Virgin Galactic Is Officially the First Space Tourism Company on the NYSE

Virgin Galactic Is Officially the First Space Tourism Company on the NYSE

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, becoming the first space tourism company to hit public markets.

Sir Richard Branson, clad in Virgin Galactic's newly revealed spacesuit, rang the trading bell for Virgin Galactic Holdings on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday.

Like the rocket plane it operates, Virgin Galactic's stock price blasted off on its first day as a publicly traded company, and then glided to a somewhat lower altitude.

The stock opened at $12.01 and was up slightly by mid-afternoon.

"This is a shaky environment for companies with grand visions but unproven models" said Matthew Kennedy, senior IPO market strategist at Renaissance Capital. The company estimates it will carry more than 1,500 tourists a year by 2023, according to a regulatory filing, and generate close to $600 million in revenue.

"To fellow merchants, staff of VG and the Spaceship Company, enterprise partners and potentialities-thanks to your commitment to our smartly-behaved firm, which has made right now time's thrilling announcement probably", Branson acknowledged in an announcement final Friday when closing the merger with Social Capital Hedosophia.

Social Capital Hedosophia's founder, Sri Lanka-born Chamath Palihapitiya, will contribute $100 million to the venture and become its chairman.

Virgin Galactic, a vertically integrated aerospace company with plans to fly people to the edge of space next year, has confirmed it has merged with publicly-listed Silicon Valley public investment vehicle Social Capital Hedosophia in a deal that brought US$800 million to Virgin. The firm has to this level achieved two take a look at flights-one in December 2018 and the different in February 2019-utilizing SpaceShipTwo vessels (VVS Unity) made by a Virgin subsidiary called the Spaceship Company.

Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004, but it suffered serious setbacks after a spaceship came apart during a test flight over the Mojave Desert in 2014, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. When they do, they will receive one of the company's new flight suits. The resulting company was named Virgin Galactic Holdings.

The spaceplane is now getting a revamp of its cabin at the Mojave Spaceship Co. facilities but could be up and running by sometime next year, reports Space.

"For the first time, anyone will have the opportunity to invest in a human spaceflight company that is transforming the market", George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic Holdings, said in a statement Monday.

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