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Virgin Galactic has already sold about 600 reservations for tickets on future tourist flights, at prices between $200,000 and $250,000 each.
Richard Branson‘s spaceflight company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) completed a successful human spaceflight on Saturday. Being the third flight of the company in total, it was conducted after a long two-year suspension. The news has positively affected the company’s stock.
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) May 22, 2021
The spacecraft VSS Unity launched into outer space in New Mexico from the VMS Eve station. It reached a height of 55 miles and then landed at Spaceport America at about 11:43 AM ET. The spacecraft had CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay on board. Notably, Sturckow became the first person who flew to space from three different states. Besides, it was piloted by Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci. During the flight, the team enjoyed the space views while completing a number of “test objectives”.
According to Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier, the flight was flawless. He commented:
“Today’s flight showcased the inherent elegance and safety of our spaceflight system while marking a major step forward for both Virgin Galactic and human spaceflight in New Mexico. Space travel is a bold and adventurous endeavor, and I am incredibly proud of our talented team for making the dream of private space travel a reality. We will immediately begin processing the data gained from this successful test flight, and we look forward to sharing news on our next planned milestone.”
Previously, VSS Unity had two flights, back in late 2018 and early 2019. They were conducted at Virgin Galactic’s test facility at the Mojave Air and Spaceport out of California. Later, the company moved its operational base to Spaceport America. There, it plans to conduct all commercial tourist flights. The company has already sold about 600 reservations for tickets on future tourist flights, at prices between $200,000 and $250,000 each. During one flight, VSS Unity can have up to six passengers along with the two pilots.
SPCE Stock Performance after the First Human Spaceflight Completed by Virgin Galactic
Following the news that Virgin Galactic completed a successful human spaceflight, its stock soared. On May 21, it closed 6.36% up, at $21.07. But after the announcement, it added 0.71% after hours. SPCE’s market cap is $5.44 billion. Year-to-date, the stock 11.21% down.
However, today in the pre-market, SPCE demonstrates amazing growth. Now the stock is 22.88% up, trading at around $25.89.
Recently, SPCE stock lost over 50% of its value. As we reported, it resulted from Ark Invest’s space exploration ETF selling almost its entire remaining stake in the spaceflight company. Besides, earlier, in April, Richard Branson sold 5,584,000 shares of his company, for approximately $150.3 million. The company’s chairman Chamath Palihapitiya has also sold his remaining stake in the company. Reportedly, Palihapitiya sold approximately 6.2 million SPCE shares worth about $213 million at the time.