Colmer joins David Mackay as Virgin Galactic's second astronaut pilot. Mackay began flight training on WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo earlier this year and has been designated as Virgin Galactic's chief pilot. He will pilot the first commercial suborbital spaceflight in 2013. He was tapped from a pool of several Virgin Atlantic pilots who may one day also serve as pilots in the burgeoning spaceliner fleet.
While Mackay and Colmer prepare to be the first pilots to take paying passengers into space, Scaled Composites test pilots Doug Shane, Peter Siebold, Brian Binnie, and Mike Melvill continue a program of rigorous test flights of the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo vehicles. One of them will likely be the first to fly SpaceShipTwo on its maiden voyage into space sans passengers. Binnie and Melvill made history in 2004 when they became the world's first commercial astronauts and won the Ansari X PRIZE.