Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (SPCE.N) filed for a $500 million stock offering on Monday, a day after the company completed its first fully crewed test flight into space with billionaire founder Richard Branson on board.
Following the announcement of the share sale, Virgin Galactic's stock reversed premarket gains of 8% to trade down over 12%, wiping out more than $1 billion from the company's market valuation. find out more
According to a Reuters calculation, the transaction might account for up to 4% of Virgin Galactic's total outstanding shares as of their latest closure.
Branson's voyage outperformed rival Astro-tourism firm Blue Origin, which was created by Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), who is set to fly to space with his brother, Mark, on July 20.
The rivalry dubbed the "billionaire space race" also includes SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and is fueled by the belief that technology breakthroughs and dropping costs would make space travel a reality. According to UBS (UBSG.S), a Swiss financial bank, space tourism might be a $3 billion yearly sector by 2030.
Virgin Galactic's stock has risen roughly 84 percent this year as a result of this optimism.
Musk had purchased a ticket for his own space flight with Branson's firm, according to a Virgin Galactic spokeswoman who talked to the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
Virgin Galactic has stated that at least two more test flights of the spaceplane will be conducted in the coming months before it begins regular commercial operations in 2022.