Sun, May 19, 2024

Virgin Galactic signed an Agreement with NASA

Virgin Galactic and new opportunities

Several decades ago it was hard to imagine that companies will able to compete with state-owned organizations such as NASA. However, private companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic changed the status quo. Moreover, Virgin Galactic signed an agreement with NASA. Interestingly, the shares of the spaceflight company jumped Monday after the company signed the agreement with NASA.

Thanks to this agreement, Virgin Galactic will train astronauts for trips to the International Space Station. It is worth mentioning that, the company is publicly traded but largely owned by founder Richard Branson and chairman Chamath Palihapitiya. On Monday, Virgin Galactic signed a “Space Act Agreement” with NASA’s Johnson Space Center. As a reminder, the Johnson Space Center leads the agency’s astronaut program based in Houston, Texas.

Shares of Virgin Galactic added 15.9% in trading to close at $17.39 a share.

Virgin Galactic and its projects Virgin Galactic and space tourists

According to the agreement, Virgin Galactic will develop a “private orbital astronaut readiness program”. This program will be similar to one it has to prepare tourists for its flights. Moreover, the company wants to buy seats on flights to the space station, currently offered by SpaceX.

Based on the information provided by the company, the missions could range from private expeditions to government-enabled scientific research.

CEO of Virgin Atlantic George Whitesides commented on this agreement. According to the statement, the company is excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program.
Importantly, the announcement is separate from the company’s main business.

The company’s main business is suborbital tourism. Virgin Galactic plans to fly people to the edge of space on short trips. At the moment, the company has 603 reservations. The company sold the majority of tickets for $200,000 to $250,000 per person.

As can be seen from the data mentioned above, people are willing to pay thousands of dollars. Space tourism is a relatively new business, but companies already have the chance to generate revenue thanks to such projects.

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