Virgin Galactic’s quarterly loss will increase, plans next spaceflight test for late November

SpaceShipTwo spacecraft Unity throughout a glide flight test in New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic

Space tourism firm Virgin Galactic reported third quarter outcomes on Thursday with an elevated loss as the corporate appears to be like to fly two extra test spaceflights to complete its improvement program.

“During the quarter we made good progress completing the final steps to prepare for VSS Unity’s first rocket powered test flight from Spaceport America this November,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier mentioned in a press launch.

That next test flight is predicted to happen between Nov. 19 and Nov. 23. It was previously deliberate for as early as Oct. 22.

Shares of Virgin Galactic had been little modified in after hours buying and selling. The inventory closed up 6.3% at $19.17 a share forward of the report.

The outcomes

What’s coming next

Founded by Sir Richard Branson and brought public final yr by means of a SPAC by Chamath Palihapitiya, the corporate remains to be within the improvement part of its enterprise. To date it is accomplished two federally-recognized spaceflights, with the corporate anticipating to conduct two extra test spaceflights earlier than it flies Branson on what will likely be thought-about the corporate’s first industrial flight.

Virgin Galactic has about 600 reservations on its books, most of which had been offered at worth of $200,000 to $250,000 a ticket a number of years in the past. While it has not been promoting tickets as the corporate finishes improvement, Virgin Galactic earlier this started a deposit program known as “One Small Step.” Although it now has 900 of these deposits towards tickets, Virgin Galactic mentioned it should finish the “One Small Step” program on the finish of this yr and re-open ticket gross sales absolutely in 2021 after Branson’s flight. The firm has not mentioned how a lot tickets will price as soon as gross sales reopen.

Its next test spaceflight could have simply two test pilots on board, though Virgin Galactic will generate some income from the flight as it should carry microgravity analysis payloads for NASA. Then the corporate will fly a second test spaceflight, with 4 “mission specialists” contained in the spacecraft’s cabin.

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