by Nicholas Schmidle

In the spirit of The Right Stuff, updated for the 21st century, Test Gods is an epic story about extreme bravery and sacrifice, about the thin line between lunacy and genius. Most of all, it is a story about the pursuit of meaning in our lives―and the fulfillment of our dreams.

Working from exclusive inside reporting, New Yorker writer Nicholas Schmidle tells the remarkable story of the test pilots, engineers, and visionaries behind Virgin Galactic’s campaign to build a space tourism company. Schmidle follows a handful of characters―Mark Stucky, Virgin’s lead test pilot; Richard Branson, the eccentric billionaire funding the venture; Mike Moses, the grounded, unflappable president; Mike Alsbury, the test pilot killed in a fatal crash; and others―through personal and professional dramas, in pursuit of their collective goal: to make space tourism a reality.

Interview with the Author

Intelligence Squared
The New Space Race, with Nicholas Schmidle and Helen Czerski
5/21/21         56 min

The Unexplained with Howard Hughes
Edition 548 – Nicholas Schmidle
5/24/21       50 min

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