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Las Cruces woman to fly to space with Virgin Galactic

Jamila Gilbert with Virgin Galactic (credit: KFOX14/CBS4)
Jamila Gilbert with Virgin Galactic (credit: KFOX14/CBS4)
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A Las Cruces woman will be going to space this month.

Jamila Gilbert is from Las Cruces and is an employee with Virgin Galactic.

“I’m thrilled, to be told that you have the opportunity to go to space. It’s a pinch me moment. I’m proud to represent one of the first 100 women to go to space," said Gilbert. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Gilbert said this spaceflight is a test for future commercial service.

Gilbert started working for Virgin Galatic fours years ago.

She started working at Virgin Galactic as the internal communications manager.

Prior to working at Virgen Galactic she worked with Visit Las Cruces.

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“I’ve always been passionate my hometown of Las Cruces, so to get to see it from above is hard to put into words," said Gilbert.

Gilbert said she will be able to see White Sands and the Organ Mountains from space.

Gilbert said the trip will be an end to end evaluation for the company's customer journey.

“Virgin Galactic really cares about the experience, so we want to take people up to space but we want it to be meaningful," she said. “Were getting ready to start our commercial service soon."

Gilbert said she is preparing for the space flight by eating well, working out, doing yoga and trying to go to sleep earlier.

Gilbert said she can’t share the date of the spaceflight but said it will by the end of May.

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"Part of the reason I was chosen is because I don’t have a technical background like so many of our different engineers within our company," she said.

Gilbert studied arts and linguistics at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

"Most of our customers won't have any background in space or engineering," she said.

Gilbert said she hopes her experience will help the company's evaluation for commercial service.

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