|10 October, 2019

Boeing invests $20mln in Virgin Galactic backed by Abu Dhabi

Celebrities including Leonardo Di Caprio and Justin Bieber have signed up to fly on one of Virgin's space flights

Virgin Galactic’s space tourism rocket plane SpaceShipTwo returns after a test flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, U.S. December 13, 2018.

Virgin Galactic’s space tourism rocket plane SpaceShipTwo returns after a test flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, U.S. December 13, 2018.

Reuters/Gene Blevins

Boeing is investing $20 million in human spaceflight company Virgin Galactic and is working to widen access to commercial space travel and drive new forms of transportation.

"Our work with Virgin Galactic, and others, will help unlock the future of space travel and high-speed mobility," Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides told Zawya that the company will start its commercial space flights this year, taking travelers into space and back down, in what would ‘be a major breakthrough’, and noted that hundreds of people have already bought their tickets. Read more here

Several celebrities, including actor Leonardo Di Caprio and pop star Justin Bieber, have signed up to fly on one of Virgin’s space flights.

Virgin Galactic was founded by British billionaire Richard Branson in 2004 with a view to commercialising space flight. Speaking at an event held in Abu Dhabi in February this year, Branson said more than $1 billion worth of investment has been poured into the venture.

Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments, which is now part of Mubadala Investment Co, took a 31.8 percent stake in Virgin Galactic in 2010 for an initial $320 million and raised that to 37.8 percent in 2011. Read more here:

(Writing by Nada Al Rifai nada.rifai@refinitiv.com, editing by Seban Scaria)

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