SPCE Stock – Virgin Galactic Launches New Craft
Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) on Tuesday unveiled the latest spacecraft addition to its fleet, VSS Imagine, with the spacecraft representing the first of its next-generation SpaceShip III class of vehicles.
The rollout of Imagine gives the space tourism company a second spacecraft to begin testing, as Virgin Galactic continues to work through final development testing of VSS Unity, with its next spaceflight test expected in May.
“For us to make the business start to scale, at the places that we’re aspiring towards, we need two things: We need many more ships than we have right now and we also need the ships that we bring forward to be built in a way that they’re able to be maintained in a way that we can have much quicker [turnaround times between flights] than what we have with Unity,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier told the media.
VSS Imagine is the third spacecraft the company has built to date, with VSS Enterprise having been destroyed in a fatal test flight accident in 2014 and VSS Unity having flown two spaceflights so far, its most recent in February 2019. Colglazier emphasized that VSS Imagine “has been designed in a way that’s taken the learnings we’ve had from all the flight testing on Unity.”
Shares of Virgin Galactic rose more than 2% in pre-market trading ahead of the announcement, up from their previous close of $29.21 a share.
They opened Tuesday lower by 39 cents, or 1.3%, to $28.82.