I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

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er999
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I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by er999 »

Many posters on bogleheads say they use up to 5% of their portfolio on speculative investing. I haven’t seen anyone post what they buy in real time before.

I’ve always been 100% indexed (never bought an individual stock before) but wanted to try a speculative investment so I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock (1380 shares at $14.35/share) today. This is less then 5% of my portfolio, but is a significant enough dollar amount that a 5x return would be meaningful in a way that a $2000 investment wouldn’t be.

There’s a huge demand for space travel. Someone posted here a few weeks ago that he was planning to sell a rental property to go to space if it becomes a reality. It’s not just billionaires who are the market but single digit millionaires maybe spending more than they should. Seems like it could be a stock that could return 10x+ in the next decade.

I’ve been fascinated by space since I’ve been a child. I’ve travelled to Star City in Russia, did a rotation in my residency at Kennedy Space Center, and thought of doing an aerospace medicine fellowship. Part of the appeal of this investment is to vicariously participate in these private space developments.

Of course I’m not the only person who thinks like this so this “cool” stock may be way overvalued despite their stock dropping from high of $54 earlier this year to $15. With current prices Virgin Galactic’s market cap is 3.8 billion. Their spacecraft has 6 seats so maybe 1.5 million revenue per flight. Perhaps 0.5 million profit per flight is possible. If they fly weekly that could give 26 million in revenue per year, would gives a potential P/E ratio of 1:100 in what seems a highly optimistic flight schedule. When the space shuttle was first developed the promise was weekly flights, and even with all the resources of a government this couldn’t be achieved.

Spaceflight could be terrible for climate change so even if technically feasible it won’t catch on (or even worse if it catches on it will be like owning a tobacco stock for the planet)

My plan is to hold for at least 5 years (at which point maybe I’d sell a portion if there are any gains) but probably at least 10 years. It seems that even if people pick a winning stock they sell too soon. Very understandable, if you’ve already made 3x with Tesla not too many hang on for the 20x+.

Part of the motivation for making a speculative investment is to have something to talk about so I figured I’d post it on here. I’m a regular reader but don’t post much so hopefully this will be entertaining for some.

Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
sycamore
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by sycamore »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am My plan is to hold for at least 5 years (at which point maybe I’d sell a portion if there are any gains) but probably at least 10 years. It seems that even if people pick a winning stock they sell too soon. Very understandable, if you’ve already made 3x with Tesla not too many hang on for the 20x+.
Based on my experience with individual stocks (which wasn't for speculation), I'd say a exit plan with clear sell thresholds is necessary. But given that this is a purely speculative purchase that you can afford to lose, needing an exit plan isn't so important.

Do you think you'd sell before the 5 years if SPCE goes up 10x? Just wonder how blasé about it you are?

Anyway, good luck!
DesertDiva
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by DesertDiva »

Best wishes in your future endeavors.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock ...

Part of the motivation for making a speculative investment is to have something to talk about so I figured I’d post it on here.
it used to be said that talk is cheap.

can't say that anymore.

I can always find things to talk about. I'm about halfway through the new book by Daniel Kahneman and Cass Sunstein and Oliver Sibony called "Noise".

And I got that book from the library. It didn't cost me a thing. And I can talk about it for hours.
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Newaygo
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Newaygo »

I am surprised that you did not go with ARKX - Space Exploration & Innovation ETF. The expense ratio is a hefty .75% but the risks associated with a single bet are lessened.
dukeblue219
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by dukeblue219 »

Nothing about Virgin Galactic screams that they're going to be the long term play in commercial space, but who the hell knows I guess.

I sure wouldn't want to have bought any airlines in 1920 hoping it was going to be the next Standard Oil.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Hyperchicken »

Moon when?
HyperCat
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by HyperCat »

I was thinking similar things about having some (diversified) space exposure with my play money, so I put it on ROKT ETF. Cheaper expense ratio than ARKX and I can avoid the whole ARK cult of personality thing. I don't have any grand expectations for performance, but it'll be interesting to watch.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Mr. Stubacca »

Does the Arkx etf invest in the 3 billionaire ego projects? I thought I looked online and none of them were listed.
Are the space companies separate from amazon/ virgin/tesla or part of them?
Don't let the pursuit of the perfect stop the use of the good.
Marseille07
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Marseille07 »

$14.35 might be an okay play. I know someone who blew up their Roth IRA as they loaded up SPCE 2023 50 calls.

Well, technically it's not over over yet, but seems hopeless.
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canadianbacon
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by canadianbacon »

Pleas fly again.
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dukeblue219
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by dukeblue219 »

Mr. Stubacca wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 2:52 pm Does the Arkx etf invest in the 3 billionaire ego projects? I thought I looked online and none of them were listed.
Are the space companies separate from amazon/ virgin/tesla or part of them?
SpaceX is private and separate from Tesla. Blue Origin is private and separate from Amazon.

Both are massive compare to VG, which really is not a competitor of the first two.
Last edited by dukeblue219 on Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock (1380 shares at $14.35/share) today.
Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
what's your exit strategy?
It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear. Investing is simple, but not easy. Buy, hold & rebalance low cost index funds & manage taxable events. Asking Portfolio Questions | Wiki
mary1492
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by mary1492 »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am There’s a huge demand for space travel. Someone posted here a few weeks ago that he was planning to sell a rental property to go to space if it becomes a reality. It’s not just billionaires who are the market but single digit millionaires maybe spending more than they should. Seems like it could be a stock that could return 10x+ in the next decade.
I don't believe that there is huge demand. I don't even believe that there is lukewarm demand.

If the price comes down far enough, sure, there will be greater demand. However, I really don't think that there are very many folks looking to pony up $250k for a 15 minute ride.

Lastly, I'm certain that anyone who does it, will void their life insurance policy should they not survive.
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er999
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by er999 »

[/quote]

I don't believe that there is huge demand. I don't even believe that there is lukewarm demand.

If the price comes down far enough, sure, there will be greater demand. However, I really don't think that there are very many folks looking to pony up $250k for a 15 minute ride.

Lastly, I'm certain that anyone who does it, will void their life insurance policy should they not survive.
[/quote]

We’ll see, that’s why it’s highly speculative. Supposedly there are 1.3 millions households in the us with a net worth $5-25 million. If 5% are interested that’s 65,000 trips. There was someone recently posting on bogleheads about spending $70,000 for a South Pole ski trip when making $210k a year (although he had a 3.6 million net worth)

The trip itself is short but they’ll do a fun experience over a few days to make it feel more special. Virgin has hired some former Disney executives. The rides at Disney are only a few minute long but people still have a great time there.

Richard Branson has a great track record of creating cool experiences. I used to follow a lot of frequent flyer blogs and Virgin Atlantic got a lot of attention for their impressive lounges and over all experience — it was an aspirational choice for many . He’s 71 so still has a few more productive years ahead. Hopefully he still has interest in the business beyond just getting him on the test flight last summer.
nix4me
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by nix4me »

I've been selling short put options on SPCE to harvest premium as it seems to continue racing towards a bottom.
Ed 2
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Ed 2 »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am Many posters on bogleheads say they use up to 5% of their portfolio on speculative investing. I haven’t seen anyone post what they buy in real time before.

I’ve always been 100% indexed (never bought an individual stock before) but wanted to try a speculative investment so I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock (1380 shares at $14.35/share) today. This is less then 5% of my portfolio, but is a significant enough dollar amount that a 5x return would be meaningful in a way that a $2000 investment wouldn’t be.

There’s a huge demand for space travel. Someone posted here a few weeks ago that he was planning to sell a rental property to go to space if it becomes a reality. It’s not just billionaires who are the market but single digit millionaires maybe spending more than they should. Seems like it could be a stock that could return 10x+ in the next decade.

I’ve been fascinated by space since I’ve been a child. I’ve travelled to Star City in Russia, did a rotation in my residency at Kennedy Space Center, and thought of doing an aerospace medicine fellowship. Part of the appeal of this investment is to vicariously participate in these private space developments.

Of course I’m not the only person who thinks like this so this “cool” stock may be way overvalued despite their stock dropping from high of $54 earlier this year to $15. With current prices Virgin Galactic’s market cap is 3.8 billion. Their spacecraft has 6 seats so maybe 1.5 million revenue per flight. Perhaps 0.5 million profit per flight is possible. If they fly weekly that could give 26 million in revenue per year, would gives a potential P/E ratio of 1:100 in what seems a highly optimistic flight schedule. When the space shuttle was first developed the promise was weekly flights, and even with all the resources of a government this couldn’t be achieved.

Spaceflight could be terrible for climate change so even if technically feasible it won’t catch on (or even worse if it catches on it will be like owning a tobacco stock for the planet)

My plan is to hold for at least 5 years (at which point maybe I’d sell a portion if there are any gains) but probably at least 10 years. It seems that even if people pick a winning stock they sell too soon. Very understandable, if you’ve already made 3x with Tesla not too many hang on for the 20x+.

Part of the motivation for making a speculative investment is to have something to talk about so I figured I’d post it on here. I’m a regular reader but don’t post much so hopefully this will be entertaining for some.

Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
Show me single Branson’s company that didn’t go to bankruptcy. Just saying.
Good luck, Ed
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gtrplayer
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by gtrplayer »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:15 pm
er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock (1380 shares at $14.35/share) today.
Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
what's your exit strategy?
What’s an exit strategy?

Really, though, Virgin ran into trouble after the test flight this year when it came out the flight didn’t go as swimmingly as they let on.

The technology, the small reusable rocket plane attached to another plane, isn’t new but hasn’t been used like this. If Virgin makes a splash, I suspect it won’t be selling $250,000 15 minute flights. It will be using this technology to create really fast transcontinental flights. Imagine New York to Tokyo in an hour. Virgin is not going to colonize Mars with this kind of spaceship but I suspect there’s a different use here on earth.

But not if they can’t make it work right. SpaceX is so far ahead of the competition, it can afford some mistakes. Virgin can’t.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by AerialWombat »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am Someone posted here a few weeks ago that he was planning to sell a rental property to go to space if it becomes a reality.
That was me. If the price falls to $250,000, I will sell a rental and book the flight. I am on the wait list, but have not forked over the $10,000 to reserve a seat at the current $450,000 price.

Amusingly, a friend offered to take my $10k, strap me into a chair in a dark room, and shake the chair while blaring rocket noises from the TV. :P

Also, as they say on Shark Tank, I’ll definitely be a customer, but I’m out as an investor.
For entertainment purposes only.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

gtrplayer wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:28 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:15 pm
er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock (1380 shares at $14.35/share) today.
Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
what's your exit strategy?
What’s an exit strategy?

Really, though, Virgin ran into trouble after the test flight this year when it came out the flight didn’t go as swimmingly as they let on.

The technology, the small reusable rocket plane attached to another plane, isn’t new but hasn’t been used like this. If Virgin makes a splash, I suspect it won’t be selling $250,000 15 minute flights. It will be using this technology to create really fast transcontinental flights. Imagine New York to Tokyo in an hour. Virgin is not going to colonize Mars with this kind of spaceship but I suspect there’s a different use here on earth.

But not if they can’t make it work right. SpaceX is so far ahead of the competition, it can afford some mistakes. Virgin can’t.
exit strategy:
An exit strategy is a contingency plan that is executed by an investor, trader, venture capitalist, or business owner to liquidate a position in a financial asset or dispose of tangible business assets once predetermined criteria for either has been met or exceeded.

source: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/exitstrategy.asp
are you holding until:
1. you die
2. the company goes bankrupt
3. the share price gets to ______?
It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear. Investing is simple, but not easy. Buy, hold & rebalance low cost index funds & manage taxable events. Asking Portfolio Questions | Wiki
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burritoLover
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by burritoLover »

Meh, I’d rather spend $20k now on a nice trip with my family (on earth) and have a lifetime of memories from that experience than some lottery stock that has an excessively tiny chance of hitting it big.
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JoeRetire
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by JoeRetire »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 amThere’s a huge demand for space travel.
I see exactly zero evidence of that.
Seems like it could be a stock that could return 10x+ in the next decade.
One could say that about any stock at all.
I’ve been fascinated by space since I’ve been a child.
That's what leads to speculative purchase of this stock and your only hope for profits. Instead of "demand for space travel" investigate the volume of people "fascinated by space" who also speculate on individual stocks.
Part of the motivation for making a speculative investment is to have something to talk about so I figured I’d post it on here.
Yup. An expensive way to have something to talk about. But we each choose our own obsessions.
Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
Good luck. Have fun and enjoy the ride.
I'm much more comfortable criticizing people behind their backs.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 7:05 am
er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 amThere’s a huge demand for space travel.
I see exactly zero evidence of that.
Seems like it could be a stock that could return 10x+ in the next decade.
One could say that about any stock at all.
I’ve been fascinated by space since I’ve been a child.
That's what leads to speculative purchase of this stock and your only hope for profits. Instead of "demand for space travel" investigate the volume of people "fascinated by space" who also speculate on individual stocks.
Part of the motivation for making a speculative investment is to have something to talk about so I figured I’d post it on here.
Yup. An expensive way to have something to talk about. But we each choose our own obsessions.
Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
Good luck. Have fun and enjoy the ride.
It's not much more than a vomit comet which also describes its stock performance so far.
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tigermilk
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by tigermilk »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:51 pm

I don't believe that there is huge demand. I don't even believe that there is lukewarm demand.

If the price comes down far enough, sure, there will be greater demand. However, I really don't think that there are very many folks looking to pony up $250k for a 15 minute ride.
.
We’ll see, that’s why it’s highly speculative. Supposedly there are 1.3 millions households in the us with a net worth $5-25 million. If 5% are interested that’s 65,000 trips. There was someone recently posting on bogleheads about spending $70,000 for a South Pole ski trip when making $210k a year (although he had a 3.6 million net worth)
I see no upside. Lower altitude than Blue, and if all you want is the sense of weightlessness you can get zero-g airplane experiences for significantly less rack up more total time of weightlessness (granted you probably have a higher probability of puking too).

Even if 5% are interested, the number that acts on this interest is even lower. Virgin has been plagued with a very long development cycle, some serious failures, and going back to the maintenance depot after one flight - next flight isn t until sometime in 2022 in part to address some strength concerns (which could process issues, design issues, environmental misses), etc. Plus being a more traditional winged craft means FAA breathing down your neck more, as is already evident.

Sitting on the ground = zero revenue. They have been burning cash for years.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Valuethinker »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:51 pm

We’ll see, that’s why it’s highly speculative. Supposedly there are 1.3 millions households in the us with a net worth $5-25 million. If 5% are interested that’s 65,000 trips. There was someone recently posting on bogleheads about spending $70,000 for a South Pole ski trip when making $210k a year (although he had a 3.6 million net worth)

The trip itself is short but they’ll do a fun experience over a few days to make it feel more special. Virgin has hired some former Disney executives. The rides at Disney are only a few minute long but people still have a great time there.

Richard Branson has a great track record of creating cool experiences. I used to follow a lot of frequent flyer blogs and Virgin Atlantic got a lot of attention for their impressive lounges and over all experience — it was an aspirational choice for many . He’s 71 so still has a few more productive years ahead. Hopefully he still has interest in the business beyond just getting him on the test flight last summer.
If you look up the history of space travel it's an incredibly dangerous activity.

Branson? UK view. He uses Other People's Money to finance his businesses. His real position is not transparent due to the use of offshore holding structures & trusts.

There are dozens of Virgin businesses that have started up and failed. In each case (Virgin Brides? anyone?) he walks away with relatively little loss, and those who go in with him take the full financial pain. It's a great model for Venture Capital using OPM.
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er999
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by er999 »

Thanks for all the replies. Hearing that I’m crazy from most to invest is somewhat reassuring that it’s a good high risk/speculative investment. If everyone said I can see how you would invest even though I’m not doing it there wouldn’t be multiple x returns possible.

Yes, I could be the sucker for buying into the company now and that the real money has already been made off the ipo selling to those people dreaming of space. I did see that Richard Branson has been regularly selling off his shares (supposedly to put money to support his other travel businesses hurt by the pandemic).

As to my exit plan, like I mentioned before I plan on holding for 5 years minimum. The investment is in a Roth IRA so if it hits it big no taxes. Some would say better to buy in taxable for tax loss harvesting purposes and not to lose the precious Roth space. It’s less than 10% of my current Roth space so I’m okay with that possible loss.

If it went to 10x before 5 years I will still keep it. It seems like it could be a legitimate ongoing business for years not like a biotech stock that spikes after the next step in fda approval and that’s the time to sell.

If it went up to 30x I’d have the reconsider as that would be significant money to be able to retire earlier.

With my current plan of otherwise all index I should be able to retire in around 10 more years (in my mid 50s) even with 2% real returns so I’ll let if ride for the lottery ticket effect unless it gets overwhelmingly large. I don’t imagine keeping the stock into retirement as at that time my financial picture should be set (right now it’s hard to project if there will be a 2% real return, or 4%, etc.). Maybe if I’m lucky it would pay for a trip on one of their rockets in 10 years.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by gtrplayer »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 3:17 am
gtrplayer wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:28 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:15 pm
er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am I bought $20,000 in Virgin Galactic stock (1380 shares at $14.35/share) today.
Most likely the stock will do nothing (and maybe go to zero) but I’ll try to update periodically what happens.
what's your exit strategy?
What’s an exit strategy?

Really, though, Virgin ran into trouble after the test flight this year when it came out the flight didn’t go as swimmingly as they let on.

The technology, the small reusable rocket plane attached to another plane, isn’t new but hasn’t been used like this. If Virgin makes a splash, I suspect it won’t be selling $250,000 15 minute flights. It will be using this technology to create really fast transcontinental flights. Imagine New York to Tokyo in an hour. Virgin is not going to colonize Mars with this kind of spaceship but I suspect there’s a different use here on earth.

But not if they can’t make it work right. SpaceX is so far ahead of the competition, it can afford some mistakes. Virgin can’t.
exit strategy:
An exit strategy is a contingency plan that is executed by an investor, trader, venture capitalist, or business owner to liquidate a position in a financial asset or dispose of tangible business assets once predetermined criteria for either has been met or exceeded.

source: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/exitstrategy.asp
are you holding until:
1. you die
2. the company goes bankrupt
3. the share price gets to ______?
Ha, I know. It’s a joke from another investor-related forum. Make a huge bet on something and then diamond hand it, seemingly forever, or typically until it goes way up and then crashes back down to a loss. When people ask why they didn’t sell, they say, “What’s an exit strategy?”

So really it’s a question for the OP - year from now if it doubles or even triples, will you still hold or take your profits?
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JoeRetire
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by JoeRetire »

er999 wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:03 am Thanks for all the replies. Hearing that I’m crazy from most to invest is somewhat reassuring that it’s a good high risk/speculative investment.
Hearing that most think you are crazy is good? Okay.
It seems like it could be a legitimate ongoing business for years not like a biotech stock that spikes after the next step in fda approval and that’s the time to sell.
It only takes one space tourist death...
I'm much more comfortable criticizing people behind their backs.
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SmileyFace
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by SmileyFace »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:15 pm what's your exit strategy?
OP made this clear already: "hold for at least 5 years ... but probably at least 10 years." 😀

OP: best of luck - not the space exploration stock I would have chosen but who knows - maybe things there will change. I would have used taxable - if speculation goes to $0 at least you can offset gains elsewhere.
(In before the lock! No question and non-actionable).
nix4me
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by nix4me »

I hope people keep investing in it - so i can continue to sell short options on it. :)
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by nisiprius »

Oops, missed JoeRetire's post. I agree. I think the whole "space tourism" industry will boil down to one thing: safety record.

The Space Shuttle had a 98.5% safety record: two fatal crashes in 135 missions. And presumably NASA didn't let Christa McAuliffe fly until they were sure the Shuttle was safe enough.

How many orders of magnitude safer do you think Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX are?

The space tourism industry is a gamble that the entire industry can get hundreds of uneventful trips under its belt before the first tragedy occurs.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

SmileyFace wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:11 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:15 pm what's your exit strategy?
OP made this clear already: "hold for at least 5 years ... but probably at least 10 years." 😀

OP: best of luck - not the space exploration stock I would have chosen but who knows - maybe things there will change. I would have used taxable - if speculation goes to $0 at least you can offset gains elsewhere.
(In before the lock! No question and non-actionable).
thanks. i must have missed that bit.

still this doesn't sound like a well defined plan to me:
My plan is to hold for at least 5 years (at which point maybe I’d sell a portion if there are any gains) but probably at least 10 years. It seems that even if people pick a winning stock they sell too soon.
there's a lot of hedging words/phrases there.

1. at least 5 years means more than 5 years,
2. "probably" at least 10 years means more than 5 years

so why write 5 when you say at least 10?

then why write 10 years if you say "probably at least 10 years"?

3. then, if you know people sell a stock too soon, what is too soon?

what if 10 years is too soon?

how will you know?

how well thought out is this exit exactly?
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SmileyFace
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by SmileyFace »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 10:15 pm
SmileyFace wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:11 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:15 pm what's your exit strategy?
OP made this clear already: "hold for at least 5 years ... but probably at least 10 years." 😀

OP: best of luck - not the space exploration stock I would have chosen but who knows - maybe things there will change. I would have used taxable - if speculation goes to $0 at least you can offset gains elsewhere.
(In before the lock! No question and non-actionable).
thanks. i must have missed that bit.

still this doesn't sound like a well defined plan to me:
My plan is to hold for at least 5 years (at which point maybe I’d sell a portion if there are any gains) but probably at least 10 years. It seems that even if people pick a winning stock they sell too soon.
there's a lot of hedging words/phrases there.

1. at least 5 years means more than 5 years,
2. "probably" at least 10 years means more than 5 years

so why write 5 when you say at least 10?

then why write 10 years if you say "probably at least 10 years"?

3. then, if you know people sell a stock too soon, what is too soon?

what if 10 years is too soon?

how will you know?

how well thought out is this exit exactly?
I jest in my response - it is pretty clear that the OP has no exit strategy (folks that buy stocks on a whim with no due-dilligence typically have no exit strategy - the stock will be sold on a whim with no "strategy".). The only good news is that it sounds like the OP is realistic about the fact that this is speculation, not an investment, and all may be easily lost.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by investorpeter »

OP, this is not the way to invest in individual stocks. You are conflating a personal hobby/interest with a good investment. None of what you mentioned about your interest in space tourism is a reason to invest in SPCE. And your projections about profit margins, weekly flights and 10x and 30x growth in value in 5 or 10 years are outlandish. They have no revenue, and only imaginary future revenue in a market that does not currently exist. They are having problems launching their second flight because of unexpected problems with their first flight. Their second flight has been pushed to end of 2022. That means no revenue for 2022. How far off are weekly flights, if they ever happen? Why would SPCE have an advantage over Blue Origin, SpaceX, Russia, or any other potential competitor which already have commercial contracts providing revenue while the space tourism market develops. Have you read the 10k and 10q for SPCE? How quickly are they burning cash? How much do they have? Those are the kind of data points you need to be looking at. Not random anecdotal posts about people saying they would pay $250k for a flight. How many actual reservations do they have? Sorry if this sounds harsh, but it seems you need to do a lot more research before plunking down 20k on a dream stock.
latenightrob
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by latenightrob »

er999 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 9:43 am Many posters on bogleheads say they use up to 5% of their portfolio on speculative investing. I haven’t seen anyone post what they buy in real time before.

Part of the motivation for making a speculative investment is to have something to talk about so I figured I’d post it on here. I’m a regular reader but don’t post much so hopefully this will be entertaining for some.
I also am a regular reading and only have posted a few times before this. I appreciate you sharing your speculative investment here. I purchased SPCE about a year ago @14ish and after it went up I sold some of it and now just sitting on the "house's $$" I have by no means have that much skin in the game as you, this spec stock buy was about 0.0005% of my portfolio and only 100 shares (now 35 shares since I sold some)

Other spec buys of mine
Coty 200 shares @ 6 will sell 100 shares if it hits $12
Didi 100 shares @ 7
Fsk 100 shares @12 (placed call option and it got called away @16)
PLTR 100 shares @? forget price but sold half when it doubled so now sitting on 50 shares
UBER 100 shares @37

My strategy is to not be greedy and sell a stock that has risen leaving my original investment (or a proportion of it, I don't need it to double) in to potentially grow, rinse, and repeat.

I only do this in my tax deferred accounts and with a small proportion of my overall portfolio. In my taxable account I am a "buy and hold" investor.

Good luck with your trade!
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Ping Pong »

A lot of people who are willing to pay for a trip will do it because it’s unique. Once more people have gone up, it will lose its status and become passé. No way someone’s paying that much to brag that they’re the 3rd person in their extended social group to go to space.
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markjk
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by markjk »

I purchased a few shares back in May and got out with a nice little profit a few weeks later. I missed out on the big run up (sold too "early") but was happy I made a profit. I don't buy individual stocks that often but this one at the time seemed it had some potential. It's now trading at $3 below what I originally paid in May. It's been crazy volatile the past year.

With stocks like this, you have to be careful with statements like "holding for five years no matter what". If it shoots to $100 in six months, are you going to hold just to potentially watch it go back to $14 or lower? That is the hard part.

Nothing wrong with taking a shot. Just don't artificially cap yourself with some arbitrary timeframe. Make a conscious decision in real time to make money. The point here is to make a profit. That would be my advice.

Although, if you really believe this is the "one" that is going to take off long term and are comfortable with the risks, by all means hold. It's anybody's guess what will happen.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by hoofaman »

I'm one of those people who would be interested in recreational space travel in the future, and would pay considerably for the opportunity. However, there is not a chance I would invest any money into SPCE. Richard Branson sold most of his stake, and Chamspac sold out completely.

Remember that SPCE is a MEME stock, I doubt anyone buying this stock is doing so because of it's fundamental future prospects
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by nisiprius »

Ping Pong wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 7:38 am A lot of people who are willing to pay for a trip will do it because it’s unique. Once more people have gone up, it will lose its status and become passé. No way someone’s paying that much to brag that they’re the 3rd person in their extended social group to go to space.
I was thinking about that, too. But on the other hand, I remember the president of a medium-sized software company saying, circa 1993, that he needed to go to Europe and he was going to take the Concorde rather than a regular jet, mostly because he'd never done it and it seemed cool. I can see the novelty value lasting. It only has to be new to you.

The first time I took the Acela, it was partly just for the thrill of being in a 150-mph train. A pity that it only goes that speed for a short chunk of its route.

But there's a difference between paying $12,000 round-trip for the Concorde, that actually performs a legitimate travel function, versus $450,000 just for a ride.

So there's the "what happens after the first fatal accident" question.

But there's also "what happens if this Gilded Age ends" question. What happens when there isn't a plentiful supply of people with half a million dollars to burn, trying to decide between buying a SpaceShipTwo ride, versus an NFT that publicly links their name with a 24x24 pixillated image of a cryptopunk?

But the only way to make a lot of money in the stock market is a) to think something different from everyone else, and b) be right, and c) have everyone else be wrong. Buying SPCE at least meets criterion (a).
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by financeperchance »

Maybe SPCE and PLTR and things like that are good stock picks. Nothing wrong with devoting a tiny fraction of your portfolio to fun money. But just another tip: please remember that if you want to try your hand at stock picking, there's Motley Fool CAPS. You can do it for free, and see how you do would do against the S&P 500. It might be fun to see how good you actually are at the stock picking game. My own experience was that I scored below 10, making me ranked in the bottom 10% of the site. I was glad to learn how bad I was at it without costing me real money. :happy
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by nisiprius »

hoofaman wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:14 am...Remember that SPCE is a MEME stock, I doubt anyone buying this stock is doing so because of it's fundamental future prospects...
Someone must have made a business case somewhere, anyone know what it is? er999?

I'm scratching my head. $450,000 for a ticket, six passengers, so $2.7 million in revenue per trip. How many trips can they make? What's the plan? One a month? $32.4 million a year revenue? How much profit?

Rewrite $32.4 million as $0.032 billion/year revenue. Virgin Atlantic makes $1.2 billion a year revenue.

(Added) Oh, they plan to have a flight every 32 hours by 2023. Maybe that works as a business.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by dukeblue219 »

nisiprius wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:30 amI'm scratching my head. $450,000 for a ticket, six passengers, so $2.7 million in revenue per trip. How many trips can they make? What's the plan? One a month? $32.4 million a year revenue? How much profit?

Rewrite $32.4 million as $0.032 billion/year revenue. Virgin Atlantic makes $1.2 billion a year revenue.
I'm with you. I don't see how VG can scale. Their staff is quite small and they aren't developing any game-changing tech that I'm aware of.

Blue Origin has a really good liquid fueled engine more powerful than those on the Shuttle or SLS, and they have suborbital boosters than can land autonomously. SpaceX has engines, booster recovery, and a huge track record of orbital successes (and big cost advantages for government launch contracts).

Virgin has... a really modern version of the X-15 that is dropped from a really modern B-52 carrier. Don't get me wrong, I love the technology but I can't stress enough that they're not competing with Blue Origin or SpaceX at the high end.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by alfaspider »

I can see SpaceX as extremely promising stock that could justify huge valuations (not public though), but I don’t see it with Virgin Galactic. SpaceX has a huge business in commercial launches, and also satellite internet. Its tech is far beyond any other space company.

Virgin has no realistic prospect for being anything more than a carnival ride. The tech is not capable of reaching orbit and has few applications beyond tourism. It’s nothing more than an updated X-15 rocket plane. And they took over a decade to develop that, which leads me to believe a more capable vehicle is unlikely any time soon.

I think tourism is an extremely risky basis for a space business. You need huge scale to bring in a lot of revenue, but every launch is another chance of a fatal accident (they already had one in testing and had snafus with the inaugural flight). The space shuttle had a fatality rate near 1%. If they match that, there will almost certainly be deaths. Can you imagine if 1% of airline flights resulted in a fatality? Makes BASE jumping look like a safe activity. Few wealthy individuals will take that risk, especially if there are safer alternatives.

If they try to charge substantially more for the flight and do fewer launches, they will eventually face competition from companies like SpaceX who could offer orbital flights (a starship configured for 100 passengers could offer orbital flights for similar or less cost to Virgin’s suborbital).

The only way it gets to 5x current valuation is tulip bulb frenzy. There are better ways to play tulip bulb frenzy I think.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by financeperchance »

nisiprius wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:30 am
hoofaman wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:14 am...Remember that SPCE is a MEME stock, I doubt anyone buying this stock is doing so because of it's fundamental future prospects...
Someone must have made a business case somewhere, anyone know what it is? er999?

I'm scratching my head. $450,000 for a ticket, six passengers, so $2.7 million in revenue per trip. How many trips can they make? What's the plan? One a month? $32.4 million a year revenue? How much profit?

Rewrite $32.4 million as $0.032 billion/year revenue. Virgin Atlantic makes $1.2 billion a year revenue.

(Added) Oh, they plan to have a flight every 32 hours by 2023. Maybe that works as a business.
I have listened to their conference calls (although lousy at stock picking it's kind of my hobby to study businesses), and their plan is for each spaceship to do one revenue-generating flight per week. Four spaceships total in their initial plan. You can listen on the Quartr app on the iphone; those conference calls are actually pretty interesting.

Expected contribution margin per flight is $800k. The fixed cost run rate for VG is $240M a year. So 300 flights to breakeven on their regular operations (not counting expansion spending such as new spaceships, new spaceports, etc.) With respect to total addressable market, their target customer has a net worth of $10 million or more. There are well over 2 million households worldwide with this net worth, which is a surprisingly high number.

The problem though as you're building up to in your analysis is the valuation. Even after the recent decline, Mr. Market still is asking almost $4 billion for the business. Will VG generate enough cash to cover that, plus offer a decent return? I don't know.

investorpeter offers some great points earlier in this thread. Buying individual stocks is just very, very difficult. I study businesses all the time and I am horrible at it. People should really try their hand for free at Motley Fool CAPS, but that's a point i've already made so I won't belabor it.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by financeperchance »

alfaspider wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:43 am I can see SpaceX as extremely promising stock that could justify huge valuations (not public though), but I don’t see it with Virgin Galactic. SpaceX has a huge business in commercial launches, and also satellite internet. Its tech is far beyond any other space company.

Virgin has no realistic prospect for being anything more than a carnival ride. The tech is not capable of reaching orbit and has few applications beyond tourism. It’s nothing more than an updated X-15 rocket plane. And they took over a decade to develop that, which leads me to believe a more capable vehicle is unlikely any time soon.

I think tourism is an extremely risky basis for a space business. You need huge scale to bring in a lot of revenue, but every launch is another chance of a fatal accident (they already had one in testing and had snafus with the inaugural flight). The space shuttle had a fatality rate near 1%. If they match that, there will almost certainly be deaths. Can you imagine if 1% of airline flights resulted in a fatality? Makes BASE jumping look like a safe activity. Few wealthy individuals will take that risk, especially if there are safer alternatives.

If they try to charge substantially more for the flight and do fewer launches, they will eventually face competition from companies like SpaceX who could offer orbital flights (a starship configured for 100 passengers could offer orbital flights for similar or less cost to Virgin’s suborbital).

The only way it gets to 5x current valuation is tulip bulb frenzy. There are better ways to play tulip bulb frenzy I think.
I think you do an excellent job laying out the bear case. I also think about Blue Origin; they're pretty much targeting the same customers as VG and probably have better future business prospects.

VG's book value is 969 million. If the stock price falls below $4 a share, we've got ourselves a nice smallcap value company. :)
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by dukeblue219 »

financeperchance wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 10:43 am I think you do an excellent job laying out the bear case. I also think about Blue Origin; they're pretty much targeting the same customers as VG and probably have better future business prospects.

VG's book value is 969 million. If the stock price falls below $4 a share, we've got ourselves a nice smallcap value company. :)
I would disagree that BO is chasing the same customers as VG long term. BO is getting a lot of air time with their suborbital hops but they're also bidding (unsuccessfully) on human landers for the moon, building engines for ULA, and developing heavy lift launch vehicles.

They're more of a slow SpaceX than a better VG in my opinion...
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by alfaspider »

dukeblue219 wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 10:47 am
financeperchance wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 10:43 am I think you do an excellent job laying out the bear case. I also think about Blue Origin; they're pretty much targeting the same customers as VG and probably have better future business prospects.

VG's book value is 969 million. If the stock price falls below $4 a share, we've got ourselves a nice smallcap value company. :)
I would disagree that BO is chasing the same customers as VG long term. BO is getting a lot of air time with their suborbital hops but they're also bidding (unsuccessfully) on human landers for the moon, building engines for ULA, and developing heavy lift launch vehicles.

They're more of a slow SpaceX than a better VG in my opinion...
BO will need some serious changes to ever challenge SpaceX, but they at least have a serious orbital project in development (New Glenn). Virgin has nothing of the sort.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

dukeblue219 wrote: Fri Dec 24, 2021 9:36 am
I'm with you. I don't see how VG can scale. Their staff is quite small and they aren't developing any game-changing tech that I'm aware of.

Virgin has... a really modern version of the X-15 that is dropped from a really modern B-52 carrier. Don't get me wrong, I love the technology but I can't stress enough that they're not competing with Blue Origin or SpaceX at the high end.
You seem to understand the concept. VG is very much the underdog, they are the youngest and smallest of the 3.. VG finally has a budget which is allowing it to grow and scale the business. It's hard to say if the market we remain as eager... Currently the interest for space growth is very high.

I rode the SPCE wave in 2021 all the way to $56-$59 and got out... that was crazy activity caught up in the MEME stonks. I've been a strong buyer again below $16. This likely run very well again when commercial ops coming online for the general public. 2022Q4 or 2024.... It could seem like a long wait... but you could easily 4 your money in 3 years... not many investments will do that. 10 years from now (assuming space interests increase and hypersonic travel concepts take off) that will be a whole new phase of growth.

Historically industries experience major growth only when they are financed properly. Space is hard and expensive.. VG is working on ways to tap into government contracts; which will help immensely.

It's an exciting industry.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by Valuethinker »

nisiprius wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 8:56 pm Oops, missed JoeRetire's post. I agree. I think the whole "space tourism" industry will boil down to one thing: safety record.

The Space Shuttle had a 98.5% safety record: two fatal crashes in 135 missions. And presumably NASA didn't let Christa McAuliffe fly until they were sure the Shuttle was safe enough.

How many orders of magnitude safer do you think Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX are?

The space tourism industry is a gamble that the entire industry can get hundreds of uneventful trips under its belt before the first tragedy occurs.
I am guessing readers will know who Christa McAuliffe was?

For those who don't (because they weren't alive or old enough, then) she was the schoolteacher selected to ride up on a Space Shuttle Mission. She died when the Challenger exploded shortly after launch. Also on that flight were Dr Judy Resnick (I believe - the first Jewish-American in space?). The first Asian-American in space as well? (I'd have to check).
The crew was announced on January 27, 1985, and was commanded by Francis Scobee. Michael Smith was assigned as the pilot, and the mission specialists were Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Ronald McNair. The two payload specialists were Gregory Jarvis, who was assigned to conduct research for the Hughes Aircraft Company, and Christa McAuliffe, who flew as part of the Teacher in Space Project.[1]: 10–13 

(if that seems trite or irrelevant, we grew up in the days when astronauts were all White Anglo Saxons (probably Protestant) from Central Casting. See the stars in "First Man" (about Neil Armstrong) or "Apollo 13". There was a lot of controversy over whether women *could* be astronauts (despite the Soviet one). And whether there were people qualified enough to be astronauts who were not from that demographic).

I had not realised that McAuliffe's alternate, Barbara Morgan, did in fact later qualify as an astronaut and fly a Space Shuttle mission.
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Re: I bought Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Post by SuperTrooper87 »

All it’s going to take is one of these space crafts not making it (see challenger) and this market will be dead in the water for some time.

Whether that means a potential buying opportunity down the road or it’s all over, no one knows. Perhaps this is the start of the modern day cruise industry. Maybe it’s just a flash in the pan.

Best of luck.
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