Virgin Galactic Reports Q3 Net Loss of $48 Million

A view from inside the cockpit. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
  • Commercial Service on Track for Q4 2022
  • Strong Ticket Sales at Updated Pricing of $450,000 per Seat
  • Demonstrates Value of Differentiated Community Experience
  • Commenced Fleet Enhancement Program to Increase Flight Rate and Extend Vehicle Service Life Ahead of Commercial Launch

LAS CRUCES, N.M., November 8, 2021 (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic” or the “Company”) today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021.

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Space, Sustainable Tourism Can Work and Grow Together, says Purdue Tourism Expert

Jonathon Day (Credit: Purdue University)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue University PR) — As space enthusiasts line up to purchase suborbital and orbital flights, communities that want to be known as space tourism hubs have a great opportunity to plan for future developments on Earth.

Jonathon Day, an associate professor who specializes in sustainable tourism in Purdue University’s White Lodging-J.W. Marriott Jr., School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Health and Human Sciences, says community leaders and business owners should look at what makes their communities special as they prepare for tourists.  

“Space tourism is offering these communities and regions an opportunity for economic development,” Day says. “We know these activities are going to increase the number of visitors to these destinations. Now would be a great time for the community leaders to take a deeper look at things they will need for the future.”

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Blue Origin Announces Two Passengers for Oct. 12; William Shatner Not Mentioned

Chris Boshuizen (left) and Glen de Vries (right). (Credit: Blue Origin)

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Today, Blue Origin announced New Shepard’s 18th mission, NS-18, will lift off on Tuesday, October 12, carrying four astronauts to space and back, including Dr. Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, Vice-Chair, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Dassault Systèmes and co-founder, Medidata. The two other astronauts will be announced in the coming days.

[Editor’s Note: TMZ.com reported Star Trek actor William Shatner will be aboard the upcoming flight. There’s been no confirmation of that report.]

Live launch coverage begins on BlueOrigin.com at T-60 minutes. Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:30 am CDT/ 13:30 UTC from Launch Site One in West Texas. 

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Virgin Galactic’s Next Challenge: The Flight of the Vested?

Richard Branson and other passengers float around in weightlessness. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

This was supposed to be the Summer of Virgin Galactic. The company would complete the three remaining suborbital flight tests of SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity, the second one with Richard Branson aboard. The company’s newest space tourism vehicle, SpaceShipIII, would begin its flight tests.

Once VSS Unity tests were complete, engineers would spend four months making a series of repairs and upgrades to the spacecraft and its WhiteKnightTwo mothership, VMS Eve. And then in early 2022, the company would use both spaceships to fly tourists on suborbital joy rides that were originally projected to begin 15 years earlier in 2007.

Sounds easy enough, right? It wasn’t. The Summer of Virgin Galactic went about as well as the Summer of George on Seinfeld. If best laid plans of mice, men and Costanzas often go awry, Virgin Galactic’s schedules are guaranteed to move significantly to the right. Years to the right.

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Virgin Galactic’s Former Flight Test Director Disputes Company’s Version of Off Course Flight with Richard Branson Aboard

Richard Branson and other passengers float around in weightlessness. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Galactic’s recently fired flight test director claims that pilot error, not upper-level winds, resulted in the company’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle flying outside of its assigned airspace during a July 11 suborbital flight test that carried the company’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson. He suggested an independent investigation instead of a company-led one might be required to address the mishap.

Mark Stucky, who Virgin Galactic fired eight days after Branson’s flight, said his former employer put out an inaccurate statement about why VSS Unity flew unauthorized into Class A airspace for 1 minute 41 seconds during its descent. Class A airspace is primarily used by airlines, cargo operators and higher performance aircraft.

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Battleface Launches Travel Insurance for Space Tourism

COLUMBUS, Ohio (battleface PR) — Known for providing travel insurance, including covering adventurous spirits, battleface’s next mission is launching insurance for space tourists.

The new policy is a bespoke offer with benefits available including accidental death and permanent disablement. Underwritten by certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, the policy can be valid for any of the space flights operated by Tesla Founder Elon Musk’s SpaceXAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and high-tech balloon manufacturers Space Perspective among others.

Sasha Gainullin, CEO of battleface said: “We are proud to be providing this pioneering product for space tourism. We regularly revisit our policies to ensure we are relevant to today’s marketplace, and while space tourism is still in its infancy, several hundred space flights have been sold to ‘civilians’ and demand is growing. This type of product fits with our values of providing people with the confidence to fulfil their dreams.”

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Virgin Galactic Raises Ticket Prices to $450,000, Delays Commercial Flights 2 Quarters, and Reports $94 Million 2nd Quarter Net Loss

Richard Branson and other passengers float around in weightlessness. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On July 11, Richard Branson returned from a suborbital journey declaring the start of a new era of flight that would make outer space open to everyone, and promoting a raffle for two averagenauts to fly aboard early flights of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.

Today, Virgin Galactic announced it was hiking the cost of those seats from $250,000 to $450,000 for new ticket buyers. It was the second time the company has raised ticket prices even before any paying passengers have flown. In 2013, the price rose from $200,000 to $250,000. The first paying passengers haven’t even flown yet.

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“Test God” Out as Virgin Galactic’s Director of Flight Test

Well, one day you’re a “God,” the next day you’re on the unemployment line.

Such was fate of Mark Stucky, who was Virgin Galactic’s lead pilot and director of flight test. On Tuesday, he announced on his Linkedin page that he had left the position. When asked why, he replied,

“Departing a company not on my own timeline was a first for me.”

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Russia Switches to Year-Long Space Station Missions, Doubles Up on Tourist Flights as NASA Gravy Train Ends

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin has said that Russia will extend cosmonaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from six to 12 months in order to gather data needed for missions to the moon and Mars.

“We are talking about stable operations that will be carried out as part of yearly expeditions. Now this will be placed on a systemic basis with the corresponding system of biomedical researches. Year-long expeditions are what we need,” Rogozin said.

Well, that sounds good. Far sighted, even visionary. That’s what makes it so odd; these are not words normally associated with the Roscosmos boss. Something else seems to be going on here.

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Scratch Ashton Kutcher From List of Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts

Ashton Kutcher, no longer a future millionaut. (Credit: David Shankbone)

Remember back in 2012 when Ashton Kutcher bought a ticket on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo? And how Richard Branson’s company made a big deal of it being the 500th ticket? And how commercial flights were only 12-18 months away?

No? Well, don’t feel too bad. I forgot about it too, until this week.

Mashable reports it ain’t going to happen.

“I was booked on a flight to go to space and, in fact, I’m quite rueful about the fact that I am not going to space,” Kutcher said, “My wife asked me to sell my ticket to space because she didn’t think that it was a smart family decision.”

His wife being actress Mila Kunis. Kutcher is not the only celebrity to bag out on Virgin. Princess Beatrice of the UK canceled after VSS Enterprise crashed on Oct. 31, 2014.

Back in 2010, Katy Perry bought a ticket for fiancé Russell Brand. A source told Parabolic Arc that she got a refund after the relationship broke up.

Sweepstakes Launched to Win Seats on Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Suborbital Flights

Richard Branson and other passengers float around in weightlessness. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

LOS ANGELES (Omaze PR) — Omaze, the charity fundraising platform that offers the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences and prizes, and Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic Founder, announced they will give away two seats on a Virgin Galactic commercial flight. The Omaze sweepstakes will support Space for Humanity, a nonprofit seeking to democratize space and send citizen astronauts of diverse racial, economic, and disciplinary backgrounds to space.

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Virgin Galactic to Sell Up to $500 Million in Common Stock

Richard Branson and other passengers float around in weightlessness. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic Holdings
Full Document

We have entered into a distribution agency agreement (the “Distribution Agency Agreement”) with Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (“Credit Suisse”), Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (“Morgan Stanley”) and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (collectively with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, the “Agents”), dated July 12, 2021, relating to the sale of shares of our common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. In accordance with the terms of the Distribution Agency Agreement, we may offer and sell shares of our common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, having an aggregate offering price of up to $500,000,000 from time to time through or to the Agents, acting as our agents or as principal.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “SPCE”. On July 9, 2021, the last reported sale price of our common stock was $49.20 per share.

Sales of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus will be made in sales deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. No Agent is required to sell any specific amount of securities, but each will act as our sales agent using commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in any escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

The Agents will be entitled to compensation at a commission rate of up to 2.0% of the gross sales price per share sold under the Distribution Agency Agreement. See “Plan of Distribution” beginning on page S-11 for additional information regarding the compensation to be paid to the Agents. In connection with the sale of shares of our common stock on our behalf, the Agents will be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act and the compensation of the Agents will be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have also agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to the Agents with respect to certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.

Investing in our common stock involves risks. You should read carefully and consider the risks referenced under “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-6 of this prospectus supplement, as well as the other information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus before making a decision to invest in our securities.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard Set to Fly with Jeff Bezos and Wally Funk on July 20

New Shepard launch (Credit: Blue Origin webcast)

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — New Shepard is go for launch. On July 20, Blue Origin will fly its 16th New Shepard flight to space, and its first with astronauts on board. The launch will be broadcast live on BlueOrigin.com beginning at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC. Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:00 am CDT / 13:00 UTC.

Following the launch, a live press conference with the astronauts will be broadcast on BlueOrigin.com

Blue Origin’s Launch Site One is in a remote location in the West Texas desert and there are no on-site public viewing areas in the vicinity of the launch site. The Texas Department of Transportation will be closing a portion of State Highway 54 adjacent to the launch site and will not allow spectators on the closed portion of the road during the launch. 

Follow @BlueOrigin on Twitter and sign up on BlueOrigin.com to stay up to date on all mission details. 

-Gradatim Ferociter 

Editor’s Note: The FAA also approved Blue Origin this week to carry passengers on New Shepard. So maybe we’ll finally find out who is paying $29.68 million ($28 million plus 5% fee) to fly above the Karman line (100 km/62.1 miles) with Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and aviatrix Wally Funk.