Virgin Galactic signs 800 future astronauts
May 9, 2022
Space tourism business Virgin Galactic says around 800 would-be “astronauts” have made reservations for one of its sub-orbital flights.
That might be the best news for the Sir Richard Branson-backed company which declared a delay to its passenger flights (to Q1/2023) and a net loss of $93 million for Q1 this year ($130 million loss in Q1/2021). Revenue for the quarter-year was just $319,000.
“We are executing on our plans to scale the business by developing our future fleet, investing in digital manufacturing technologies, and building out our commercial strategy to deliver a consumer experience like no other,” said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “Against a backdrop of escalating supply chain and labor constraints, our teams are containing the majority of these issues to minimise impact on schedules. We look forward to returning to space in the fourth quarter and launching commercial service in the first quarter of next year.”
The company said that demand for ticket sales remains strong, with approximately 800 future astronaut reservations. It said its cash position remained strong. “Cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable securities of $1.22 billion as of March 31st 2022.”
Virgin Galactic said it was targeting about 3 flights per month with its ‘Unity’ vehicle entering commercial service in Q1 and then flying on a monthly basis. Its ‘Imagine’ vehicle would enter commercial service in “mid-2023” and fly twice a month.