The roller coaster continues the Virgin Galactic journey. After peaking in mid-2021 when Richard Branson flew into space, the company failed to capitalize on that first date. Founded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for months after its July 2021 flight, the company has been unable to get the Eve cargo plane or the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft to fly again.
Because Virgin Galactic, unlike competitors New Space Blue Origin and SpaceX, does not use a conventional rocket. In fact, the company relies on a two-vessel system. The first, a cargo plane, carries the spacecraft under its wings, which is launched at an altitude of 15 kilometers before flying into a picket line up to 90 kilometers in height and thus reaching the limits of the atmosphere.
But at the moment, the company has only one mother ship, which limits flight capabilities. with Eve As the only carrier aircraft, Virgin Galactic cannot hope to fly into space 400 times a year, the company’s ambitious CEO Michael Colglazier announced.
Two new cargo planes for 2025
To solve this problem, Virgin Galactic decided to invest. The company just announced that it has signed a partnership with Aurora, a subsidiary of Boeing. The latter will be responsible for building two new carrier aircraft for Virgin Galactic. It should be delivered in 2025.
In a press release, the brand clarified, in case of financial difficulty, this choice: “Our next generation vessels are an integral part of expanding our operations.” As a reminder, Virgin Galactic posted a net loss of $93 million in the first quarter of this year.
In order to reassure its investors, it confirmed that the demand for its services was strong and that it was “Cash Equivalent, Restricted Liquidity, and Marketable Securities of $1.22 billion”. Either way, the company is due to announce its second-quarter financial results next month, which should give an idea of Virign Galactic’s financial health.
Virgin Galactic: Is this pace sustainable?
If wealthy clients willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few seconds in space aren’t in question (the company should hit 1,000 reservations this year), it’s Virgin Galactic’s ability to realize these flights that raises questions.
With only one mission on the clock, its main competitor, Virgin Galactic, has already left Blue Origin, and the brand will have to climb the slope in the coming months if it doesn’t want to bring it down for good. While SpaceX plans to send tourists around the moon, Virgin Galactic can’t get past Karman’s line.
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