Boeing announced that it would invest $20 million in human spaceflight company Virgin Galactic, as a move to bolster commercial space access.
The strategic investment will come from Boeing’s HorizonX Ventures, which has previously invested in smaller scale aerospace startups, like Accion Systems and Matternet.
Virgin Galactic was founded by British business magnate Richard Branson. It has invested about $1 billion to create reusable human spaceflight systems. Virgin Galactic is apparently geared towards becoming the first company to make space tourism a reality.
In July, Virgin Galactic said that it would go public by merging with the blank-check company Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings.
Boeing said that it would invest in return for new Virgin Galactic shares, and its investment is conditioned on the public trading transaction closing (expected to occur Q4 of this year). Boeing is investing in the post-closing company.