Earlier this year, legendary Imagineer Joe Rohde retired from the Walt Disney Company.
Rohde was the driving creative force behind so many incredible projects at Walt Disney World and beyond, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. Well, if you’re wondering how Rohde is filling his time these days (aside from the occasional garage sale), we’ve got a little bit of an idea. Turns out Rohde has changed his focus from animals, nature, and theme parks to…the final frontier!
Virgin Galatic has just announced that they have hired a new Experience Architect and it’s the one and only Joe Rohde. Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial spaceline and vertically integrated aerospace company. Right now, with their sister company, Virgin Galactic is actually developing and operating a “new generation of space vehicles to open space for everyone.”
According to the Virgin Galactic website, their mission is to become the Spaceline for Earth. After 3 days of training and preparation, Virgin Galactic astronauts will board its aircraft. At the appropriate moment in the flight, the pilots will shut off the rocket motor and allow travelers to have several minutes of weightlessness. Passengers will also get a view of Earth and space as they then prepare to re-enter the Earth.
And now Joe Rohde will be a part of the work Virgin Galactic is doing. Rohde will become Virgin Galactic’s first Experience Architect. He will work as a strategic advisor to “help design and guide the overall experience journey for future astronauts, friends and family, and inspired fans alike.”
Virgin Galactic’s press release notes that Rohde recently visited New Mexico — this is where Virgin Galactic has what it calls “Spaceport America.” There, Joe shared some of his initial thoughts.
In the interview, Rohde said “This is one of the most profound things that can happen to you. To go beyond the reaches of the earth, to space, and look back down at it. It’s a spectacularly unique opportunity with huge potential for transformational change in a person…What Virgin Galactic is doing, in democratizing space travel, has reached a moment where it is about to enter history. It’s happening right here in New Mexico, and it’s very rare to be a person who gets to be in the place, at the time, that history begins.’’
You can see Rohde talking about this role and its importance in the video below.
But, Rohde isn’t alone. Amy Jupiter has shared that she has also “launched on a new adventure with Virgin Galactic” with Joe. Jupiter has worked on a number of attractions for Disney including Pirates of the Caribbean for Shanghai Disneyland, Pandora — The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! in Disney California Adventure Park.
Joe and i have launched on a new adventure with Virgin Galactic! Super excited to join Michael and the team on this journey! https://t.co/uXuiLNL8FO
— Amy Jupiter (@joupiejoup) February 22, 2021
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What do you think about Joe Rohde and his work now with Virgin Galactic? Let us know in the comments.