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Virgin Galactic wants to borrow $500 million from investors to stay afloat

Capitalism in space: Virgin Galactic announced yesterday that it is offering investors a chance to loan it up to $500 million, an effort apparently to keep the company operating while it refits its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft and its Unity spacecraft.

The company plans private offerings of $425 million in convertible senior notes that will mature in 2027, and an additional $75 million in notes is expected to be granted to the buyers, it said in a statement.

In response, the stock price for the company tumbled, dropping for the second time below the initial $11.75 price offered two years ago when the company went public. Unlike the previous time last week, the price has not quickly recovered, but has continued to fall, dropping to a new low today under $10.

When the company went public in early 2019, it predicted it would be flying commercial tourist flights in 2020. That did not happen, which should have been no surprise to investors considering the company’s failed track record of meeting its promised schedule. At present it says that the first commercial flight will occur near the end of this year. Don’t bet on it. I would not be surprised it bankruptcy occurs first.

Freedom carries great opportunity. It also carries great risk. For those who invested in Virgin Galactic and did not sell right after its one and only suborbital tourist flight in July ’21 (as did the company’s founder Richard Branson), it appears they are about to experience the latter.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3 comments

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Has anyone here on BtB read the recent book ‘Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Making of a Modern Astronaut’.
    I remember reading someplace about how Mark Stucky, a flight-test legend, warned about protecting the integrity of the flight-test program.
    Here is a portion of the book description:
    “Working from exclusive inside reporting, New Yorker writer Nicholas Schmidle tells the remarkable story of the test pilots, engineers, and visionaries behind Virgin Galactic’s campaign to build a space tourism company. Schmidle follows a handful of characters―Mark Stucky, Virgin’s lead test pilot; Richard Branson, the eccentric billionaire funding the venture; Mike Moses, the grounded, unflappable president; Mike Alsbury, the test pilot killed in a fatal crash; and others―through personal and professional dramas, in pursuit of their collective goal: to make space tourism a reality.”

  • Jay

    Thank you BtB’s Original Mark for the info on the book. I will grab a copy of it.

    As for V.G. asking for $500M, why throw good money after bad? Would Branson give a loan to his own company? I think not.

  • Jeff Wright

    Of more interest to me is the Italian SIMONA concept where they want to retrofit an aircraft carrier as a Sea Launch deal. No Truax deal…but this could both launch, catch-and perhaps refurbish rockets at sea? I think there will be 14 more Protons…and also from NSF..the Hwasong 8 has a 3000 km range…busy times space wise.

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