Shares in suborbital spaceflight company Virgin Galactic were flat in their first day of trading as company leadership says that they will retain a long-term mindset despite now being a public company.
Virgin Galactic signed a contract Oct. 2 with the Italian Air Force to fly a set of research payloads, and three people, on a future SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceflight.
As Virgin Galactic prepares to finish the test program for its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, the company says the New Mexico spaceport it will operate from is ready.
Virgin Galactic’s merger with a publicly-traded investment company is likely a one-off event based on the company and people involved, and not a sign of more fundamental changes in the industry, investors argue.
With an $800 million infusion thanks to a merger with a public investment vehicle, Virgin Galactic expects to rapidly build up commercial operations and be profitable as soon as 2021.
Virgin Galactic announced July 9 it had reached an agreement to merge with a public investment vehicle, raising several hundred million dollars of capital and allowing the company to become publicly traded.
Virgin Galactic plans to move its spaceship, carrier aircraft and flight operations personnel this summer from Mojave, California, to New Mexico’s Spaceport America, company executives announced May 10.
Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot believes the company will be able to go through the remainder of its SpaceShipTwo test program fairly quickly once test flights of the suborbital spaceplane resume.
In addition to more than 200 exhibitors spread over two exhibit halls, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin and Virgin Galactic have brought along full-scale space hardware this year for outdoor display during the show.
As Blue Origin prepares to start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, the company’s founder says the altitude the vehicle can reach will put it at an advantage over Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
Virgin Galactic scrubbed the Feb. 20 flight test for SpaceShipTwo, the air-launched suborbital spaceplane, due to high winds in Mojave, California. The flight test is now scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22.
The two pilots who flew SpaceShipTwo to the edge of space in December received commercial astronaut wings last week, joining an elite group that won’t necessarily become much larger even with the anticipated growth of commercial spaceflight.