Virgin Galactic unveiled its newest spacecraft that will take tourists to suborbital space – check out the VSS Imagine

Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine
Virgin Galactic’s newest

  • Virgin Galactic unveiled its latest spacecraft on Tuesday, the VSS Imagine.
  • It’s the first of a new class of vehicles the firm is developing for suborbital space tourism.
  • VSS Imagine will begin testing this summer, the company said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic on Tuesday unveiled its newest spacecraft, the VSS Imagine. It’s the first of the company’s third-generation SpaceShip III vehicles.

The commercial spaceflight company will begin testing the spacecraft this summer, conducting ground tests and glide flights out of its New Mexico Spaceport America. Virgin plans to eventually fly tourists into suborbital space and aims to eventually facilitate 400 flights per year at each of its spaceports.

Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine
Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine.

The new vehicle, according to Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier, is integral to those plans.

Read more:Take a virtual look inside Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo – a rocket ship designed to fly passengers on the $250,000 trip of their lives

“Today we unveiled our SpaceShip III Class of vehicles, marking the beginning of the Virgin Galactic fleet. VSS Imagine and Inspire are stunning ships that will take our future astronauts on an incredible voyage to space, and their names reflect the aspirational nature of human spaceflight,” he said in a statement.

Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine
Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine.

The new vehicle has a more modular design than its predecessors, making it easier to maintain and reducing the time between flights, Virgin said. VSS Imagine will “lay the foundation for the design and manufacture of future vehicles,” according to the firm.

The VSS Imagine has a mirrored finish that provides “thermal protection,” but also gives the spacecraft a striking look, Virgin said. While VSS Imagine undergoes testing, Virgin will start production on its next SpaceShip III vehicle, VSS Inspire.

Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine
Virgin Galactic VSS Imagine.

VSS Imagine is Virgin Galactic’s third spacecraft. Its first spaceship, VSS Enterprise, was obliterated in a fatal crash in 2014. Its next ship, VSS Unity, last flew in February 2019 and is set to undergo a test flight in May 2021.

Hundreds of people have already paid Virgin Galactic $200,000 to $250,000 for tickets to suborbital space.

Shares of Virgin Galactic rose about 3% in trading Tuesday following the new craft’s announcement.

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‘SPAC king’ Chamath Palihapitiya is planning a $1 billion listing of a climate company, according to reports

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya.

  • Chamath Palihapitiya is eyeing a $1 billion UK listing for a new company.
  • The venture will focus on climate change and won’t be a SPAC.
  • Palihapitiya plans to make acquisitions and develop his own operations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya is taking his hunt for businesses to Britain.

Social Capital Hedosophia – the investment firm run by Palihapitiya and his partner Ian Osborne – is eyeing a $1 billion London listing for a company focused on fighting climate change, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and a former Facebook executive, has spearheaded the boom in special-purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs). He has used them to take Virgin Galactic, Opendoor, and Clover Health public, and has several more deals lined up.

The new UK vehicle won’t be structured as a SPAC, but it will seek to make several acquisitions, sources told Bloomberg. It will also work on internal solutions to environmental problems, they said.

Palihapitiya, who will reportedly serve as CEO of the new company, has been shifting his gaze towards environmental investments recently. In January, he invested in commercial EV manufacturer Proterra ahead of its merger with blank-check firm ArcLight Clean Transition Corp.

He also sold his entire personal stake in Virgin Galactic for more than $200 million last week to help finance “a large investment I am making towards fighting climate change,” he told Insider in an emailed statement following the sale.

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Virgin Galactic tumbles as billionaire chairman Chamath Palihapitya sells $211 million stake

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya

  • Virgin Galactic stock fell as much as 21% Friday after chairman Chamath Palihapitya sold his personal stake. 
  • Palihapitya netted $211 million after selling 6.2 million shares. 
  • The billionaire executive still holds an indirect stake in the space tourism company. 
  •  Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Shares of Virgin Galactic slid by double digits Friday after billionaire chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sold his personal stake in the space-tourism company for $211 million.

Palihapitiya cashed out 6.2 million shares at an average price of $35, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Virgin Galactic shares dropped as much as 21% as they hit $23.94.  The stock went on to pare the loss to 13% in active trading, with daily volume midday surpassing the average volume of 20.1 million shares. 

Palihapitiya, with his business partner Ian Osborne, still indirectly owns 15.8 million shares via their investment vehicle, SCH Sponsor Corp. Palihapitiya in December sold 3.8 million shares in Virgin Galactic. In a tweet, he had said he needed cash to fund several new projects.

Virgin Galactic, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, went public in October 2019 by merging with Palihapitiya and Osborne’s Social Capital Hedosophia, a special-purpose acquisition vehicle or SPAC.

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Investor Chamath Palihapitiya cashed out his entire personal stake in Virgin Galactic for $211 million

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya.

  • Chamath Palihapitiya cashed out his personal stake in Virgin Galactic this week.
  • The space-tourism group’s chairman sold 6.2 million shares for about $211 million.
  • Palihapitiya still indirectly owns 15.8 million shares in Richard Branson’s startup.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya sold his entire personal stake in Virgin Galactic this week, a regulatory filing revealed on Friday.

The space-tourism company’s chairman cashed out his 6.2 million shares at an average price of $35, netting him around $211 million. Palihapitiya, along with his business partner Ian Osborne, still indirectly own 15.8 million shares via SCH Sponsor Corp, their investment vehicle.

Palihapitiya previously sold 3.8 million Virgin Galactic shares in December, tweeting that he needed to free up cash to fund several new projects this year.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson’s space startup went public in October 2019 by merging with Palihapitiya and Osborne’s Social Capital Hedosophia, a special-purpose acquisition vehicle or SPAC.

Palihapitiya is spearheading the current SPAC boom, using the vehicles to take companies such as Opendoor and Clover Health public at billion-dollar valuations.

Virgin Galactic’s stock price more than doubled in the first five weeks of this year, but has slumped by more than 40% since then. Its shares fell as much as 11% on Friday.

Here’s a chart showing Virgin Galactic’s stock price over the past year:

SPCE_Chart_050321
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Virgin Galactic slips as billionaire chairman Chamath Palihapitya sells $211 million stake

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya

  • Virgin Galactic stock fell by nearly 9% early Friday after chairman Chamath Palihapitya sold his personal stake. 
  • Palihapitya netted $211 million after selling 6.2 million shares. 
  • The billionaire chairman still holds an indirect stake in the space tourism company. 
  •  Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Shares of Virgin Galactic slumped early Friday after billionaire chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sold his personal stake in the space-tourism company for $211 million.

Palihapitiya cashed out 6.2 million shares at an average price of $35, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Virgin Galactic shares dropped as much as 8.7% as they hit $27.66 in heavy volume during premarket trade. The stock later pared the loss to 6.7%.

Palihapitiya, with his business partner Ian Osborne, still indirectly own 15.8 million shares via their investment vehicle, SCH Sponsor Corp. Palihapitiya in December sold 3.8 million shares in Virgin Galactic. In a tweet, he had said he needed cash to fund several new projects.

Virgin Galactic, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, went public in October 2019 by merging with Palihapitiya and Osborne’s Social Capital Hedosophia, a special-purpose acquisition vehicle or SPAC.

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Instagram’s most popular financial meme account is run by an anonymous Wall Street banker who says these 3 stocks could be the next GameStop

Screenshot 2021 02 25 at 15.32.09
  • Instagram’s most popular financial meme page is run by a New-York based investment banker in his late 20s.
  • After the Reddit-fueled buying frenzy, he published a newsletter to help people make sense of what was going on. 
  • The founder of “Litquidity” told Insider that DraftKings, Virgin Galactic, and Penn have meme potential.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Litquidity has a following of about half a million people on Instagram, and it’s the most popular financial meme account on the site.

Run by an anonymous Wall Street banker in his late 20s, the account was launched in 2017 when he found some free time between switching jobs. His circle of friends was made up of people working in investment banks, hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital. So he created the account to share funny instances that they could all relate to. 

“It’s a way we could all share the common stuff we were going through – working very late, going through the same struggles of dealing with tough managing directors who were very demanding, stress of the job, enjoying things like going out in New York City to the bars, and the way we think about things,” Litquidity told Insider in an interview.

Screenshot 2021 02 25 at 21.43.12

The Litquidity account rapidly gathered an audience among the financial fraternity for its unveiling of the lifestyle of someone working on Wall Street. Some of Litquidity’s own colleagues often unwittingly send him his own memes.

“One or two coworkers maybe know, but it’s more of a suspicion,” he said. “It’s basically just my friends and family that know that I run it, but I try my best to maintain anonymity.” 

He found there’s an appetite for market knowledge and information, since events in the financial world transpire very quickly and are easy to miss. And so, around the time that the Reddit-fueled day-trading craze pushed GameStop’s shares higher last month, Litquidity launched a newsletter called the Exec Sum to help readers decipher the goings-on in the market.

The brand describes itself as “the littest daily newsletter covering all things Wall Street & Silicon Valley with a dose of memes.” Having already lined up sponsors, the newsletter is meant to serve as a stream of revenue that adds to Litquidity’s merchandise and advertising business.

Aside from GameStop, the anonymous banker said these three stocks have “meme potential”:

DraftKings. “I think it’s very tied to the same personality that is active on Wall Street Bets. The same way that there’s degenerate stock traders who make the most outrageous investments, sports betters also have similarities with betting on football games, soccer, basketball – you name it. It’s the same type of person throwing money, and they can hit big or lose big.”

Virgin Galactic. Because the “going to the moon” association for the spaceflight company is a “natural fit.” 

Penn National Gaming. “They are the majority owners of Barstool Sports now. Dave Portnoy being such an electric personality, he’s a meme in itself. It could be treated as a meme through sports-betting.”

Litquidity said his brand is still in the early stages and he wants to continue to make good content, entertain people, and eventually focus on educating so more can understand the financial world.

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Virgin Galactic jumps 11% after it schedules test flight window for February

Virgin Galactic debut NYSE
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic, gives the thumbs up after ringing a ceremonial bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to promote the first day of trading of Virgin Galactic Holdings shares on October 28, 2019 in New York City.

  • Virgin Galactic spiked 11% on Monday after it scheduled its test flight window for mid-February.
  • The move comes two months after the company unexpectedly aborted a test flight set for December due to connectivity issues.
  • “We are pleased to be able to get back to the skies and continue our flight test program,” CEO Michael Colglazier said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Virgin Galactic jumped as much as 11% on Monday after the space exploration company scheduled its test flight window for mid-February. 

The test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity comes two months after the company had to abort a test flight due to an onboard computer issue that halted ignition of the rocket motor. That delay led to a nearly 20% sell-off in Virgin Galactic stock.

But Virgin Galactic has recovered those losses and then some, with the stock hitting record highs in the past week after Reddit traders targeted highly shorted stocks in an attempt to spark a squeeze. Shares of Virgin Galactic traded near record highs on Monday. 

Pending good weather conditions and technical readiness, Virgin Galactic will launch its spaceship sometime after February 13, and will be crewed by two pilots. The spaceship will carry research payloads as part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program.

Once Virgin Galactic completes two successful test flights of the SpaceShipTwo Unity, founder Richard Branson will board the third test flight into space, which could happen sometime in the first half of 2021 if all goes to plan. 

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said: “We are pleased to be able to get back to the skies and continue our flight test program.”

Read More: As Redditors flood the stock market, UBS breaks down 6 options strategies investors can use right now to protect their portfolios 

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Virgin Galactic slides 6% as investors look to sell 113 million shares

spaceshiptwo unity first free flight new mexico spaceport america runway landing virgin galactic may 2020
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo “Unity” lands on a runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico on May 1, 2020.

  • Virgin Galactic fell as much as 6% on Friday after shareholders filed to sell up to 113 million shares.
  • Shareholders aim to sell up to roughly 105 million outstanding shares of common stock and up to 8 million shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published Thursday.
  • The filing doesn’t specify when the selling could begin.
  • The filing comes as shares sit roughly 120% higher year-to-date.
  • Watch Virgin Galactic trade live here.

Virgin Galactic tumbled as much as 6% on Friday after shareholders moved to sell up to 113 million shares.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published Thursday, stockholders announced efforts to resell up to about 105 million outstanding shares of common stock and up to 8 million shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants. Virgin Galactic won’t receive any of the proceeds from the sale. The filing doesn’t specify when the selling could begin.

The resale efforts come as Virgin Galactic shares sit about 120% higher year-to-date. 

Read more: 3 ETF executives break down the various ways to invest early in the global 5G boom as it grows to unlock $13.2 trillion in value by 2035

Shares recently weathered stronger volatility as the company prepares for its first manned test flight out of Spaceport America in New Mexico. The stock rallied to a 9-month high on December 7 as investors bet on a successful test, but rocket engine issues postponed the flight and dragged shares as much as 17% lower on December 14.

“Virgin Galactic is now conducting post-flight analysis and can so far report that the onboard computer which monitors the propulsion system lost connection, triggering a fail-safe scenario that intentionally halted ignition of the rocket motor,” the company said in a statement.

It’s unclear when the test flight will be rescheduled. The initial plans to hold the test in November were already delayed once after rising COVID-19 cases in New Mexico squandered launch efforts.

Virgin Galactic closed at $25.50 on Thursday. The company has five “buy” ratings and four “hold” ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $24.56.

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SPCE

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Virgin Galactic falls 17% after aborting key flight test as rocket engine fails to ignite

FILE PHOTO: Virgin Galactic (SPCE) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the company begins public trading in New York, U.S., October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Virgin Galactic (SPCE) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

  • Shares of Virgin Galactic tumbled as much as 17% to $26 on Monday after a test flight over the weekend failed to reach outer space due to rocket engine ignition issues.
  • “Virgin Galactic is now conducting post flight analysis and can so far report that the onboard computer which monitors the propulsion system lost connection, triggering a fail-safe scenario that intentionally halted ignition of the rocket motor,” the company said in a statement.
  • Test pilots flew back to the Spaceport America launch site in New Mexico and landed safely. It’s unclear when Virgin Galactic’s next test flight will be. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Shares of Virgin Galactic tumbled as much as 17% on Monday after its first manned test flight on Saturday failed to reach outer space as planned. The rocket motor that is supposed to propel the craft into space failed to ignite, causing the test pilots to fly back to the Spaceport America launch site in New Mexico and land safely.

“During the test flight, the rocket motor did not fire due to the ignition sequence not completing,” the company said in a Monday statement. “Virgin Galactic is now conducting post flight analysis and can so far report that the onboard computer which monitors the propulsion system lost connection, triggering a fail-safe scenario that intentionally halted ignition of the rocket motor. ” 

Shares slumped to as low as $26 Monday morning after closing at $32 on Friday. The stock has been climbing steadily since the beginning of November and hit its highest level since late February last Monday, when the company signaled the critical test flight was almost ready to launch. 

Read more:Meet the investing chief whose early bets on Amazon and Alphabet helped return 146% to investors over 8 years – Here’s why he thinks Big Tech investors shouldn’t fear regulation

It’s unclear when Virgin Galactic’s next attempt at a powered flight to space will be. 

The spaceflight company tweeted on Saturday: “As we do with every test flight, we are evaluating all the data, including the root cause assessment of the computer communication loss.  We look forward to sharing information on our next flight window in the near future.” 

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