Mon, July 22, 2024

Virgin Galactic, NASA, and New Opportunities

Virgin Galactic and NASA

On Monday, shares of the spaceflight company Virgin Galactic increased by more than 15% to close at $17.39 a share thanks to one decision. Furthermore, the shares of the company jumped on Monday after it signed an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Let’s have a look at this agreement. Virgin Galactic will train astronauts for trips to the International Space Station. It is a company that is publicly traded. However, the main owners are founder Richard Branson and chairman Chamath Palihapitiya.

Notably, Virgin Galactic signed a “Space Act Agreement” with NASA’s Johnson Space Center. People should take into account that the Johnson Space Center leads the agency’s astronaut program based in Houston, Texas.

Virgin Galactic and suborbital tourismSuborbital tourism and companies

According to the agreement, the company will develop a “private orbital astronaut readiness program”. It won’t be hard for the company to develop this program, as it will be similar to one it has to prepare tourists for its flights. Importantly, the company wants to buy seats on flights to the space station, currently offered by SpaceX.

According to the company, the missions could range from private expeditions to scientific research.

CEO of the company released a statement regarding this agreement. According to the statement released by George Whitesides, the company is excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program.

This is not the main business of the company as Virgin Atlantic’s main business is suborbital tourism. Notably, Virgin Galactic plans to fly people to the edge of space on short trips. Currently, the company has 603 reservations. Moreover, Virgin Galactic sold the majority of tickets for $200,000 to $250,000 per person. People are willing to pay thousands of dollars for this opportunity. Last but not least, suborbital tourism is a relatively new business. However, companies are willing to develop this industry.

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