Virgin Galactic Delays Spaceflight Until 2022, Stock Price plunges
The shares of Virgin Galactic are down by more than 15% today after the company announced that it had suspended spaceflights until next year.
Virgin Galactic Postpones Spaceflights Until 2022
Virgin Galactic announced earlier today that it would not launch any spaceflight until next year. The company made this decision as it said it wants to refurbish its vehicles. Virgin Galactic had hoped to fly its next spaceflight in September. However, it changes its plans and instead focuses on refurbishing its VSS Unity spacecraft and VMS Eve carrier aircraft before it flies them again.
According to Virgin Galactic, the refurbishment process will start now, and the company will conclude it by June or August next year. By refurbishing the vehicles starting now, Virgin Galactic is automatically delaying its spaceflight till the second half of 2022.
The company had previously scheduled Unity 23, Unity 24, and Unity 25 spaceflights before the end of the year. However, with the refurbishment now underway, the spaceflights would be scheduled for some time next year.
Virgin Galactic stated that it intends to start commercial service (Unity 25) by the fourth quarter of next year.
SPCE Down By More Than 15%
The shares of Virgin Galactic have tumbled since the company announced that it wouldn’t schedule any spaceflight until next year. The space tourism venture changing its plans would see it fall behind the likes of Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the space race.
At the time of writing, SPCE is down by 15% since the US market opened. SPCE is trading at $20.59 per share and could experience further decline in the coming trading sessions. Year-to-date, the company has also underperformed. Its stock price is down by nearly 14% since the start of the year.
With no scheduled spaceflights until next year, it would be tough for SPCE to rally any time soon.