USA – American based aircraft manufacturer, Boeing Company, has said that it would invest US$20 million in Richard Branson’s space-tourism venture Virgin Galactic.
Boeing’s investment in Virgin Galactic will give the California based space flight company more money to take on rivals in the race to space.
Boeing is expected to receive new shares of Virgin Galactic in return for the investment made by its venture capital arm Boeing HorizonX Ventures.
Virgin Galactic has so far invested $1 billion to develop spaceflights that will fly people into space and can be reused.
The company however plans to go public to raise more funds for its space exploration project.
Branson founded space ventures like Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit to cash in on rising demand for space travel and launch services for a boom in the number of smaller satellites.
During the launch of this ambitions project, Branson hoped to see a maiden flight by the end of 2009.
His ambitious timeline for taking customers into space has suffered delays and setbacks since the company’s inception, the most serious one being in 2014 when it suffered an in-flight loss of Spaceship Two VSS Enterprise.
The company however made its first notable success on 13 December 2018 when the VSS Unity achieved the project’s first suborbital space flight, reaching an altitude of 82.7 kilometres (51.4 mi), officially entering outer space by US standards.
The project carried a third person as a passenger in February 2019, when a member of the team sat and floated within the cabin during a flight that reached 89.9 kilometres (55.9 mi).
Hundreds of people from 60 countries, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber, have paid or put down deposits to fly on one of Virgin’s suborbital flights.
Some of Virgin Galactic’s ticket holders have been waiting over 14 years for their trip.