This has been one heck of a week for investors in Virgin Orbit (NASDAQ:VORB). Today, VORB stock has surged another 28% higher, bringing this stock’s total gain since Friday’s open to approximately 60%. That’s a pretty decent three-day gain, and one that suggests there’s a tremendous amount of interest around this stock.
Of course, we’ve seen some pretty interesting volatility among space exploration stocks this year. Virgin Orbit focuses more on the launch of small satellites, though various commercial, civil and international satellites have also been launched using the company’s responsive space launch systems. As a “picks and shovels” play on the private space race, VORB stock has gained a tremendous amount of attention of late.
That said, this recent near-term move in VORB stock has followed a relatively bleak period for Virgin Orbit investors. Since the beginning of the year, VORB stock dipped from its reference price around $10 per share to below $6 per share. However, the recent uptrend in this stock has restored Virgin Orbit’s share price into double-digit territory.
Let’s dive into the catalyst taking VORB stock into orbit today.
Why VORB Stock Is Launching Higher Today
A tremendous amount of interest around VORB stock has built in recent days tied to the potential for the company’s third commercial flight to be launched in short order. Today, the company confirmed that the commercial launch window for this flight opens tomorrow, Jan. 12. Additionally, a pre-flight press briefing will be provided tomorrow morning, at 12:00 p.m. Pacific (3:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Above the Clouds commercial flight will send Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl carrier aircraft out into the Pacific Ocean on a flight totaling approximately one hour, before launching the rocket off the west coast. According to the company’s press release, “This mission will use a slightly different drop point than Virgin Orbit’s prior flights, flying farther to the West before dropping the rocket to allow the satellites aboard to reach an orbital inclination that has never before been reached from the West Coast of the Americas.”
In other words, this flight appears to be one with some pretty interesting implications for investors. Many eyeballs will be on this flight, which may or may not take place, depending on weather conditions.
Accordingly, given the potential impact of this catalyst, investors should brace themselves for volatility in the coming days. This is a stock we’ll be watching closely, and will likely have additional updates on as more information becomes available.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.