April 17, 2021

Virgin Galactic jumps 11% after it schedules test flight window for February

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Virgin Galactic debut NYSE
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic, gives the thumbs up after ringing a ceremonial bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to promote the first day of trading of Virgin Galactic Holdings shares on October 28, 2019 in New York City.

  • Virgin Galactic spiked 11% on Monday after it scheduled its test flight window for mid-February.
  • The move comes two months after the company unexpectedly aborted a test flight set for December due to connectivity issues.
  • “We are pleased to be able to get back to the skies and continue our flight test program,” CEO Michael Colglazier said.
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Virgin Galactic jumped as much as 11% on Monday after the space exploration company scheduled its test flight window for mid-February. 

The test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity comes two months after the company had to abort a test flight due to an onboard computer issue that halted ignition of the rocket motor. That delay led to a nearly 20% sell-off in Virgin Galactic stock.

But Virgin Galactic has recovered those losses and then some, with the stock hitting record highs in the past week after Reddit traders targeted highly shorted stocks in an attempt to spark a squeeze. Shares of Virgin Galactic traded near record highs on Monday. 

Pending good weather conditions and technical readiness, Virgin Galactic will launch its spaceship sometime after February 13, and will be crewed by two pilots. The spaceship will carry research payloads as part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program.

Once Virgin Galactic completes two successful test flights of the SpaceShipTwo Unity, founder Richard Branson will board the third test flight into space, which could happen sometime in the first half of 2021 if all goes to plan. 

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said: “We are pleased to be able to get back to the skies and continue our flight test program.”

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