- The stock price of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) increased by 4.05% yesterday. This is why it happened.
The stock price of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) increased by 4.05% yesterday, going from a previous close of $43.19 to $44.94. Investors responded positively to Virgin Galactic announcing that the flight window for the next rocket-powered test flight of its SpaceShipTwo Unity opens July 11, pending weather and technical checks.
The “Unity 22” mission is going to be a twenty-second flight test for VSS Unity and the company’s fourth crewed spaceflight. And it will also be the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including the company’s founder Sir Richard Branson – who will be testing the private astronaut experience.
By building on the success of the company’s most recent spaceflight in May, Unity 22 will focus on cabin and customer experience objectives, including:
— Evaluating the commercial customer cabin with a full crew, including the cabin environment, seat comfort, the weightless experience, and the views of Earth that the spaceship delivers, all to ensure every moment of the astronaut’s journey maximizes the wonder and awe created by space travel
— Demonstrating the conditions for conducting human-tended research experiments
— Confirming the training program at Spaceport America supports the spaceflight experience
And for the first time, Virgin Galactic will share a global livestream of the spaceflight. And audiences around the world are invited to participate virtually in the Unity 22 test flight and see first-hand the extraordinary experience Virgin Galactic is creating for future astronauts. The livestream is going to be available to watch on VirginGalactic.com and it will be simulcast on the Virgin Galactic Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channels. It is expected to begin at 7:00 am MDT / 9:00 am EDT on the day of the flight.
The flight’s four mission specialists will be:
1.) Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor at Virgin Galactic – Moses will serve as cabin lead and test director in space, overseeing the safe and efficient execution of the test flight objectives.
2.) Colin Bennett, Lead Operations Engineer at Virgin Galactic – Bennett will evaluate cabin equipment, procedures, and experience during both the boost phase and in the weightless environment.
3.) Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations at Virgin Galactic – Bandla will be evaluating the human-tended research experience, using an experiment from the University of Florida that requires several handheld fixation tubes that will be activated at various points in the flight profile.
4.) Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic – Branson will evaluate the private astronaut experience and will undergo the same training, preparation, and flight as Virgin Galactic’s future astronauts. The company will use his observations from his flight training and spaceflight experience to enhance the journey for all future astronaut customers.
Following this flight, and in line with normal procedures, the team is going to complete inspections of the vehicles and an extensive data review, which will inform the next steps in the test flight program. And two additional test flights are planned before the company expects to commence commercial service in 2022.
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.