Here's what Branson's successful space trip means for Virgin Galactic shares


CNBC 12 July, 2021 - 09:09am 22 views

Where is Virgin Galactic launching from?

Virgin Galactic's flights launch from Spaceport America, along a desolate stretch of desert in New Mexico. The company's SpaceShipTwo Unity craft is designed to take off on a conventional runway while attached to the underbelly of a carrier ship known as WhiteKnightTwo. NBC NewsVirgin Galactic's rocket reaches edge of space with Richard Branson on board

Who flew with Richard Branson today?

Who were the crew members aboard the flight? The pilots are David Mackay and Michael Masucci. In addition to Mr. Branson, three Virgin Galactic employees joined the flight to evaluate how the experience will be for future paying customers. The New York TimesHighlights From Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Flight

How high did Richard Branson go?

The trip didn't involve a rocket lifting up from a launchpad. Instead, a giant airplane carried the winged passenger spaceship high into the sky, to an altitude of about 50,000 feet, and dropped it. The AtlanticRichard Branson Pulled It Off

What time does Richard Branson take off?

Branson's trip began in dramatic fashion as Virgin's twin-fuselage carrier jet — with the VSS Unity rocket-powered spaceplane bolted under its wing — lifted away from the company's Spaceport America launch site near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, at 8:40 a.m. local time (10:40 a.m. EDT). CBS NewsRichard Branson and Virgin Galactic complete successful space flight

Virgin Galactic's successful launch of its billionaire founder into space was greeted with a cautious reaction by the stock market.

Shares of the space exploration company fell 10% Monday morning, as the company announced that it would sell up to $500 million in additional shares to help fund its growth after Sunday's flight.

Wall Street analysts viewed the flight as a positive for the stock, but it didn't appear to be enough to change the minds of some of Virgin Galactic's skeptics.

Here's what some of the top analysts had to say.

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Virgin Galactic Slumps 14% On Share Sale Plan After Being Up 10% Premarket By 12 July, 2021 - 12:00am – Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) stock slumped over 14% in Monday’s trading as the company’s plans for a $500 million sale of new shares spooked traders.

The shares were up 10% premarket but gave up all those gains as the company looks to cash in on the successful launch Sunday of its first-ever full crew spaceflight that also included its founder Richard Branson.

Although the V.S.S. Unity had made space trips earlier as well, this was its first flight with six passengers, including Branson, ahead of a planned commercial launch next year. Two more test flights have to happen before that. This was the fourth so far.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has collected $80 million in deposits from sale of tickets for a space ride. Each ticket is going for anywhere between $200,000 and $250,000, according to various reports.

Those on the company’s wait list include Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, who otherwise has his own space flight ambitions, being pursued through his company SpaceX. 

The flight marks a milestone for the space tourism industry that is still in its infancy. Branson beat Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos in the race of billionaires to go into space. Bezos has flight aboard Blue Origin scheduled for July 20.

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