Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides
Author & Future Astronaut
Having dreamed of space since she was a little girl, Loretta wants to use the power of space to shift our perspectives, connect us with each other and our home planet and become the kind of species we would be proud to send to the nearest star.
Having studied astrobiology at Stanford and Caltech, Loretta has worked in the Astronaut Office in Houston Texas, done research on plant life in the Canadian Arctic with NASA, dove to the bottom of the ocean with Titanic Director James Cameron to film the IMAX “Aliens of the Deep,” floated weightless hundreds of times as a Flight Director for Zero Gravity Corporation, studied terraforming Mars with Dr. Chris McKay of NASA Ames, worked for the X Prize Foundation during the $10M winning Ansari X Prize flights in 2004, helped launch the Space Generation Advisory Council in 1999, and Co-Created Yuri’s Night, The World Space Party in 2001. Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides has been a Future Astronaut with Virgin Galactic since 2005.
She currently lives in the desert outside Los Angeles with her husband George and their two kids and leads leadership development training for Virgin Galactic staff as well as continuing to give talks and write to help people fulfill on what they came to Earth to do!