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Thursday, Jul 18, 2024
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Virgin Galactic Completes 1st Mission

Opens space tourism era

Tustin-based space tourism firm Virgin Galactic completed its first commercial mission Thursday morning, taking a crew from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy to the edge of space from a site in New Mexico.

The rocket-powered spacecraft soared about 50 miles above Earth during the approximately 90-minute ride and then glided back to its starting point on a runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The company’s first true tourism space flight, with customers paying some $450,000 a seat, is expected in August. 

Shares in the company (NYSE: SPCE), founded by U.K. mega entrepreneur Richard Branson, were down 10% to $4.26 apiece for a market cap of $1.2 billion after completion of  the flight dubbed Galactic 01.

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Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal
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