Virgin Galactic Offers $450,000 General Public Spaceflight Tickets, Stock Soars 32%

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Susan Montoya Bryan/AP/Shutterstock (12250031a)Richard Branson answers students' questions during a news conference at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.
Susan Montoya Bryan/AP/Shutterstock / Susan Montoya Bryan/AP/Shutterstock

As of Wednesday, Feb. 16, you can buy a ticket for a spaceflight on Virgin Galactic. That is, if you have $450,000 to spare.

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The company announced that ticket sales will open to the general public starting on February 16, providing the opportunity to purchase one of the initial spaceflight reservations and secure membership in the unique community of Future Astronauts. Following the news, the stock shot up 32%, according to CNBC.

The stock remained up 32% in pre-market trading.  

“At Virgin Galactic, we believe that space is transformational,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said in a press release. “We plan to have our first 1,000 customers on board at the start of commercial service later this year, providing an incredibly strong foundation as we begin regular operations and scale our fleet.”

There is an initial deposit of $150,000 and customers have to make their final payment before their flight. In addition, $25,000 is non-refundable, CEO Michael Colglazier said during an earnings call in November, according to a transcript of the call from The Motley Fool.

Building Wealth

Customers interested in a spaceflight can start their application process on Virgin Galactic’s website.  

The spaceflight itself launches from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Future astronauts start with several days of spaceflight preparedness activities and will stay with their guests at forthcoming custom accommodations, Virgin Galactic said. “Guests will enjoy bespoke itineraries and world-class amenities during astronaut-specific training programs,” according to the release.

The company explained that during spaceflight, astronauts will experience a 90-minute journey including a signature air launch and Mach-3 boost to space.

“The spaceship gracefully flips while astronauts enjoy several minutes of out-of-seat weightlessness and breath-taking views of Earth from the spaceship’s 17 windows. Upon return from this transformational experience, astronauts will begin a meaningful journey to create positive impact with the perspective that can only come from seeing our beautiful planet from space,” according to the release.

To mark the launch of public sales, Virgin Galactic unveiled a new consumer brand, “designed to capture the love, wonder and awe of the experience of viewing Earth from space, and to inspire generations of future astronauts around the world.”

Building Wealth

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“We have developed a compelling and effective sales process to support the growth of our commercial business,” said Blair Rich, President and Chief Business Officer, Commercial and Consumer Operations. “A global, commercial spaceline demands an iconic and timeless brand. It is important that our brand represents our dynamic customer offering, and speaks to our unique experience, style and service.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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