Space tourism is taking off, quite literally. On Thursday, Virgin Galactic (ticker: SPCE), a pioneer in the industry, will be launching three passengers to the edge of space for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of weightlessness and a breathtaking view of Earth.
The highly anticipated flight will depart from Virgin's Spaceport America in New Mexico, and you can catch the thrilling live stream here, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time.
This marks Galactic's second flight, following their inaugural journey in late June with members of the Italian Air Force and scientific community onboard. Despite the excitement surrounding these missions, Virgin Galactic stock has dipped approximately 29% since launching its space tourism service. It's not uncommon for investors to sell after the initial buzz dies down.
In their second-quarter report released on August 1st, Galactic disclosed sales of around $2 million, primarily driven by their first flight. Looking ahead, they expect sales of approximately $1 million in both Q3 and Q4. Wall Street analysts project sales to reach around $29 million by 2024.
Naturally, establishing a space tourism venture is no easy feat, as Galactic has discovered. Initially projecting $590 million in sales derived from 270 flights by 2023, the company faced numerous technical and regulatory setbacks, delaying its progress. These delays have taken a toll on their stock price, which still remains about 95% below its all-time highs in early 2021.
However, there's hope on the horizon. As the space tourism industry matures and overcomes its challenges, investors anticipate a day when they no longer have to closely monitor each flight's impact on stock prices. Until then, Virgin Galactic continues to push forward, utilizing approximately $125 million in cash per quarter to advance its operations. With nearly $1 billion in funding and an unwavering determination, the future of space tourism is set to reach new heights.
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