Virgin Galactic contracts Boeing company to build its motherships


Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. SPCE, -0.46% said late Wednesday it contracted Boeing Co.’s BA, -1.01% Aurora Flight Sciences to design and make the space-tourism company’s next-generation motherships. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The motherships are the aircraft in Virgin Galactic’s space-flight system that carries spaceships to their release altitude of about 50,000 feet. Virginia-based Aurora plans to manufacture the aircraft at its Columbus, Miss., and Bridgeport, West Va., plants, with final assembly at Virgin Galactic’s facility in Mojave, Calif. The first new mothership is expected to enter service in 2025, the same year Virgin Galactic’s first new Delta-class spaceship is expected to begin revenue payload flights, the company said. Virgin Galactic has scheduled its first commercial missions early next year. Virgin Galactic stock rose 2.2% after hours, while Boeing shares edged higher. The stocks ended the regular trading day down 0.5% and 1%, respectively.

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