Want to invest into space? Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is going public
Astronaut company Virgin Galactic will become first to be publicly traded.
- Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic will go public later this year.
- People will be able to buy shares when Virgin Galactic merges with a shell company.
- The company aims to raise enough capital through investment to sustain itself until profitability.
Many may dream of space but have no viable paths towards it. Becoming a government agency astronaut is for the select few or you need to shell out hundreds of thousands for nascent space tourism. But now comes an opportunity for you to reach past our stratosphere at least vicariously by purchasing stock in billionaire Richard Branson's space company Virgin Galactic.
While this news does not necessarily mean you are going to the stars in the near future, it does bode well for the space industry as a whole. Later in 2019, Virgin Galactic will become the first publicly listed company that sends human to space, beating out Musk's SpaceX and Bezos's Blue Origin.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the deal to make this happen involves having a specially-designed acquisition company Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. investing about $800 million in Virgin Galactic to get a 49% ownership stake. Through the publicly-traded shell Social Capital Hedosophia, Branson's company will be open to the people.
Why do this now? Virgin Galactic thinks this will net it enough money to keep the business going until its spaceships will start bringing in profits.
Branson expressed his rationale for the decision to be making sure "we can enable as many people in the world as possible to become astronauts."
So far, Virgin Galactic sold about $80 million worth of seats on future spaceflights to 600 people. Overall, it raised over $1 billion since 2004 (but mostly from Branson himself).
In February, Virgin Galactic sent 3 people past the edge of our stratosphere in its SpaceShipTwo vessel. The test flight reached 56 miles above the Earth.
Richard Branson Imagines the Future
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.