Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE) shareholders got a spot of good news from their company on Tuesday, and they rewarded it by pushing its stock higher. As of late afternoon trading, the share price was up by nearly 7%, in contrast to the slight decline of the S&P 500 index.
That morning, the company announced it has secured land for its planned astronaut campus and training facility. It did not provide any of the financial particulars.
The land is in Sierra County near the company’s commercial headquarters in New Mexico, and when (also if) realized, it will be host to a sprawling development that includes astronaut accommodations, an observatory, and a wellness center, among numerous other amenities.
Virgin customers purchasing tickets on one of the company’s commercial spaceflights will receive the necessary training there. Additionally, in Virgin’s words, they will “live out a tailored itinerary of discovery and educational experiences,” at both the campus and in other New Mexico locations.
According to Virgin, it has already begun the conceptual phase of the campus project. The company aims to develop the land concurrently with the build-out of its fleet of spacecraft.
While the land deal certainly isn’t any kind of game changer for the high-profile space exploration specialist, it is an encouraging development. It shows that Virgin is still sufficiently optimistic about its future to secure the property for a campus, and planning well for its anticipated expansion into a busy space tourism operator.