Boeing has been one of the key players for the United States in its human spaceflight program for over fifty years now. The company has been part of many of NASA's major projects and had built the first stage of NASA's mammoth Saturn V Moon Rocket
Fremont, CA: There has been a surge in the number of private companies fishing in the aerospace markets, and recently, one of the biggest names, Boeing, decided to invest USD 20 million in one of its major competitors Virgin Galactic. The investee, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, is set to fly commercial astronauts into the edge of space and back in 2020. A round trip to space with Virgin Galactic costs USD 250,000 per person and already has 600 people who have signed up for the same.
"This is the beginning of an important collaboration for the future of air and space travel, which are the natural next steps for our human spaceflight program. Virgin Galactic and Boeing share a vision of opening access to the world and space, to more people in safe and environmentally responsible ways," said Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson.
Boeing has been one of the key players for the United States in its human space flight program for over fifty years now. The company has been part of many of NASA's major projects and had built the first stage of NASA's mammoth Saturn V Moon Rocket. Boeing is currently NASA's primary contractor for the International Space Station. The company also holds a multi-billion dollar contract with the space agency to ferry its astronauts to and from the International Space Station on its capsule called CST-100 Starliner. A similar deal was awarded to SpaceX for their Crew Dragon capsule.
Boeing will be awarded new shares in Virgin Galactic for their investment in the company. The deal is yet to become final and will be completed on paper once Virgin Galactic becomes publicly listed, via a business combination Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Virgin Galactic has already been successful in flying people to space twice on board the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane and the VSS Vanity during test flights held in December 2018 and February 2019.
"Boeing's strategic investment facilitates our effort to drive the commercialization of space and broaden consumer access to safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible new forms of transportation," Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures said. "Our work with Virgin Galactic and others will help unlock the future of space travel and high-speed mobility."
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