By rlds, 16 July, 2023
VSS Unity - Virgin Galactic

Does Virgin Galactic have future?

In the recent news from the SPCE ticker, commercial flights became viable as never before. A somewhat lackluster performance of the first Galactic 01 flight in July 2023 proved 2 things in this industry:

  • it is possible to launch space tourism
  • it is possible to sustain space tourism
  • cash burn and management shall be restructured

A future-oriented company shall rife?

Many analysts refer to Galactic's 10-K Annual Report as to a not-much promising - the company burns around 400m annually, while 1 seat ticket cost from 250k to 450k. Those, who work with calculators understand that Galactic should increase the rate of flights and the fleet, in order to sustain itself and avoid an unwanted stock dilution. In July 2023 magic didn't happen for the long-term investors, the price remained around 4.5$ per share, though Virgin Galactic made an achievement, which also portraits the company as an underdog in this space-race.

Virgin Galactic 10K sheet report

Virgin Galactic's image in the race of giants

The Virgin Galactic ship VSS Unity does not demonstrate much of promise of being 'the machine' of the decade. If we look at the competitors from Blue Origin, Nasa, SpaceX, etc, we witness much more 'muscular' identity and engineering. Of course, they have billows of cash compared to SPCE, but that's not always the case. It's like comparing Toyota Corolla against super-cars - and you know such hype also plays a huge role in public opinion, hence driving the stock price up. Virgin Galactic's image didn't become the next SpaceX, yet, but with perseverance it will eventually grow.


Unity SS has only 1 turbine. Why? Even F14 'Tomcat' has 2 (^:). Perhaps, that is the reason why the sub-orbital flight was somewhat short-hand?

Is space tourism real?

Yes, it is. With the upcoming Galactic 02 flight in August 2023 it will become more apparent for Virgin Galactic, whether it will be capable of delivering their promise or not. Much of pessimism is merged around the space tourism topic these years, with the current inflation, wars and troubles - people tend to overlook the market. However, those obstacles were present even during the Cold War. Space tourism today is still the rich-only niche, but it will morph into a mass market, if the company will re-engineer its fleet and the approach.

Does Virgin Galactic have future?

Yes, it does, only if the company solves all the technical and financial issues in a timely manner! From the observer's point of view these are:

  • new spaceship engineering
  • extended fleet
  • extended sub-orbital flight duration
  • a possibility of the true orbital flight
  • additional airports for landing
  • better safety regulations