Boeing Invests $20 Million In Virgin Galactic’s Space Travel Program
The deal comes amid Boeing's focus on future mobility which includes flights at supersonic and hypersonic speeds, cutting travel times to two hours or even less.
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Boeing is to invest $20 million in Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism venture as it focusses on using emerging technology to transform the future of travel.
The US planemaker will receive new shares in Virgin Galactic in return for the investment made by its unit Boeing HorizonX Ventures, both the companies said in a joint statement. The investment will be dependent on Virgin Galactic going public by the fourth quarter of the year, as part of a merger deal with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings.
"We’re very excited... We do think there's a future for commercial space travel and of course high-speed travel," Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing Next, a sister company of HorizonX Ventures, said at Boeing's Everett factory site. "We’re making a number of organic and inorganic investments, Virgin Galactic being one, that plant some of the seeds for that future industry and we think it’s going to be very positive."
The deal comes amid Boeing's focus on future mobility which includes flights at supersonic and hypersonic speeds, cutting travel times to two hours or even less. Virgin Galactic that is backed by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company will go public by the end of the year and has raised above $1 billion since it was founded in 2004.
“This is the beginning of an important collaboration for the future of air and space travel, which are the natural next steps for our human spaceflight programme,” said Mr Branson. “Virgin Galactic and Boeing share a vision of opening access to the world and space, to more people in a safe and environmentally responsible way.”