Virgin Galactic will help train astronauts for NASA

As part of Virgin Galactic’s agreement with NASA, the company “will develop a new private orbital astronaut training program,” it said in a statement.

“This program will include identifying candidates interested in purchasing private astronaut missions from the ISS, the acquisition of transportation from the ISS, orbiting resources and ground resources,” the company added.

Virgin Galactic will likely need the services of SpaceX or the aerospace giant Boeing (licensed in letters), which is developing the Starliner space capsule and has invested $ 20 million in Virgin Galactic, to bring astronauts to the space station.

Virgin Galactic’s own SpaceShipTwo is a suborbital space plane that is unable to reach the ISS, and the company has only sent five people into space on two suborbital test flights. The company says it has already received around 600 reservations for suborbital flights at the approximate price of $ 250,000 per seat.

But Virgin Galactic said it will use its existing suborbital aircraft for training flights, noting in the press release that the company’s “existing space experiences could play a role in orbital travel training, allowing passengers to familiarize themselves with the environment in space, like G forces and zero G “.

Virgin Galactic’s enthusiasm for the business has even spread to other parts of the stock market. There’s even an ETF with the ticker symbol of UFO (UFO) which invests in companies that serve the space travel and exploration business. Virgin Galactic is one of the fund’s major holdings.
In addition to Virgin Bractic by Richard Branson and Tesla (TSLA) Elon Musk CEO SpaceX Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos has a rocket company called Blue Origin that works to bring tourists into space.

Virgin Galactic will train candidates for missions to the ISS, adding that these trips could range from private citizens to government-backed scientific and technological research missions.

The company did not mention how it intended to transport the astronauts it trained to the Virgin Galactic space station. It was not immediately available for further comment. The company also did not disclose any financial terms of its agreement with NASA.