VIRGIN GALACTIC CEO SAYS MILLIONS OF TOURISTS WILL WANT TO FLY TO SPACE IN THE NEXT DECADE

  • Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin represent the top two space tourism companies.
  • “More people are going to want to go to space than either of us can bring in terms of service,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides told CNBC.
  • With tickets priced at $250,000 per person, Whitesides expects there is a market for about 2 million space tourists.

Virgin Galactic’s leadership expects millions of space tourists will want to fly in the next decade, more demand than can be fulfilled by both Richard Branson’s company or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, its closest competitor.

“Ultimately we think this is going to be a capacity constrained market – more people are going to want to go to space than either of us can bring in terms of service,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides told CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on “Squawk on the Street.”

Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin represent the top two space tourism companies in the industry, with rocket-powered vehicles that will send passengers to the edge of space on zero gravity joyrides. The former is in the lead so far, as Virgin Galactic flew its first test passenger in February, while Blue Origin doesn’t expect to launch people for the first time until next year at the earliest.

RT: Virgin Galactic IPO NYSE: Richard Branson George Whitesides and Chamath Palihapitiya
Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson, CEO George Whitesides and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya pose together outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) trading in New York, U.S., October 28, 2019.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
With Virgin Galactic now a publicly-traded company, Whitesides spoke at the New York Stock Exchange alongside founder Sir Richard Branson with investor and chairman Chamath Palihapitiya. The trio touted Virgin Galactic’s position as an “out-of-home luxury experience,” which Whitesides noted is the fastest growing part of the luxury market.

“Globally we think around 2 million people can experience this over the coming years at this price point. Over time we’ll be able to reduce that price point and at that point the market just explodes, it’s 10 times as many at 40 million people,” Whitesides said…

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