Virgin Galactic ($SPCE) is returning to space after a nearly two-year hiatus. The company provided further details on the upcoming crewed test flight yesterday, along with its Q1 financial results.
By the numbers:
- Net loss of $159M, compared to a loss of $93M in Q1 2022
- $874M cash and cash equivalents as of Mar. 31
- Adj. EBITDA totaling -$140M
Virgin Galactic burned through $136M of operating cash in Q1 as it prepares for its first commercial flight and invests heavily in its next-gen Delta spacecrafts. Delta is expected to launch in 2026 and generate 75% contribution margins.
Upcoming May test flight: Virgin Galactic announced it will perform a final test flight in late May. The mission will send two pilots and four Virgin Galactic employees to suborbital space, where they will experience weightlessness for a few minutes, before returning to Earth.
- If all goes well, the company will commence commercial flights next month.
Twice around the sun: Virgin Galactic has not attempted a crewed flight since Richard Branson hitched a ride on the spaceplane in July 2021. The company has been out of commission for nearly two years while the VMS Eve mothership underwent extensive repairs.
The VMS Eve, which carries the rocket-propelled spaceplane to an altitude of 50,000 ft, completed two test flights this year and appears ready for primetime. Likewise, the company’s spaceplane, dubbed VSS Unity, was cleared for service after a seamless final glide test a few weeks back.
Pack your bags: Virgin Galactic’s suborbital tourism rival, Blue Origin, has also been grounded for eight months after also facing technical issues with its New Shepard rocket. But the dry spell for private spaceflight could end soon: May is shaping up to be a busy month as Virgin Galactic and the Axiom-2 private mission to the ISS are expected to launch by the end of the month.
Ticket to space: The company has sold over 800 tickets with prices ranging from $200,000 to $450,000. Management and investors hope technical difficulties are behind them and the company can cash in on the waitlist with a consistent flight schedule.