The space travel venture by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic, has launched on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares in the company are a global first for a space tourism company.
The news followed the announcement that Virgin Galactic had merged with Silicon Valley holding firm Social Capital Hedosophia. This deal has brought more than £625m to Virgin, as Branson plans on moving forward with plans to have customers on space flights by the end of next year.
Social Capital Hedosophia is already listed on the New York Stock Exchange, allowing Virgin to sell shares without following the traditional stock offering process.
Branson said: “To fellow investors, employees of VG and The Spaceship Company, business partners and customers – thank you for your commitment to our great company, which has made today’s exciting announcement possible.
“With our proprietary spaceflight system, special airspace access at Spaceport America, globally-recognized brand and broad investor interest, we believe Virgin Galactic is ideally positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing, multibillion-dollar commercial space market and ultimately open space to thousands of new astronauts. Today, we accomplished one mission, and as we bring more and more future astronauts to space, we look forward to accomplishing many more.”