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Virgin Galactic Opens Ticket Sales and Rebrands, Waves Bye Bye to Richard Branson’s Eye Eye

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 15, 2022
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by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Galactic opened ticket sales to the general public and rebranded itself today a week ahead of what promises to be another dismal quarterly earnings report. The company most recently reported to having 700 reservations for suborbital spaceflights, with plans to reach 1,000 later this year. Space tourism flights are currently scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Virgin Galactic’s battered stock, which opened at $8.93, soared by more than 29 percent to $10.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is scheduled to report earnings (actually a loss) for the fourth quarter of 2021 on Feb. 22.

Virgin Galactic’s new color scheme is purple. To mark the rebranding, Virgin Galactic has published 10 new videos on its YouTube channel over the past day.

In another sign of the Virgin Group’s diminished role in the suborbital space venture, the company has dropped a logo that featured a closeup of founder Richard Branson’s eye. Once the majority shareholder, Branson now owns only 11.9 percent of the company, which went public on Oct. 28, 2019.

A view from inside the cockpit. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

You can see it on the mission patch of one of Virgin’s pilots (above) during a suborbital flight conducted in December 2018. The company unveiled the logo to much fanfare and philosophizing 16 years ago. The press release is below.

Virgin Galactic Unveils Visionary Logo
Designed by Philippe Starck and GBH

London: 13th December, 2005:

Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, is delighted to announce the creation of a visionary logo for the business. The new visual identity was created by Philippe Starck in conjunction with leading design agency GBH Design Ltd. Philippe was well placed to undertake the work, having already shown a commitment to become a founder astronaut for one of the first hundred commercial seats, which are expected to begin in 2008.

The logo is based around the human iris, as Philippe Starck explains:

“The curiosity and adventure of the human spirit exists in the vision of a human eye, from today, through millions of years of evolution, right back to the beginning of Mankind. The nebulous iris represents the infinite possibilities of this endeavour and signifies our opportunity to look back at earth from space with our own eyes for the first time. The eye’s pupil incorporates an eclipse, the dawning of something new, something unique but accessible. Something far, but near.”

It is planned that the final logo design will incorporate an image of Sir Richard Branson’s iris. Virgin Galactic founder, Sir Richard Branson said: “Philippe has come up with the most fantastic logo, which encapsulates our vision of the future. When I look at the logo I am reminded of childlike awe. I believe it represents all those who will watch and be a part of the growth of this amazing new commercial aviation sector. Whether they are six or sixty, all will see and believe that a new chapter in the story of space flight has begun.”

Mark Bonner, Creative Director at GBH Design Ltd, added: “It is an honor and a privilege to work within one of the most exciting ventures in the world today. Our aim is not just to create something that represents the opportunity for an ordinary person to travel into space and to look back at the planet where we all live, but also to represent the incredible spirit of human endeavor that continues to push us all forward”.