When the crew of Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, I bet a lot of us started dreaming about seeing our planet Earth from outer space as well one day. And yet, 51 years later, less than 600 people have been officially qualified as astronaut, meaning they have been more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Earth. This is about to change, and one of the companies working towards that goal is Virgin Galactic.
Its founder, Richard Branson, now 70 years old, had always been working out business opportunities in the field of music, telecom, airlines and now space travel, not just for the money, but also with the objective of making the world a better place. And like any entrepeneur, he had his failures too, to which he said:
“I suppose the secret to bouncing back is not only to be unafraid of failures but to use them as motivational and learning tools.”Richard Branson
Virgin Galactic wants to become the first commercial spaceline and to that end they built and are testing a reusable spaceflight system. The WhiteKnightTwo is a carrier aircraft designed to bring the actual spaceship, SpaceShipTwo, high enough to release it and let it make its orbital flight for a few minutes before returning safely back to Earth. SpaceShipTwo will have seats for passengers. About 700 people have signed up already for the $225000 experience (the price will go up once the early birds have had their fun).
Virgin Galactic loses money every day, which is true for every visionary adventure that could eventually blow up, perhaps literally. Branson does not finance this all himself: after initial large investors pumped a few hundred million dollars into the company, they moved forward to become listed on the New York Stock Exchange since October 28, 2019. This means everyone can now buy a piece of this dream in the form of SPCE shares.
“Our mission – to be the spaceline for Earth – means we focus on using space for good while delivering an unparalleled customer experience. Through our work, we believe we can help inspire future generations and make it possible to see our beautiful home planet from a new perspective.”Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic
Maybe the company remains an unfulfilled dream, maybe starting in 2021 they will actually become successful. I wanted to be in this adventure so I bought SPCE shares at about $20 each. Do I see a profit today? No, certainly not. Is there potential of one crash of their spacecraft ruining the business? Yes, of course. But could it become a dream come true, will Virgin Galactic democratize space and will the shares fly up to $500? I am willing to bet on that, and wish everyone able to afford a ticket an awesome flight and a safe return…