Boeing to invest $20M in Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity fires its rocket motor to head to the edge of space in 2018. (Virgin Galactic Photo)

Boeing says it’s planning to invest $20 million in Virgin Galactic once it goes public, potentially unlocking a new level of synergy for commercial space travel.

For Virgin Galactic, the deal will provide an extra dose of cash — but also access to Boeing’s decades of expertise in providing aerospace products and services.

In return, Boeing will have an inside track to the market for commercial space travel — which is part of CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s vision for a continuum of aerospace transportation. “Space tourism, space factories … that whole ecosystem is evolving, and we’ll be deeply involved in the transportation system that will enable access,” Muilenburg said last October at the GeekWire Summit.

Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, emphasized that perspective in today’s announcement of the investment.

“Boeing’s strategic investment facilitates our effort to drive the commercialization of space and broaden consumer access to safe, efficient and environmentally responsible new forms of transportation,” Schettler said. “Our work with Virgin Galactic, and others, will help unlock the future of space travel and high-speed mobility.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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