Why Virgin Galactic Stock Just Popped Another 13%

What happened

You’ve got to hand it to space company Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE): It’s certainly got momentum on its side.

For the past six trading days, Virgin Galactic stock has gone nowhere but up, tacking on a total of 44.6 percentage points worth of gains, including today’s 13.2% rise through noonday trading.

The question is: Why?

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo in flight. Image source: Virgin Galactic.

So what

Is there a reason for investors to be thinking Virgin Galactic stock is worth nearly 50% more today than it was six days ago?

This morning, in a series of tweets, Virgin Galactic announced that its carrier mothership, VMS Eve, has touched down at Spaceport America in New Mexico with its SpaceShipTwo (SS2) rocket ship Unity attached to its underbelly in captive carry. The landing demonstrates once again the vessels’ ability to move in unison (and not fall apart under the shock of a landing). It also, incidentally, gives Virgin Galactic a spaceship on site with which to carry tourists to the edge of space, as is its eventual plan.  

Now what

Next, Virgin Galactic says it plans to begin “the final stages of its flight test program” in New Mexico. This announcement, combined with the company’s confirmation that it is “making good progress” on the construction of its next two spaceships, bodes well for a rapid expansion of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism business — once it actually gets started, of course.

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