Beth Moses


Natalie Beth Moses
Beth Moses.jpg
Beth Moses at Virgin Galactic, 2019
Born (1980-05-30) 30 May 1980 (age 41)
Alma materPurdue University, B.S. 1992; M.S. 1994
Spouse(s)Mike Moses
OccupationCommercial Astronaut Trainer
Space career
Virgin Galactic Commercial Astronaut
US - FAA Astronaut Wings version 2.png
Time in space
10min 41 sec
MissionsVF-01, Unity 22

Beth Moses is Chief Astronaut Instructor and Interiors Program Manager for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo program, and is a Commercial Astronaut, as classified by the Federal Aviation Administration.[1] She was the first woman to make a spaceflight on a commercially launched vehicle, [2] the VSS Unity VF-01 flight of 22 February 2019. She was also part of the six-member crew that flew in the first fully-crewed test flight to space on July 11, 2021, aboard VSS Unity.


Natalie Beth Stubbings grew up in Northbrook, Illinois, and attended Glenbrook North High School.[3][4] She obtained bachelor's (1992) and master's (1994) degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics[5] and as a senior engineer in the NASA/JSC EVA Project Office.[6] As a student, she conducted materials research in parabolic flight.

She worked for NASA as the assembly manager for the International Space Station where she led the global program of human-in-the-loop testing which designed, developed, and verified the spacewalk mechanisms used to assemble and maintain the station.[5] Moses later joined Virgin Galactic where she serves as Chief Astronaut Instructor and Interiors Program Manager[7][8]

During her spaceflight on 22 Feb 2019, she became the first person on a suborbital mission known to have unstrapped and floated around the cabin, as part of her job evaluating the future passenger experience. On mission VF-01 she reached a height of 89.9 km above the Earth's surface. The Federal Aviation Administration awarded her the Commercial Astronaut Wings as a result of this mission.[9]


“One of the things that I believe in is that if a greater slice of humanity can experience spaceflight, it will translate to untold benefits and changes on Earth. What if every world leader saw Earth from space? It might be a more gentle, kind planet.”[10]

"After countless projects, I can say this: engineering persistence trumps personal, cultural, or gender factors. In modern global human aerospace, it really doesn’t matter what you look like. Or where your parents lived. Or even what native language you grew up with. What does matter is your engineering skill, common sense, courtesy, persistence, and dedication to the shared mission."[11]


Beth Moses was awarded the National Science Foundation's Micro gravity research award. This allowed her to further her research in parabolic flight. In 2009 the International Space Station (ISS) was awarded the Robert J. Collier trophy. Moses played a large role in the development required to attain this award.[5] In 2021, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, IL.


  1. ^ "AvPress".
  2. ^ "Virgin Galactic Makes Space for Second Time In Ten Weeks with Three On Board, Reaching Higher Altitudes and Faster Speeds, as Flight Test Program Continues". Virgin Galactic. 22 February 2019.
  3. ^ Jackson, Cheryl (12 May 2017). "Space travel as a unifier? Adler honors woman helping launch Virgin Galactic". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Lenart, Claudia (25 August 2004). "Teacher helps kids reach for the skies". Chicago Tribune.
  5. ^ a b c "Beth Moses". School of Aeronautics and Astronautics - Purdue University. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  6. ^ "XVI Congress of the Association of Space Explorers". Archived from the original on 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  7. ^ Klesman, Alison (5 December 2018). "Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor says space is for everyone". Astronomy.
  8. ^ "Beth Moses: Aerospace Engineer, Virgin Galactic". Virgin Galactic.
  9. ^ Soaring to earn astronaut wings Antelope Valley Press
  10. ^ "Former NASA Engineer's Interesting Take on Women in Science".
  11. ^ ""Women in STEM - why engineers don't come in pink or blue"".