace legend Burt Rutan.  Shane has also served as President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP).

Shane said, “I am truly excited to join TSC at this critical stage of its growth and capabilities, and look forward to helping enable Sir Richard Branson’s vision for space.”

Shane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Kansas and numerous awards, including the Iven C. Kincheloe and James H. Doolittle awards from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, as well as the Robert J. Collier Trophy.