One small step for man, one giant leap in stock prices. According to Forbes, UBS
UBS predicted that space tourism could become a $3 billion industry by 2030, and the space economy could grow from $244 billion to $805 billion. However, Virgin Galactic isn't alone out there. Boeing's Starliner is one other company looking into space travel, but Elon Musk's Space X and Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin are both private companies that have set their sights on the stars. Virgin Galactic is popular in the space travel race is because its the only way for investors to add their name to the roster, as well as having life-long brand recognition.
Virgin Galactic started in a bullish stance at $25 a share, and while they dipped to $18 a share, their stocks have been picking up, growing over 45% over the course of 2020. With a the company looking to begin flights as early as next year, a backlog of customers already lined up, and UBS confirming "positive indicators around luxury spending," it's likely that demand will outstrip supply for many years to come. Their next test flight is scheduled to happen as soon as October 22, and one more after that. If they both go well, the next one will have founder Richard Branson on board.
Virgin Galactic also expects to quadruple their annual ticket sales once their test flights satisfy the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) licensing requirements. Such a boom in ticket sales would amount to a 300% growth rate through 2024. UBS also noted that the level of advanced reservations and public interest in space travel coupled with the entrance of billionaires into the space race provide evidence of demand for space travel as a safe and reliable mode of transportation.
Of course, there are some critics. Founder of space consulting firm Astralytical, Laura Forczyk, called UBS's predictions too optimistic, with the pace being too slow and the market too young to make an accurate prediction.