Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit


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Capitalism in space: Saudi Arabia and Virgin have signed a non-binding agreement for Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.

I’m not sure what to make of this press release. The agreement is clearly called “non-binding,” which means Saudi Arabia is not obliged to provide any funds. At the same time, the deal appears to shift power and control of the two Virgin companies to the Arab country, which if successful (a big “if”) would also quickly give Saudi Arabia both a manned and smallsat launching capability.

Why they chose Virgin appears at first baffling, considering that company’s repeated inability to achieve any of its promises. It could be, however, that Richard Branson’s funds are drying up, and that he needed this deal to keep both companies afloat. Saudi Arabia thus saw an opportunity and grabbed it.

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3 comments

  • Mark

    Every minute. Born. Sucker.

  • wayne

    “Never give a sucker and even break or smarten up a chump”
    W.C. Fields
    https://youtu.be/mHgv4McMJUk?t=28

  • Edward

    From the article: “HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, said: … The future of Saudi Arabia is one of innovation

    I’m not sure how much this represents innovation for Saudi Arabia. That country will not have innovated anything, at least not related to this investment. It seems to be just a tactic of buying into someone else’s innovations and inventions. That tactic is not innovative, either, as it has been done before.

    If Branson is correct, that he is only months away from operations, it seems that Saudi Arabia is getting in at the last minute without having to suffer the slings and arrows of the development problems.

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