- Press Release
- Apr 1, 2023
Environmental Tectonics Corporation Announces That Sir Richard Branson Trains for Virgin Galactic Spaceflight at the NASTAR(SM) Center
Environmental Tectonics Corporation (Amex: ETC) (“ETC” or the “Company”) today announced that Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, successfully completed a space flight training course today at the NASTAR(SM) Center, which is the National Aerospace Training and Research Center. He undertook this training in preparation for a flight aboard SpaceShipTwo, the suborbital vehicle his company Virgin Galactic is developing along with Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites.
The test flying program for SpaceShipTwo and its launch aircraft WhiteKnightTwo is expected to begin in the summer of 2008, with SpaceShipTwo likely to make its first flight into space in the following year. Commercial operations are expected to begin from Spaceport America, in New Mexico, once all test flying is successfully completed and the FAA has issued a license to fly.
Commenting on the NASTAR(SM) Center space flight training, Sir Richard said, “It was an amazing experience. Due to the flight simulation combined with the G forces created by the STS-400 centrifuge, I really felt like I was launching into space. I am glad many of the Founder astronauts got to do this, because it really does get us all prepared and excited about the real thing, and alleviates a lot of the apprehension people naturally have about whether they can handle a space launch or not. Now I know that I and the Founders can concentrate on the primary features of a Virgin Galactic space flight, which are the magnificent view of Earth and the weightless experience.”
Several other participants from Virgin Galactic trained along with Branson, including his son Sam; Will Whitehorn, Virgin Galactic President; Alan Watts, who earned a flight aboard SpaceShipTwo through cashing in his Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer “Flying Club” miles; and Professor James Lovelock, the scientist who created the concept of Gaia Theory, that the biosphere of Planet Earth constitutes one great living entity. His groundbreaking work has laid the foundations of much modern climate change theory. All of them successfully completed the training.
Training at the NASTAR(SM) Center is an integral part of Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight program, because during a flight, passengers will experience the same physiological stresses as professional astronauts, including elevated, sustained Gs. Gs are a multiple of the normal effect of gravity on the human body. For example, 3.5 Gs is 3 and a half times the normal weight a person feels while at rest on Earth, and is the force SpaceShipTwo passengers will feel on launch. They will experience 6 Gs on reentry.
Through training at the NASTAR(SM) Center space flight participants become accustomed to these stresses and realize that for most people these effects, while intense, are survivable and even enjoyable. Dick Leland, President of the NASTAR(SM) Center, commented, “This training is as much about creating stored mental sets and about anxiety reduction as it is about physiological training. By coming to NASTAR(SM) Center, you can practice what you will feel on the actual launch, so when that day comes, you can say to yourself, ‘Hey, I’ve experienced this before, and I did just fine. I think I’ll look out the window and enjoy my ride.’ ”
About 60 of the of the first 100 Virgin Galactic spaceflight customers, known as Founders, have gone through the 2-day NASTAR(SM) Center space flight training course. All of them found the experience worthwhile, and several laughed or whooped during their space launch simulation. The founders expressed many enthusiastic comments about their training, such as “Absolutely fantastic”; “Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.” “Wow! I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world! Very Cool.” “A wickedly realistic experience”; and, “NASTAR(SM) Center is the Best.”
William F. Mitchell, ETC’s President and Chairman, commented, “We are proud to have the opportunity to train Sir Richard and the other Galactic personnel and customers for their space flights. This is the beginning of a new era in space activities. The NASTAR(SM) Center intends to be an important part of creating the private space industry in the coming years, a time in which personal spaceflight will play an increasing role and manned flight will continue to evolve.”
Virgin Galactic (http://www.virgingalactic.com) is a company owned and established by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group to undertake the challenge of making private space travel available to everyone by creating the world’s first commercial spaceline. Virgin will own and operate privately built spaceships based on the history-making SpaceShipOne. These environmentally benign spaceships, which are currently under construction, will allow affordable private sub-orbital space travel for the first time in history and give customers the opportunity of being amongst the very first private astronauts. The company also has long-term ambitions to develop the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo systems for low Earth satellite deployment, payload and other scientific applications.
NASTAR(SM) Center (http://www.nastarcenter.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Environmental Tectonics Corporation, houses state-of-the-art equipment and professional staff to support the training and research needs of the aerospace community, including military aviation (fixed and rotary wing), civil aviation (fixed and rotary wing), space travel (government and private) and research support and data collection. NASTAR(SM) Center’s equipment and programs are highly modular and flexible and can accommodate a wide range of aerospace training and research requirements.
ETC designs, develops, installs and maintains aircrew training systems (aeromedical, tactical combat and general), disaster management training systems and services, entertainment products, sterilizers (steam and gas), environmental testing products, hyperbaric chambers and related products for domestic and international customers.
This press release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any other future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include statements with respect to ETC’s vision, mission, strategies, goals, beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates, intentions, financial condition, results of operations, future performance and business of ETC, including but not limited to, (i) projections of revenue, costs of raw materials, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, capital expenditures, growth prospects, dividends, capital structure, other financial items and the effects of currency fluctuations, (ii) statements of plans and objectives of ETC or its management or Board of Directors, including the introduction of new products, or estimates or predictions of actions of customers, suppliers, competitors or regulatory authorities, (iii) statements of future economic performance, (iv) statements of assumptions and other statements about ETC or its business, (v) statements made about the possible outcomes of litigation involving ETC, and (vi) statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words “may”, “could”, “should”, “looking forward”, “would”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, or the negative of such terms or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties which are subject to change based on various important factors. Some of these risks and uncertainties, in whole or in part, are beyond ETC’s control. Factors that might cause or contribute to such a material difference include, but are not limited to, those discussed in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other public documents, including, without limitation, our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 23, 2007. Shareholders are urged to review these risks carefully prior to making an investment in the ETC’s common stock.
The Company cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exclusive. ETC does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of ETC.
Contact: Duane D. Deaner, CFO Tel: 215-355-9100 (ext. 1203)