Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides

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Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides
Headshot 2019 DesertPreserve warm.jpg
Alma materStanford University
California Institute of Technology
International Space University

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is a public speaker, co-creator of Yuri's Night, and an author on space exploration. She accumulated over five hours of weightless time as a Flight Director for Zero-G Corporation, and plans to travel to space as a "Founder Astronaut" on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo with her husband George T. Whitesides.[1]

Whitesides received a bachelor's degree in biology from Stanford and a master's from Caltech,[2] with a particular interest in astrobiology. In relation to that work she appeared in the 3D IMAX documentary "Aliens of the Deep" alongside director James Cameron traveling to hydrothermal vents two miles under the ocean. She has also visited Haughton impact crater in the arctic to study plants surviving in extreme environments.[3] In addition, she has given numerous TEDx talks about space exploration and personal development.


  • Cockell, Charles S, Pascal Lee, Andrew C Schuerger, Loretta Hidalgo, Jeff A Jones, and M Dale Stokes. 2001. "Microbiology and Vegetation of Micro-Oases and Polar Desert, Haughton Impact Crater, Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada". Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. 33, no. 3: 306.
  • Whitesides, L. (2008, January 31). Space, The Final Frontier for Homosexuality. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2008/01/space-the-final/



  • Whitesides, Loretta Hidalgo (Sep 13, 2018). The New Right Stuff: Using Space to Bring Out the Best in You. Independently published. p. 201. ISBN 978-1720273639.


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