Disney Veteran Joins Virgin Galactic To Design Space Travel Experiences

Joe Rohde, who has more than 40 years of experience transforming Walt Disney’s rides and parks, has signed with Virgin Galactic as a strategic advisor to compose the experiences of future space tourists.

What Happened: On Monday, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. SPCE announced that Rohde traveled to Space Port America, New Mexico to begin designing the experience Virgin Galactic’s civilian customers will enjoy when they take flights into space.

“The work he is starting will stimulate curiosity, guide the imagination, and anchor the Virgin Galactic customer experience with purposefulness and meaning,” according to the press release.

Why It Matters: The destination will only be part of the experience for Virgin Galactic’s future customers.

Virgin Galactic believes that, with Rohde’s design expertise as a Disney imagineer, customers will experience an authentic and remarkable trip as they view Earth from space.

With a single ticket aboard a Virgin Galactic ship costing $250,000 per person, it makes sense the company aspires to work with only the best architects.

“As soon as I joined Virgin Galactic, I knew there was one person we just had to work with to help shape the incredible experience we are developing — and that person was Joe Rohde,” Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said in the release.

What’s Next: With Virgin Galactic expected to announce its next test flight in the coming weeks, it is reaching the end of its preparations to bring the first tourists on a mission to space.

Jared Isaacman and three guests are expected to be the first tourists aboard SpaceShipUnity Two who experience orbiting the Earth during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Sometime after that, Virgin Galactic plans to offer thousands of civilians the experience, which Rohde said has the “potential for transformational change in a person.”

Joe Rohde. Photo courtesy of Virgin Galactic. 

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