The space tourism industry is about to move from private ownership to openness. Social Capital Hesophi (SCH), a subsidiary of venture capitalist Chaath Palihapitiya, has announced that its shareholders have approved the company’s merger with space travel company Virgin Galactic, foreign media reported. The move will allow the space travel company to list directly on the New York Stock Exchange tonight.
Virgin Galactic will also be the first manned space company to trade on the open market.
SCH is understood to have bought a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Galactic in July. The combined company will be valued at $1.5bn, with Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson retaining a 51 per cent stake.
The company, named After Palihapitiya, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ipo a deal. The company’s merger with Virgin Galactic is understood to have been completed on Friday. After the close, the combined shares will be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday under the symbol SPCE.
Space tourism pioneers
Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004 by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which is dedicated to leading humanity into space for a better world. It is a vertically integrated manned space flight company and an outstanding brand of space tourism. Using proven and reusable technologies, including the ship’s White Knight Two and manned space vehicle SpaceShipTwo, the company aims to provide customers with a unique multi-day experience that ultimately enables personal space flight.
Virgin Galactic’s spaceshuttle VSS Unity is the first and only vehicle built for conventional commercial services to send humans into space. In its second space flight in February 2019, VSS Unity became the first carry-on vehicle for commercial service.
Also with the company’s commercial space companies include SpaceX, founded by Musk, and Blue Origin, owned by Bezos.
As described on Virgin Galactic’s website, space will give us a new perspective on the Earth and help solve many of the challenges of our beautiful and fragile planet. However, the beauty of the dream is not the same as the cruelty of reality.
On October 31, 2014, the company’s experimental manned space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, experienced an unusual flight during a test in the Mojave Desert in California, killing two pilots and one of them after a parachute jump.
The test flight failed (Photo: Twitter)
While both Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic’s CEO said the accident would not be an obstacle to the development of space tourism, questions were raised about the safety and feasibility of private development of space tourism, with about 20 passengers dismissing the idea of flying the craft and demanding a refund.
Since the accident, the company has spent nearly three-and-a-half years completing a gliding test of the new spacecraft, VSS Unity, and testing the improved atmospheric re-entry system to re-catch up with pre-accident testing and complete its first power flight.
Then, the competitive balance did not tilt towards the company. Musk’s SpaceX has grabbed headlines with a successful rocket launch and signed a series of cooperation agreements with major agencies such as NASA and the U.S. military. In addition, SpaceX is accelerating its $1 billion financing.
As a long-term money-burning, short-term unprofitable company, the lack of financing and space tourism customers can be fatal. Predictably, the soon-to-be-listed space travel company is far-reaching for Virgin Galactic.
Sources said Virgin Galactic’s initial business value after the listing was about $1.5 billion, equal to a 2.5-fold valuation of $590 million in expected revenue in 2023 and 5.5 times expected EBITDA in 2023. In addition, the listing behind the presence of Boeing. SkyX, a venture capital firm owned by Boeing, recently announced it would invest $20m in the company to help it develop the technology it needs for hypersonic air travel.
Space tourism may be a distant field for ordinary people, but it is now a place for investors to flock to hot money.
Throughout human history, the desire for things to live in the future has prompted us to find new places to live, to help us find new resources, and to teach us new skills in challenging complex challenges. As a global community, we can only grow and develop by constantly exploring the unknown. The exploration of space is the ultimate manifestation of human desire to push the boundaries, and it represents the pinnacle of our species’ achievements. Not only because of the need for originality, because without it, the modern world would become unrecognizable.
“There’s very little more awesome than that when we look up at the stars,” says Richard Branson. “Despite the countless people willing to experience space, it is extremely rare to be able to fly. It was this that led to the birth of Virgin Galactic.
“Our mission is to be Earth’s space route, which means we are focused on using space well while providing an unparalleled customer experience,” the company’s official website reads. We recognize that improving access to space is a challenging fundamental ambition. This can be achieved only in a spirit of collaboration and by recognizing that we must continue to learn and be able to improve. ”
Virgin Galactic operates reusable SpaceShipTwo space flight systems, including the custom-built launch vehicle White Knight Two and spaceShipTwo, the world’s first manned spacecraft built by private companies and commercially available.
White Knight Two is a custom-built four-engine, twin-body jet designed to carry SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of about 50,000 feet.
White Knight Two (Photo: Virgin Galactic)
The concept of an airborne spacecraft is nothing new, but it is ideal for commercial spaceflight for safety, passenger experience and energy efficiency.
The first-generation White Knight Two, the VMS Eve, was launched in 2008 and has completed several test flights. VMS Eve is the largest fully composite aircraft in service, with unique heavy-duty and high-altitude capabilities. The catamaran is designed to provide a large, easy-to-access payload area and facilitates clear separation when releasing the spacecraft. The double compartment is the same as the mold of the ship. This not only improves manufacturing efficiency, but also provides a potential training platform for ship pilots and passengers.
SpaceShipTwo is a reusable, winged spacecraft designed to bring eight people, including two pilots, into space safely and at high frequencies.
SpaceShipTwo (Photo: Virgin Galactic)
SpaceShipTwo is powered by a hybrid rocket engine that combines elements of a solid rocket and a liquid rocket engine. Both types of rocket engines have important advantages. The hybrid rocket is designed to combine the simplicity of a solid engine with the controlability of the liquid. SpaceShipTwo’s rocket engine can be shut down quickly and safely at any time during flight.
SpaceShipTwo’s most innovative feature is its ability to uniquely change the shape of space to ensure re-entry of repeatable safety. By rotating its wings and tails upward in space, the aircraft’s descent stability and deceleration rate will be controlled by aerodynamics. This “feathering” design draws the greatest advantage from the traditional space capsule and winged space vehicle design and adds its own magic.
SpaceShipTwo’s cabins are designed to maximize safety, comfort and the astronaut experience. With custom-designed articulated seats, passengers can safely and comfortably manage the G forces that SpaceShipTwo endures as they rise and fall.
SpaceShipTwo is a fully reusable spacecraft, in addition to rocket engine fuel and oxidants that must be replenished after each flight.
The SpaceShip Two, currently operated by Virgin Galactic, was built by Spaceship Company and named VSS Unity by Professor Stephen Hawking at the 2016 unveiling.
The current situation of domestic commercial space
In the blink of an eye, once only belong to the state-owned space field is breaking the ice on civilian roads.
Since 2014, many talented people have started to leave the space system and enter the commercial space field, including Shunwei Capital, China, IDG Capital and other Chinese first-line investment institutions, including more than 70 investment institutions have taken capital to enter the market, chasing the market trend that may come. As of June 2018, there are more than 60 domestic commercial space enterprises, and the industry has reached hundreds of billions of dollars.
On October 27, 2018, Blue Arrowspace’s “zhuque One” was launched in Jiuquan, but failed to enter orbit. The company received 300 million yuan of B-plus financing in November 2018, and as of the end of September last year, Blue Arrow Aerospace had raised more than 800 million yuan.
In March, the first OS-M series launch vehicle in Zero Space was launched at the Jiuquan Launch Center, but the rocket lost control after launch. According to public data, the company received nearly 300 million yuan in round B financing in August 2018.
In October, another private rocket company, Star Glory, re-launched the orbit-level liquid-oxygen methane-powered dual-use launch vehicle, after successfully launching a mini-solid launch vehicle on the Hypercurvedaw- As the first private rocket company launched into orbit in China, Star Glory has completed six rounds of financing and received a total investment of more than 700 million yuan.
Whether at home or overseas, due to the long rocket research and development cycle, to make the technology to reach the mature stage of commercial launch, less than five years, more than ten years. The space age is beautiful, but for founders and capital, how to get through the first difficult times is the most important.