Why Are Virgin Galactic Shares Up Today?

After years of uncertainty, it looks like Virgin Galactic will finally send Richard Branson to space, beating rivals Bezos and Musk.

The new space race is really heating up now as Virgin Galactic looks set to launch founder Richard Branson into space on July 11 — a full 9 days before rival Jeff Bezos will launch with Blue Origin. 

But what’s next?

When are we heading to Mars?

Hold your martian horses, we’re not going anywhere just yet.

This is just another test flight, albeit in a situation where the term “putting your money where your mouth is” has never seemed more apt.

“After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry, which is set to open space to humankind and change the world for good. I’m honored to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin.”

It’s no “one small step for man”, but Branson’s address last night sounded pretty momentous all the same. And investors agree, with Virgin Galactic shares soaring close to 30% after-hours. 

Virgin Galactic will give the world a glimpse of what a $250,000 ticket to space will get them via its first-ever launch live stream. The reception of the stream by viewers will give a good indication as to where public opinion stands on suborbital space tourism — an estimated $8 billion industry by 2030.

SPCE stock is volatile at the best of times, but this will be a whole new level. It’s the moment investors have been waiting for; the long-delayed launch of Richard Branson into the cosmos. Every second of the flight and the stream will be scrutinized, stock will pass hands on every jolt and cheer, and Virgin Galactic’s very future could be sealed pending the mission’s success or failure.

Strap in folks, we have liftoff!

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