Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images
The latest in the Billionaire Space Race: Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit will go public via a SPAC merger expected to raise $483m for the company and valued at $3.7B.
Virgin Orbit will merge with SPAC company NextGen Acquisition and trade as NGCA before converting to VORB later this year, per CNBC.
Wait, how many space companies does this guy have?
Two, on top of Virgin Group’s many other endeavors, like Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Hyperloop, and Virgin Wines.
- Virgin Galactic is the space tourism company that’s already sold 600 tickets at $250k each
- Virgin Orbit is Galactic’s sister company that provides launch services for small satellites
How Virgin Orbit works
Instead of launching satellites from the ground, Virgin Orbit uses a modified Boeing 747 called “Cosmic Girl” to carry its rocket, “LauncherOne,” to an altitude of ~35k feet. The rocket then separates from the plane and brings the satellites to orbit.
LauncherOne can carry ~1.1k lbs each trip. In June, it successfully launched 7 satellites, including the Netherlands’ 1st defense satellite.
Virgin Orbit hopes to be profitable by 2024…
… and hit $2.1B in revenue by 2026. This year, it expects $15m in revenue, including $10m from national security/defense customers and $5m from commercial launches.
Hey, does Branson keep telling you how you can win a trip to space while you’re just trying to watch ASMR videos on YouTube, too?