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From Staples to beyond, former Staples student helps bring more people to Space

+The+model+space+ship+called+the+WhiteKnightTwo%2C+designed+by+Virgin+Galactic%2C+will+be+able+to+take+six+passengers+up+to+space.
Taken from Virgin Galactic.com
The model space ship called the WhiteKnightTwo, designed by Virgin Galactic, will be able to take six passengers up to space.

Space tourism company Virgin Galactic has a different mission than other companies. They want to send tourists into space, and one of their test pilots is a former Staples student, Dan Alix.

The company will use two planes to complete this mission. A jet-powered mothership aircraft named “Eve” will carry the rocket-powered spaceship named “Unity” about 4,400 feet into the air and then drop it to fly to suborbital space. After testing, this method will lead to putting tourists in Unity. 

We continue to launch customers to space. The goal is to increase access to space so more people have the opportunity to go and have the experience of being there and seeing the earth from above.

— Pilot Dan Alix

“My job is to pilot the mothership and the spaceship on these missions,” Alix said. “We currently launch one mission a month, but we are working on building more and newer motherships and spaceships so that we can fly more often.”

Alix has been interested in becoming a test pilot ever since his time at Staples. Twenty years after graduating, he still thinks back on those years because of the long term effect they had on him. 

“Staples was a big influence and taught me a lot about leadership and teamwork,” Alix said. “Most of the memories I have from Staples are from playing sports, and I wish I could go back and play on those teams again because I had so much fun.”

  Alix recently completed his training for flying Eve and will be flying his first ever drop mission on Unity in January. He will continue to fly Unity until he is ready to go to space, which could be as early as the middle of next year. 

  “We continue to launch customers to space,” Alix said. “The goal is to increase access to space so more people have the opportunity to go and have the experience of being there and seeing the earth from above.” 

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Catie Campagnino ’26, Staff Writer
Staff Writer Catie Campagnino ’26 is loving her time in Inklings already. “I want to continue writing stories because I really like to write and it’s a lot of fun,” Campagnino said.  Campagnino started writing for Inklings because she values being involved in a community. “I’m looking forward to having that sense of community everyone says they get when they are in [Inklings],” Campagnino said. Another community Campagnino enjoys being involved in is rowing. “I have a lot of really good rowing friends who don’t take life all that seriously,” Campagnino said. “They’ve taught me there’s always fun in life.”  

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