Boeing plans to invest $20 million in Virgin Galactic as the space tourism company nears its goal of launching passengers on suborbital flights.
The companies announced the investment Tuesday, saying they will work together on broadening commercial access to space and transforming global travel technologies.
Virgin Galactic has conducted successful test flights of its winged rocket ship at Mojave, California, and is preparing to begin operations at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
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Test flights will be conducted there before passenger flights begin. Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides says the company is projecting commercial flights by mid-2020.
Virgin Galactic announced in July it intends to go public through a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. Boeing's investment is in return for shares, so it is contingent on that transaction closing.