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Virgin Galactic stock soars after Unity arrival

The VSS Unity and its carrier fly over Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences Wednesday. (Courtesy of Virgin Galactic)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Virgin Galactic’s stock is on a sharp upward trajectory, possibly boosted by last week’s arrival of the company’s spaceship, the VSS Unity, in New Mexico.

The company flew the Unity on Feb. 13 from the Mojave Air & Space Port in California to Spaceport America in southern New Mexico, where the vehicle is expected to begin ferrying paying passengers to the edge of space later this year. The spacecraft’s arrival here is a major milestone for Virgin Galactic, starting the countdown to commercial launch of the world’s first space tourism operation.

On Friday, the day after the Unity landed in New Mexico, Virgin Galactic’s stock jumped 21%, according to CNBC. When stock markets reopened on Tuesday following the Presidents Day holiday, the company’s stock jumped another 5% to close at $30.30 per share. And on Wednesday, it rose again, closing out at $37.35 per share.

Fidelity told CNBC that Virgin Galactic was bought more than any other stock on Tuesday, topping Apple, Tesla and others.

The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October through a merger with New York investment firm Social Capital Hedosophia, paving the way for Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. to begin trading Oct. 28 under the stock ticker SPCE. Since then, the stock has more than tripled, up 223% before Wednesday’s open.

Before Tuesday, an average day of trading saw 12 million Virgin Galactic shares change hands. But investors flooding into the space tourism company are pushing the average up exponentially, with company trading volume reaching 45.6 million shares on Friday and 104.1 million on Tuesday, CNBC reported.

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