How One Boy’s Dream of Space Flight is Coming True By Philip Sherwell – The Telegraph

As a child growing up on Scotland’s north coast, Dave Mackay harboured a dream that seemed so out-of-this-world that he kept it secret from all but his closest friends.

Mojave Desert (July 02, 2011) - From the age of seven, when he won the Ladybird book of space as a Sunday school prize, he set his heart on becoming an astronaut. That fascination grew when, aged 12, he watched the Apollo Moon landing on a crackly black-and-white television at school in Sutherland.

He later joined the RAF and became one of its leading test pilots, pursuing the same “top gun” career path as America’s early astronauts, the Right Stuff brigade.

“But by my mid-30s, I just thought this is not going to happen, I am never going to become an astronaut in the UK” said Mr Mackay, who joined Virgin Atlantic as a commercial pilot.

Now, however, nearly five decades after his love affair with space began, Mr Mackay is training to become the first captain to fly paying tourists into space at $200,000 a ticket.

The 54-year-old Scot recently moved to the US to take up the role of chief pilot of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s new commercial space business.

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