Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) is rocketing to new highs — at least since February — today. This move comes after a tweet from the company, a novel coronavirus update and a little bit of speculation. So what do you need to know about SPCE stock today?
To start, Virgin Galactic started to excite investors with a tweet from Sunday. In the message, the company shared that the SpaceShipTwo Unity was now mated to the mothership, VMS Eve. What does this mean?
Importantly, many see this as a key step toward the next test flight. This is because the VMS Eve will take the SpaceShipTwo Unity up about 50,000 feet and then release it.
SpaceShipTwo Unity is mated to our mothership, VMS Eve, as preparations continue for our first spaceflight from Spaceport America, New Mexico. pic.twitter.com/5ZXcQPu4bx
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) December 6, 2020
From there, the SpaceShipTwo Unity will do its own thing until it returns to the launch area. The other key to the tweet here is the location of Spaceport America in New Mexico. Investors should note that Spaceport America is in Sierra County, where the risk of novel coronavirus infection is currently considered high.
Are you following? Investors may know that Virgin Galactic has been struggling to complete this test flight because of Covid-19. The initial window started Nov. 19, but when New Mexico imposed new pandemic-related restrictions, Virgin Galactic had to reschedule. Now, the company has said its test flight window starts Dec. 11.
Putting it all together, with an upcoming test flight window and a mated SpaceShipTwo Unity, many investors are bidding up SPCE stock. And if this first test flight goes off without a hitch, many more milestones will follow shortly after.
Why SPCE Stock Is Surging Today
Importantly, Virgin Galactic is working on a series of three test flights. For the test window that begins Dec. 11, the plan is for two pilots to go alone. Next, four mission specialists will join the pilots. Last, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson will board the flight.
The big picture is that these three test flights are yet another hurdle for Virgin Galactic as it prepares to make space tourism a reality. The company currently has sold approximately 600 tickets at a price of $200,000 to $250,000. It also has received 9,000 deposits of $1,000 for future flights. Although SPCE stock has soared in 2020, the company needs to eventually deliver on its lofty promises.
Right now, many investors are betting that this Friday will be the start to this next chapter for SPCE stock. However, even with the tweet and the new flight window, a fair bit of speculation is at play here. That is because the test flight depends on the weather conditions as well as the current Covid-19 situation. As of right now, the latest information from Virgin Galactic confirms the start of the test window on Dec. 11. However, The Motley Fool estimates that based on Covid-19 case data out of New Mexico, the company will not be able to make much progress until after Dec. 16.
How should you proceed? Do your own research, and recognize Dec. 11 is not a guaranteed catalyst. However, if you believe in the thesis for SPCE stock and space tourism, these next few weeks are worth closely watching.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.