Following a jump in stock value before the flight, shares of Richard Branson's spaceflight company are now down more than 10%.
|SPCE||VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC.||2.13||+0.06||+2.65%|
"The Virgin fleet, which consists of only one spacecraft currently, is capable of only one flight per month, and that flight rate is not high enough to allow the firm to become free cash flow positive," Pete Skibitski, director and senior analyst at Alembic Global Advisors, told FOX Business.
"Unfortunately, it will likely not happen until the 2027 timeframe, when the company’s next-generation Delta-class space fleet is available in numbers to generate large numbers of annual space flights," he continued. "I think today reflects the stock market’s realization that the path to positive cash flow will be a multi-year endeavor."
After being delayed by upgrades, Virgin Galactic kicked off its commercial spaceflight operations Thursday morning with a suborbital scientific research mission dubbed Galactic 01.
Galactic 01’s crew included Italian Air Force Col. Walter Villadei and Lt. Col. Angelo Landolfi, National Research Council of Italy engineer Pantaleone Carlucci and Virgin Galactic Astronaut Instructor Colin Bennett. Pilots involved in the mission are Mike Masucci, Nicola Pecile, Kelly Latimer and Jameel Janjua.
The Italian crew members conducted a series of suborbital science experiments, Virgin Galactic said.
FOX Business' Aislinn Murphy contributed to this report.