Bold blue banners decorated the NYSE building in downtown Manhattan on Monday to announce Galactics arrival.
Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya created Hedosophia as an "empty check" investment tool that collected money while the handlers searched for a takeover target. When Galactic and Hedosophia announced their merger agreement in July, the total value of the companies was estimated to be about $ 1[ads1].5 billion. Palihapitiya also personally invested $ 100 million of her own money in Galactic.
Branson's company purchased this technology and has been working for the past 15 years to create a larger rocket-propelled aircraft capable of catching up to six paying customers on short flights to the edge of space.
The company says it will be ready to start commercial operations next year.
Galactic CEO George Whitesides called the company's debut on the NYSE "the beginning of a new era for the human aerospace industry."
"Now that VG is a listed company, anyone can invest in a human space company that strives to truly transform the market and be part of the excitement of the commercial aerospace industry," Whitesides said in a statement.
But Galactic says there is enough interest in supporting one or more tourism companies, and that there is a long list of people who have shown interest in buying tickets the next time they go on sale.
New Space investing
The biggest name on the scene, Elon Musk's SpaceX, launches rockets and spacecraft for NASA, the US military and commercial satellite companies. But Musk has said he will avoid announcing SpaceX until the company has achieved some of the more risky milestones Musk has laid out – including building a rocket capable of establishing a human settlement on Mars.
Many of the other space launchers – who pursue everything from rockets to satellite software – play the venture capital game.
Correction: An earlier version of this story identified the wrong number of seats on the astronaut Ansari X award-winning.