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Virgin Galactic to become 1st space tourism company on NYSE
by Danielle Haynes
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 25, 2019

Branson said he originally hoped for investment from Saudi Arabia, but pulled away after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last fall.

Virgin Galactic is set to become the first commercial spaceflight company to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange next week, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicates.

The Wednesday filing shows the company, founded by Richard Branson, was expected to merge Friday with Social Capital Hedosophia, a venture capital firm. After the completion of the merger, the two companies were expected to trade under the ticker symbol SPCE on Monday.

The two companies have a combined valuation of $1.5 billion. Branson will have a 51 percent controlling stake.

Branson announced the merger and plans to begin publicly trading in July. He said the company's goal is to create a space tourism industry in which wealthy travelers spend more than $200,000 per seat to fly to the edge of space. Competitor Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is after the same goal and plans to launch its first tourist into space by the end of this year.

Elon Musk's SpaceX also aims to send tourists into space but has so far focused primarily on launching unmanned rockets with satellites and supplies for the International Space Station.

Branson said he originally hoped for investment from Saudi Arabia, but pulled away after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last fall.

As part of Virgin Galactic's commercial spaceflight plans, the company, along with Under Armour, unveiled prototype spacesuits designed to explore the moon and Mars earlier this month. The uniforms include a spacesuit, training suit, footwear and a jacket.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
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Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

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Russia customising Soyuz for tourist trips
Moscow (Sputnik) Oct 24, 2019
A soyuz spaceship will be customised for a tourist trip to the International Space Station (ISS) so that one person may pilot it rather than a three-person crew, Sergei Krikalev, executive director for human spaceflight at Russia's space agency Roscosmos, said. "A ship for a specialised mission is being customised so that it will be easier for one person to pilot it, and some modes will not be duplicated as they are supposed to be. These are interface tweaks, to make it more convenient for a one-p ... read more

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