Virgin Galactic shares drop after flight test delay

Shares in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings dropped by 9.4 per cent on Monday, after the company said it was “evaluating” the timing of its next flight test.

The spaceflight company said that following the last post slide inspection of its carrier mothership and launch platform ‘Eve’, it detected a potential wear and tear issue which needed further evaluation to see if additional action is necessary.

“We continue to make strides towards our strategic objectives and have solid momentum as we focus on completing our flight test program,” said Michael Colglazier, chief executive of Virgin Galactic, in the company’s latest financial statement. “We are committed to delivering one of the world's most unique and transformational customer experiences, with safety at the core of everything we do.”

Virgin Galactic revealed that, as of March, the total number of future astronauts remained at approximately 600.

The company, which delayed its quarterly results by around a week, reported a first-quarter loss of $130 million, compared to a $377 million net loss in 2020.

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