Now anyone can own a piece of the space tourism industry

What: The commercial space flight industry isn’t reserved for billionaire investors anymore after Virgin Galactic debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.

How: The company went public following a merger with US-traded investment vehicle Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH). Thanks to the deal, the latter acquired a 49% stake in Virgin Galactic (SPCE 4,73, -17,60%).

The space travel company, founded in 2004 by UK billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, went public on October 28, 2019, under the “SPCE” ticker. Its shares closed at $11.75 per share after coming down from a high of $12.93.

Details: The SPCE stock has replaced SCH’s ticker IPOA which had gone up 11% the previous week after the deal was officially approved.

At the time of the merger announced in July 2019, the two companies had a combined value of about $1.5 billion.

Branson built Virgin Galactic after he bought the spacecraft technology developed as part of the $10 million Ansari X Prize initiative.

According to the company, it has received flight bookings from more than 600 customers in 60 countries worth about $80 million in deposits. The potential revenue from the flights is $120.

According to a UBS report, quoted by Reuters, the outer-orbit travel industry is forecast to reach a volume of $3 billion by 2030.