Maja is a former top tennis pro on the WTA circuit and also heads up Galactic Unite – the brainchild of Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts, conceived back in 2010 over dinner on Necker.
Galactic Unite is our outreach and education initiative inspired and driven by the amazing global community of Future Astronauts. It helps encourage the engineers of the future and support students pursuing an education in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) through scholarship, mentoring and internship opportunities.
Maja updated me on Galactic Unite’s wonderful progress and how one of its scholars, Christian Engelbrecht, recently became the first to be hired by The Spaceship Company, as an Avionics Engineer. Delighted to hear about dreams coming true and the success of the programme.
Galactic Unite is on the path to building a new generation of innovators and dynamic thinkers. By the end of the year, more than $1.1m will have been awarded in scholarship prizes to more than 70 students. Our customer and staff will also have participated in more than 200 Spacechats for 137 schools - reaching 900 teachers and 10,000 students worldwide.
Virgin Galactic Astronauts will have a great legacy – not only will they have helped launch the commercial space industry, but they will also have come together to change the world for the better and inspire the next generation. It’s projects like this, driven by our dedicated people, that make our Virgin companies really stand out from the crowd. The future of our children is important and so is the future of the planet – so I couldn’t be prouder that Galactic Unite is investing in that future.
It was great to spend some time with Maja (although she’s still got the edge on me on the tennis court!) and I wish Christian all the best in his new role.
Check out Galactic Unite's new website and all the work they do here.