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Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Boeing to take stake in Virgin Galactic






Boeing is to pump $20 million into Sir Richard Branson's space tourism firm Virgin Galactic.

The US aircraft manufacturer will take a minority stake in Virgin Galactic once it goes public in a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia, which was announced earlier this year.

The merger values Virgin Galactic at about $1.5 billion.

"Our teams have been talking for quite some time now. The broader capabilities of Boeing are unmatched in mobility and experience in human spaceflight," said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.
"We're over the moon about this partnership."

Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, told CNBC: "Twenty million dollars is a drop in the bucket for the $1 billion that they've raised. It's really to catalyze a bigger partnership."

According to Whitesides, Virgin is in 'the final stretch' of testing and aims to launch commercial space flights next year.

The two most recent test flights successfully reached the edge of spaceand since then 3,000 more customers have signed up for its first commercial space flights.

Virgin's spacecraft Unity holds up to six passengers and the company plans to operate five spacecraft by 2023.

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