Jameel Janjua: The elite Canadian pilot who’ll be flying tourists to space

Virgin Galactic’s “future astronauts” will be in the hands of Jameel Janjua, an elite Canadian test pilot. He’s one of seven Virgin Galactic pilots hired to fly dreamers like himself in a project that is transforming ideas about who can go to space, and how they may get there.

Janjua calls them “future astronauts.” That’s partly corporate speak—Virgin Galactic’s preferred term for customers who pay upward of US$450,000 for tickets to the edge of space.

The Calgary-born test pilot has served as an RCAF exchange officer to Britain’s Royal Air Force, flying combat missions in Afghanistan and Libya, before becoming a test pilot with the U.S. Air Force, flying F-16 Vipers out of California’s storied Edwards Air Force Base. More…