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Richard Branson

Virgin Galactic passenger flights imminent?

Last week the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a licence extension to Sir Richard Branson-backed Virgin Galactic. It means that the aircraft and rocket combination can now fly commercial passengers into near-space. This is the first FAA permission needed for Virgin Galactic to carry passengers. Branson has repeatedly promised to be aboard the first […]

June 29, 2021By Chris Forrester

Branson’s ‘financing two-step’ for Virgin Orbit

Sir Richard Branson managed to handle a reverse take-over of his Virgin Galactic space tourism business by a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) and a stock market listing in October 2019. Now he is reportedly trying a similar scheme with Virgin Orbit. Branson is looking for another SPAC, this time targeting NextGeneration Acquisition II, which […]

June 15, 2021

Virgin Galactic wraps human test-flight; concerns remain

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic ‘spaceship’ VSS Unity achieved a speed of Mach 3 after being released from the mothership, VMS Eve, and reached space at an altitude of 55.45 miles (89 kms) before gliding smoothly to a runway landing at Spaceport America in New Mexico back on May 22nd. The Unity craft carried a […]

June 8, 2021

Virgin Orbit to lose space race with Bezos

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin/New Shephard rocket is scheduled to carry its first space tourist passengers on July 20th. The move means that Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will now be a very definite second place in the race to tap into space tourism. A note to clients from investment bank UBS says that Virgin Galactic […]

May 10, 2021

Virgin Orbit to mount IPO

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit company has reportedly hired bankers in preparation for an Initial Public Offering. Virgin Orbit will use a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) as its first step on the road to public participation and the overall aim is for a valuation of some $2.5-$3 billion, according to The WSJ. Virgin Orbit uses […]

March 15, 2021By Chris Forrester

Virgin Galactic boss sells shares

The Richard Branson-backed Virgin Galactic space tourism business is facing more than a few fundamental changes. First up, it is losing its former CEO George Whitesides who changed to Chief Space Officer in July last year, and is now stepping aside but remains of the company’s advisory board. He had been in post since 2010. […]

March 8, 2021

Branson’s Virgin Orbit launches 9 satellites

Virgin Orbit has launched its first batch of small satellites on its Virgin Orbit converted jumbo jet (named ‘Cosmic Girl’). The launch took place from Virgin’s Mojave Desert location on January 17th at 18.50 GMT (1.50pm ET) The Virgin Orbit aircraft carried a 21 metre rocket (‘LauncherOne’) under its port (left) wing and deployed 10 […]

January 18, 2021By Chris Forrester

Virgin Orbit looking for more cash?

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch business headed by Sir Richard Branson, has reportedly hired a couple of investment banks. Normally this suggests the company is looking for strategic investors or perhaps even a sale or merger. According to Space Intel Report (SIR) the Branson company has hired Lion Tree Advisors as well as Perella Weinberg […]

September 14, 2020

“High demand” for Virgin Galactic spaceflights

A research note from SG Cowan says that some 39 per cent of people with an admittedly high net-worth of more than $5 million are interested in paying Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic tourist flights to the very edge of space. “Cowen’s proprietary survey highlights a high level of interest among high-net-worth individuals to fly […]

September 3, 2020By Chris Forrester

Virgin Galactic delays passenger flights again

Sir Richard Branson-backed Virgin Galactic is again pushing the date back when it might start carrying fee-paying passengers by another six months. Newly-appointed Michael Colglazier, the company’s CEO, told analysts that the company was still obtaining various Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permissions and certifications. Virgin said that these FAA tests, plus final test flights which […]

August 6, 2020By Chris Forrester