Virgin Galactic stock SPCE surges as Richard Branson aims for July 11


Virgin Galactic shares surged on Friday after the space tourism venture announced its next spaceflight test will carry founder Sir Richard Branson.

The mission – with two pilots guiding spacecraft VSS Unity carrying Branson alongside three Virgin Galactic employees – plans to launch on July 11 from the company’s operations hub at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Not only does the flight represent Branson’s long-awaited trip to space, but it also marks an attempt to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos. The latter announced last month that he will launch on his company Blue Origin’s first passenger spaceflight on July 20.

Virgin Galactic stock jumped as much as 25% shortly after the open…


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