A couple of days ago, we learned that Richard Branson is taking Virgin Galactic public by the end of the year. It would be the first spaceflight company to be publicly-owned. Who’s paying attention to the liftoff beyond NoPo, astronauts, and the markets? Billionaire of privately-held competing companies like Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (SpaceX), as well as celebrity customers like Leo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. They’re just four of the 600 people who’ve already reserved spots on flights–at a cost of about $200,000-$250,000/seat–putting down a collective $80 million in deposits. Virgin Galactic, which needs more $$$$ beyond the > billion it has already raised since its founding, plans to start flying passengers in the first half of 2020.

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