ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough waxed philosophical as he chatted with reporters on a recent bus ride to Spaceport America, where the company would unveil the interior design that brings its Spaceport home “truly alive” and show off VMS Eve, the mothership that will take civilian customers on the first leg of their flight to space.
While Attenborough described his ultimate job as “making sure we make money,” he also talked about the “bigger purpose” that drives the company.
“If we are going to use the resources of space to sustain life on earth, we are going to have to improve access to space,” he said, echoing a theme shared by top Virgin Galactic executives. “Democratization of space if you will.”
Looking back 15 years, a site in the New Mexico desert becoming what Attenborough and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides call the “Gateway to Space” was a definite long shot.