Boeing Just Invested $29.5 Million in Virgin Galactic’s Space Travel Program

It’s a match made in heaven, or, perhaps, the stars.

By Rachel Cormack 14/10/2019

Richard Branson wants the world to travel the cosmos, but today the billionaire is counting his own lucky stars. Boeing just announced it plans to give the mogul’s space tourism company Virgin Galactic a $20 million (around A$29.5 million) cash injection to help pursue its goal of commercial space travel.



Both companies have had their sights set on intergalactic jet-setting for quite some time now. Virgin Galactic has been not-so-quietly chipping away, sending people to orbit and building futuristic Spaceports, while Boeing has been busy investing in smaller-scale aerospace startups—such as Accion Systems and Matternet—through its HorizonX Ventures arm, plus working on its Starliner crewed capsule which it’s developing under a contract with NASA.



So, why join forces now?



Well, it appears that Boeing has finally decided: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In a statement released on Tuesday, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures Brian Schettler said the companies are at an “inflection point” and the US$20 million is a “strategic investment” rather than cash to be put toward a specific space project. Indeed, the sum is significantly less than the US$1 billion Virgin Galactic says it has invested in its program already—but it’s a symbolic step, and a rather big one at that. After all, in no world is US$20 million a small sum.

Virgin Galactic's First Spaceflight
Virgin Galactic’s First Spaceflight on December 13, 2018 Courtesy of Virgin Galactic



“It’s really about catalyzing the partnership first and foremost between two companies that bring incredible complementary capabilities to commercial space and to the key technologies needed—and frankly beyond just technologies. The whole end-to-end solutions to bring high-speed mobility to the masses,” Schettler said.



Back in July, Virgin Galactic announced its intent to become a publicly listed entity through a US$800 million merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Corp—which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019. Boeing’s investment will come as a result of buying shares in the publicly traded entity.



Virgin Galactic appears to be as equally optimistic about the new partnership with CEO George Whitesides stating, “We are excited to partner with Boeing to develop something that can truly change how people move around the planet and connect with one another.”



We can’t argue with that excitement. Indeed, the partnership sounds like a match made in heaven, or, perhaps, the stars.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Bugatti’s First Electric Car Will Be a ‘More Affordable’ Four-Seater

The proposed EV would still reportedly cost between US$550,000 and US$1.1 million.

By Bryan Hood

20/11/2019

This Insanely Detailed $29,000 Formula 1 Toy Race Track Is a Speed Demon’s Dream Gift

The custom-made track will be auctioned off in Abu Dhabi later this month.

By Bryan Hood

19/11/2019

Aspark’s Owl, Japan’s First Hypercar, Is Now the Fastest Street-Legal EV on the Planet

The $4.6 million EV’s powertrain produces 1480kW and 2000Nm according to the company.

By Bryan Hood

17/11/2019

Ferrari’s New Roma Grand Tourer Is a Modern Throwback

The coupé pays tribute to the carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterised the Italian capital during the ‘50s and ‘60s.

By Bryan Hood

15/11/2019

Get the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected