In a significant milestone for Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company was gearing up for its first spaceflight in almost two years on Thursday. The highly anticipated Unity 25 mission will commence with carrier aircraft VMS Eve taking off at approximately 10 a.m. ET, carrying the VSS Unity spacecraft to an altitude of around 40,000 feet. Once released, VSS Unity will ignite its engine, aiming to surpass 80 kilometers (262,000 feet) – the altitude recognized by the U.S. as the boundary of space. This momentous occasion represents a critical turning point for Virgin Galactic, which has faced numerous setbacks and significant delays in developing its spaceflight system. The spaceflight by Richard Branson nearly two years ago came after an extensive 17-year effort and over a billion dollars of investment in the company.
The development process was marred by several disasters, including a fatal rocket engine explosion in 2007 and the crash of the first SpaceShipTwo vehicle in 2014. While Virgin Galactic has not yet generated substantial revenue, regular spaceflights are crucial to its financial success. The company currently holds approximately $900 million in cash and securities, but its quarterly cash burn continues to rise as it invests heavily in expanding its spacecraft fleet. To achieve weekly flights, Virgin Galactic is banking on introducing its future Delta class spacecraft, which is anticipated to begin operations in 2026. Designed to accommodate up to six passengers alongside two pilots, VSS Unity has already garnered 600 reservations for future flights, with ticket prices ranging from $200,000 to $250,000 each. What do you think about Virgin Galactic, and will they achieve commercial space flight?
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I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.