Virgin Galactic, an established name in the burgeoning space tourism industry, has successfully raised $300 million through an “at the market” offering of common stock. This fundraising is not the end but the beginning of an ambitious endeavor as the company plans to raise an additional $400 million through a subsequent stock offering.

The capital raised in these offerings is earmarked for a significant expansion of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft fleet. Currently, the company boasts two significant assets in its fleet: VMS Eve, a carrier aircraft, and VSS Unity, a spacecraft capable of flights as frequently as once a month. The company’s growth and vision for expanding space tourism are hinged on the development of Delta-class vehicles.

Operating as the world’s first commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic’s mission is to share the unique wonder and awe of space travel with individuals across the globe. Its operations encompass a vast spectrum of activities, including design, development, manufacturing, ground and flight testing, and maintenance of its spaceflight vehicles. The company’s ultimate goal is to offer customers multi-day flights, providing awe-inspiring views of Earth from space.

Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceflight system consists of two integral elements: a carrier plane known as VMS Eve and a six-passenger, two-pilot SpaceShipTwo space plane called VSS Unity. The entire Virgin Galactic space flight, which lasts approximately 2.5 hours from take-off to landing, is a dance between these two machines. The sensation of weightlessness and the breathtaking view of Earth’s curvature against the backdrop of infinite space last for about six memorable minutes.

Space tourism, the concept of human space travel for leisure or recreational purposes, has been gaining traction over the past decade. It began when American multimillionaire Dennis Tito spent nearly eight days on board the International Space Station in April 2001, making him the first private citizen to purchase a space ticket. This ushered in an era where numerous companies, sensing the potential of this industry, jumped in to capitalize on the renewed public interest in space.

Presently, the space tourism industry is serviced by six significant players: Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, SpaceX, Boeing, Axiom Space, and Space Perspective. Each has a unique offering, from suborbital flights to orbital missions, and even lunar tourism. The fundamental difference between orbital and suborbital flights lies in the permanence of the experience. While an orbital flight involves staying in orbit, continually circumnavigating the planet at high speeds, a suborbital flight is a brief visit to the edge of space before returning to Earth.

As we move forward, it’s evident that Virgin Galactic’s role in the space tourism industry is substantial and growing. With ambitious plans for fleet expansion and an unwavering commitment to providing awe-inspiring experiences, the company is poised to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in this exciting new era of tourism.