Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is a Founder Astronaut at Virgin Galactic and will be taking one of the 1st commercial suborbital flights on VSS Unity AKA SpaceShipTwo.
Loretta has degrees in Biology from Caltech and Stanford. She traveled to the bottom of the ocean with director James Cameron for the 3D IMAX movie "Aliens of the Deep." Loretta has worked on over 80 Zero G flights and in the Arctic studying plant life in extreme environments.
Loretta is the Co-Founder of Yuri's Night, the world space party that celebrates the April 12th dual anniversaries of the 1st human in space and the 1st Space Shuttle launch. She co-created it with her husband George Whitesides in 2001. This year there were major events in Seattle, DC, CO, LA, and at KSC.
A leader and pioneer in the space community, Loretta is passionate about bringing together people who want to use space to make a difference for the planet. Her book, "The New Right Stuff, Using Space To Bring Out the Best in You," is a handbook for anyone who wants to become a leader in the space community.