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
- Here's why Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is going public ›
- Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic to Go Public - The New York Times ›
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- 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.
A new paradigm for machine vision has just been demonstrated.
- Scientists have invented a way for a sheet of glass to perform neural computing.
- The glass uses light patterns to identify images without a computer or power.
- It's image recognition at the speed of light.
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
"A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain," Musk said, referring to tests of the device.
- Neuralink seeks to build a brain-machine interface that would connect human brains with computers.
- No tests have been performed in humans, but the company hopes to obtain FDA approval and begin human trials in 2020.
- Musk said the technology essentially provides humans the option of "merging with AI."