S-1/ATRUEAmendment No. 1 to Form 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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 11, 2020
Registration No. 333-237961
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
AMENDMENT NO. 1
TO
FORM S-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware470098-1366046
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
166 North Roadrunner Parkway, Suite 1C
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
(575) 424-2100
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
George Whitesides
Chief Executive Officer
166 North Roadrunner Parkway, Suite 1C
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
(575) 424-2100
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Copies to:
Justin G. Hamill
Shayne Kennedy
Drew Capurro
Latham & Watkins LLP
885 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 906-1200
Michelle Kley
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
166 North Roadrunner Parkway, Suite 1C
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
(575) 424-2100
APPROXIMATE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF PROPOSED SALE TO THE PUBLIC: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box.  ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of Securities Act.  ☐
The registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.




EXPLANATORY NOTE
This registration statement contains:
a prospectus (the “base prospectus”) which covers the resale of up to 150,464,840 shares of the registrant’s common stock by the selling stockholders named in the base prospectus or their permitted transferees, which includes up to 114,790,438 shares of our common stock that may be sold by Vieco 10 Limited (“Vieco 10”); and
a prospectus supplement (the “distribution agency agreement prospectus supplement”) covering the offering and sale by Vieco 10 of up to 25,000,000 shares of the registrant’s common stock that may be sold pursuant to a distribution agency agreement with Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC.
The base prospectus immediately follows this explanatory note. The distribution agency agreement prospectus supplement immediately follows the base prospectus. The common stock that may be offered and sold by Vieco 10 pursuant to the distribution agency agreement prospectus supplement is included in the shares of the registrant’s common stock that may be resold by Vieco 10 pursuant to the base prospectus. Any portion of the up to 25,000,000 shares of the registrant’s common stock included in the distribution agency agreement prospectus supplement that is not previously sold or included in an active placement notice pursuant to the distribution agency agreement will be available for sale in other offerings pursuant to the base prospectus.


The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Subject to Completion, dated May 11, 2020.
PROSPECTUS
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Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.
150,464,840 Shares of Common Stock
This prospectus relates to the resale of up to 150,464,840 shares of our common stock by the selling stockholders named in this prospectus or their permitted transferees, which includes up to 142,464,840 outstanding shares of our common stock and up to 8,000,000 shares of our common stock that are issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase our common stock that were initially issued in connection with a private placement. We are registering the shares for resale pursuant to such stockholders’ registration rights under a registration rights agreement between us and such stockholders. Subject to any contractual restrictions on them selling the shares of our common stock they hold, the selling stockholders may offer, sell or distribute all or a portion of their shares of our common stock publicly or through private transactions at prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares of our common stock owned by the selling stockholders. We will bear all costs, expenses and fees in connection with the registration of these shares of our common stock, including with regard to compliance with state securities or “blue sky” laws. The selling stockholders will bear all commissions and discounts, if any, attributable to their sale of shares of our common stock.
See “Plan of Distribution” beginning on page 118 of this prospectus.
INVESTING IN OUR SECURITIES INVOLVES RISKS. SEE “RISK FACTORS” BEGINNING ON PAGE 5 OF THIS PROSPECTUS AND ANY SIMILAR SECTION CONTAINED IN ANY APPLICABLE PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT TO READ ABOUT CERTAIN FACTORS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE INVESTING IN OUR SECURITIES.
Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “SPCE”. On May 8, 2020, the last reported sale price of our common stock was $20.18 per share.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The date of this prospectus is                 , 2020.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
Neither we nor the selling stockholders have authorized anyone to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectuses prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. Neither we nor the selling stockholders take any responsibility for, nor provide any assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. Neither we nor the selling stockholders will make an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
This prospectus includes market data and industry statistics and forecasts that are based on independent industry publications and other publicly available information. Although we believe these sources are reliable, neither we nor the selling stockholders guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and neither we nor the selling stockholders have independently verified this information. In addition, the market and industry data and forecasts that may be included in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement or any applicable free writing prospectus may involve estimates, assumptions and other risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable free writing prospectus. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on this information.
As used in this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, the terms “we,” “our,” “us” and the “Company” mean Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries, which was a special purpose acquisition company called “Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp.” prior to the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination (as defined herein) on October 25, 2019. When we refer to “you,” we mean the potential holders of the shares of our common stock.
In this prospectus, we refer to our common stock and warrants to purchase shares of common stock, collectively, as “securities.”
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
The following summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. It may not contain all of the information that may be important to you. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the section titled “Risk Factors” and our historical consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this prospectus.
We are a vertically-integrated aerospace company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. Using our proprietary and reusable technologies and supported by a distinctive, Virgin-branded customer experience, we are developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers, whom we refer to as “future astronauts,” a unique, multi-day, transformative experience. This culminates in a spaceflight that includes views of Earth from space and several minutes of weightlessness that will launch from Spaceport America, New Mexico. We believe that one of the most exciting and significant opportunities of our time lies in the commercial exploration of space and the development of technology that will change the way we travel across the globe in the future. Together we are opening access to space to change the world for good.
We were initially formed on May 5, 2017 as a Cayman Islands exempted company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. From the time of our formation to the time of the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, our name was “Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp.”
On July 9, 2019, we entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (as amended on October 2, 2019, the “Merger Agreement”) with Vieco USA, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Vieco US”), Vieco 10 Limited, a company limited by shares under the laws of the British Virgin Islands (“Vieco 10”), Foundation Sub 1, Inc., a Delaware corporation and our direct wholly owned subsidiary (“Merger Sub A”), Foundation Sub 2, Inc., a Delaware corporation and our direct wholly owned subsidiary (“Merger Sub B”), Foundation Sub LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and our direct wholly owned subsidiary (“Merger Sub LLC” and, collectively with Merger Sub A and Merger Sub B, the “Merger Subs”), TSC Vehicle Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Vieco US (“Company A”), Virgin Galactic Vehicle Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Vieco US (“Company B”), and VGH, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Vieco US (“Company LLC” and, collectively with Company A and Company B, the “VG Companies”).
On October 25, 2019, as contemplated by the Merger Agreement and following approval by our shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting held October 23, 2019:
we filed a notice of deregistration with the Cayman Islands Registrar of Companies, together with the necessary accompanying documents, and filed a certificate of incorporation and a certificate of corporate domestication with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware, under which we were domesticated and continued as a Delaware corporation, changing our name from “Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp.” to “Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.” (the “Domestication”); and
all outstanding shares of common stock or limited liability company interests, as applicable, of each of the VG Companies were cancelled in exchange for the right to receive 130,000,000 shares of our common stock (at a deemed value of $10.00 per share) for an aggregate merger consideration of $1.3 billion and (x) Merger Sub A merged with and into Company A, the separate corporate existence of Merger Sub A ceasing and Company A being the surviving corporation and our wholly owned subsidiary, (y) Merger Sub B, merged with and into Company B, the separate corporate existence of Merger Sub B ceasing and Company B being the surviving corporation and our wholly owned subsidiary and (z) Merger Sub LLC merged with and into Company LLC, the separate company existence of Merger Sub LLC ceasing and Company LLC being the surviving company and our wholly owned subsidiary (collectively referred to as the “Mergers” and together with the Domestication, the “Virgin Galactic Business Combination”).
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In connection with the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination:
each of our issued and outstanding Class A ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share, was converted, on a one-for-one basis, into a share of our common stock, par value $0.0001 per share;
each of our issued and outstanding Class B ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share, was converted, on a one-for-one basis, into a share of our common stock; provided, however, that with respect to our Class B ordinary shares held by SCH Sponsor Corp. (the “Sponsor”), the Sponsor instead received, upon the conversion of the Class B ordinary shares held by it, 15,750,000 shares of common stock;
each issued and outstanding warrant to purchase one Class A ordinary share converted into a warrant to purchase one share of common stock; and
each issued and outstanding unit, which consisted of one Class A ordinary share and one-third of one redeemable warrant to purchase Class A ordinary shares, converted into a unit consisting of one share of our common stock and one-third of one redeemable warrant to purchase one share of common stock.
The warrants initially issued as part of our initial public offering were subsequently exercised on a cashless basis or otherwise redeemed in accordance with their terms. As of the date of this prospectus, the 8,000,000 warrants issued in a private placement concurrently with our initial public offering remained outstanding.
Our principal executive offices are located at 166 North Roadrunner Parkway, Suite 1C, Las Cruces, NM 88011, and our telephone number is (575) 424-2100. We maintain a website at www.virgingalactic.com. The information contained on our website is not intended to form a part of, or be incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
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THE OFFERING
IssuerVirgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.
Shares of Common Stock Offered by the Selling Stockholders
Up to 150,464,840 shares of common stock
Use of ProceedsWe will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of common stock by the selling stockholders.
Market for Common StockOur common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “SPCE”.
Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 5 of this prospectus for a discussion of factors you should carefully consider before investing in our common stock.

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RISK FACTORS
Our operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties including those described below. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below, in addition to the other information contained in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of, or that we currently believe are not material, may also become important factors that adversely affect our business. If any of the following risks or others not specified below materialize, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our common stock could decline.
Risks Related to Our Business
We have incurred significant losses since inception, we expect to incur losses in the future and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.
We have incurred significant losses since inception. We incurred net losses of $59.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and $210.9 million, $138.1 million and $138.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. While we have generated limited revenue from flying payloads into space, we have not yet started commercial human spaceflight operations, and it is difficult for us to predict our future operating results. As a result, our losses may be larger than anticipated, and we may not achieve profitability when expected, or at all, and even if we do, we may not be able to maintain or increase profitability.
We expect our operating expenses to increase over the next several years as we move towards commercial launch of our human spaceflight operations, continue to attempt to streamline our manufacturing process, increase our flight cadence, hire more employees and continue research and development efforts relating to new products and technologies. These efforts may be more costly than we expect and may not result in increased revenue or growth in our business. Any failure to increase our revenue sufficiently to keep pace with our investments and other expenses could prevent us from achieving or maintaining profitability or positive cash flow. Furthermore, if our future growth and operating performance fail to meet investor or analyst expectations, or if we have future negative cash flow or losses resulting from our investment in acquiring future astronauts or expanding our operations, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The success of our business will be highly dependent on our ability to effectively market and sell human spaceflights.
We have generated only limited revenue from spaceflight, and we expect that our success will be highly dependent, especially in the foreseeable future, on our ability to effectively market and sell human spaceflight experiences. We have limited experience in marketing and selling human spaceflights, which we refer to as our astronaut experience, and if we are unable to utilize our current sales organization effectively, or to expand our sales organization as needed, in order to adequately target and engage our potential future astronauts, our business may be adversely affected. To date, we have primarily sold the reservations for our astronaut experience to future astronauts through direct sales and have sold a limited number of seats each year. Since 2014, we have not been actively selling our astronaut experience. Our success depends, in part, on our ability to attract new future astronauts in a cost-effective manner. While we had a backlog of approximately 600 future astronauts as of April 29, 2020, we are making, and we expect that we will need to make, significant investments in order to attract new future astronauts. Our sales growth is dependent upon our ability to implement strategic initiatives and these initiatives may not be effective in generating sales growth. In addition, marketing campaigns, which we have not historically utilized, can be expensive and may not result in the acquisition of future astronauts in a cost-effective manner, if at all. Further, as our brand becomes more widely known, future marketing campaigns or brand content may not attract new future astronauts at the same rate as past campaigns or brand content. If we are unable to attract new future astronauts, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed.
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A pandemic outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has disrupted and may continue to adversely affect our business operations and our financial results.
The global spread of COVID-19 has disrupted certain aspects of our operations and may adversely impact our business operations, including our ability to execute on our business strategy and goals. Specifically, the continued spread of COVID-19 may affect our ability to complete the development of our spaceflight systems, or our spaceflight test programs, result in delays or disruptions in our supply chain, or delay our implementation of additional internal control measures to improve our internal control over financial reporting.
Additionally, many jurisdictions, including in California, New Mexico and the United Kingdom, where most of our workforce is located, have imposed, or in the future may impose or continue to impose, “shelter-in-place” orders, quarantines or similar orders or restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 by restricting non-essential activities and business operations. Compliance with these orders has disrupted and may continue to disrupt our standard operations, including disruption of operations necessary to complete the development of our spaceflight systems and postponement of our scheduled spaceflight test programs. For example, consistent with the actions taken by governmental authorities, we initially reduced and then temporarily suspended on-site operations at our facilities in Mojave and Spaceport America in March 2020. On account of use categorization as an essential activity, we resumed some limited operations in April 2020, which we ramped up each week as we developed revised operational and manufacturing plans that conform to the latest COVID-19 health precautions. We are taking additional measures within our facilities to ensure the health and safety of our employees, which include universal facial coverings, rearranging facilities to follow social distancing protocols, conducting active daily temperature checks and undertaking regular and thorough disinfecting of surfaces and tools. However, there can be no assurances that these measures will prevent a future outbreak of COVID-19 within our workforce. In addition to existing travel restrictions, countries may continue to close borders, impose prolonged quarantines, or further restrict travel, which could adversely impact our business and results of operations.
The pandemic has also resulted in, and may continue to result in, significant disruption and volatility of global financial markets. This disruption and volatility may adversely impact our ability to access capital, which could in the future negatively affect our liquidity and capital resources. Given the rapid and evolving nature of the impact of the virus, responsive measures taken by governmental authorities and the uncertainty about its impact on society and the global economy, we cannot predict the extent to which it will affect our global operations, particularly if these impacts persist or worsen over an extended period of time. To the extent COVID-19 adversely affects our business operations and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section.
The market for commercial human spaceflight has not been established with precision, is still emerging and may not achieve the growth potential we expect or may grow more slowly than expected.
The market for commercial human spaceflight has not been established with precision and is still emerging. Our estimates for the total addressable market for commercial human spaceflight are based on a number of internal and third-party estimates, including our current backlog, the number of consumers who have expressed interest in our astronaut experience, assumed prices at which we can offer our astronaut experience, assumed flight cadence, our ability to leverage our current manufacturing and operational processes and general market conditions. While we believe our assumptions and the data underlying our estimates are reasonable, these assumptions and estimates may not be correct and the conditions supporting our assumptions or estimates may change at any time, thereby reducing the predictive accuracy of these underlying factors. As a result, our estimates of the annual total addressable market for our astronaut experience, as well as the expected growth rate for the total addressable market for that experience, may prove to be incorrect.
We anticipate commencing commercial spaceflight operations with a single spaceflight system, which has yet to complete flight testing. Any delay in completing the flight test program and the final development of our existing spaceflight system would adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We expect to commence commercial operations with a single spaceflight system. While we have already been issued our commercial launch license, we must clear a final set of provisos related to the analysis of test flight data
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before we fly commercial passengers using our spaceflight system. Following each flight test we undertake, we analyze the resulting data and determine whether additional changes to the spaceflight system are required. Historically, changes have been required and implementing those changes has resulted in additional delay and expense. For example, an unanticipated in-flight incident involving an earlier model of SpaceShipTwo manufactured and operated by a third-party contractor, led to the loss of that spaceship and significant delays in the planned launch of our spaceflight system as we addressed design and safety concerns, including with applicable regulators. If issues like this arise or recur, if our remediation measures and process changes do not continue to be successful or if we experience issues with manufacturing improvements or design and safety, the anticipated launch of our commercial human spaceflight operations could be delayed.
Any inability to operate our spaceflight system after commercial launch at our anticipated flight rate could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Even if we complete development and commence commercial human spaceflight operations, we will be dependent on a single spaceflight system. To be successful, we will need to maintain a sufficient flight rate, which will be negatively impacted if we are not able to operate that system for any reason. We may be unable to operate our current spaceflight system at our anticipated flight rate for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, unexpected weather patterns, maintenance issues, pilot error, design and engineering flaws, natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, changes in governmental regulations or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule flights. In the event we need to replace any components or hardware of our spaceflight system, there are limited numbers of replacement parts available, some of which have significant lead time associated with procurement or manufacture, so any unplanned failures could result in reduced numbers of flights and significant delays to our planned growth.
Our ability to grow our business depends on the successful development of our spaceflight systems and related technology, which is subject to many uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control.
Our current primary research and development objectives focus on the development of our existing and any additional spaceflight systems and related technology. If we do not complete this development in our anticipated timeframes or at all, our ability to grow our business will be adversely affected. The successful development of our spaceflight systems and related technology involves many uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control, including:
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on us, our customers, suppliers and distributors, and the global economy;
timing in finalizing spaceflight systems design and specifications;
successful completion of flight test programs, including flight safety tests;
our ability to obtain additional applicable approvals, licenses or certifications from regulatory agencies, if required, and maintaining current approvals, licenses or certifications;
performance of our manufacturing facilities despite risks that disrupt productions, such as natural disasters and hazardous materials;
performance of a limited number of suppliers for certain raw materials and supplied components;
performance of our third-party contractors that support our research and development activities;
our ability to maintain rights from third parties for intellectual properties critical to our research and development activities; and
our ability to continue funding and maintain our current research and development activities.
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Unsatisfactory safety performance of our spaceflight systems could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.
We manufacture and operate highly sophisticated spaceflight systems and offer a specialized astronaut experience that depends on complex technology. While we have built operational processes to ensure that the design, manufacture, performance and servicing of our spaceflight systems meet rigorous quality standards, there can be no assurance that we will not experience operational or process failures and other problems, including through manufacturing or design defects, pilot error, cyber-attacks or other intentional acts, that could result in potential safety risks. Any actual or perceived safety issues may result in significant reputational harm to our businesses, in addition to tort liability, maintenance, increased safety infrastructure and other costs that may arise. Such issues with our spaceflight systems or customer safety could result in delaying or cancelling planned flights, increased regulation or other systemic consequences. Our inability to meet our safety standards or adverse publicity affecting our reputation as a result of accidents, mechanical failures, damages to customer property or medical complications could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.
We may not be able to convert our orders in backlog, deposits or inbound inquiries about flight reservations into revenue.
As of April 29, 2020, our backlog represents orders for approximately 600 future astronauts for which we have not yet recognized revenue. While many of these orders were accompanied by a significant deposit, the deposits are largely refundable and the reservations may be cancelled under certain circumstances without penalty. Additionally, we have received over 400 One Small Step deposits as of April 29, 2020, which are for only $1,000 per deposit and are also fully refundable. As a result, we may not receive revenue from these orders and deposits, and any order backlog or other deposits we report may not be indicative of our future revenue. As of April 29, 2020, we have received more than 9,160 inbound inquiries about flight reservations since SpaceShipTwo’s first spaceflight in December 2018, but those inquiries have not been accompanied by any deposits, and we may not be able to convert those inquiries into reservations and revenue.
Many events may cause a delay in our ability to fulfill reservations or cause planned spaceflights to not be completed at all, some of which may be out of our control, including unexpected weather patterns, maintenance issues, natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, changes in governmental regulations or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule flights. If we delay spaceflights or if future astronauts reconsider their astronaut experience, those future astronauts may seek to cancel their planned spaceflight, and may obtain a full or partial refund.
We have not yet tested flights at our anticipated full passenger capacity of our spaceship.
To date, only one of our test flights included a crew member that was not a pilot. The success of our human spaceflight operations will depend on our achieving and maintaining a sufficient level of passenger capacity on our spaceflights. We have not yet tested flights with a full cabin and it is possible that the number of passengers per flight may not meet our expectations for a number of factors, including maximization of the passenger experience and satisfaction. Any decrease from our assumptions in the number of passengers per flight could adversely impact our ability to generate revenue at the rate we anticipate.
Any delays in the development and manufacture of additional spaceflight systems and related technology may adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have previously experienced, and may experience in the future, delays or other complications in the design, manufacture, launch, production, delivery and servicing ramp of new spaceflight systems and related technology, including on account of the global COVID-19 health crisis. If delays like this arise or recur, if our remediation measures and process changes do not continue to be successful or if we experience issues with planned manufacturing improvements or design and safety, we could experience issues in sustaining the ramp of our spaceflight system or delays in increasing production further.
If we encounter difficulties in scaling our delivery or servicing capabilities, if we fail to develop and successfully commercialize spaceflight technologies, if we fail to develop such technologies before our competitors,
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or if such technologies fail to perform as expected, are inferior to those of our competitors or are perceived as less safe than those of our competitors, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely impacted.
If we are unable to adapt to and satisfy customer demands in a timely and cost-effective manner, our ability to grow our business may suffer.
The success of our business depends in part on effectively managing and maintaining our existing spaceflight system, manufacturing more spaceflight systems, operating a sufficient number of spaceflights to meet customer demand and providing future astronauts with an astronaut experience that meets or exceeds their expectations. If for any reason we are unable to manufacture new spaceflight systems or are unable to schedule spaceflights as planned, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If our current or future spaceflight systems do not meet expected performance or quality standards, including with respect to customer safety and satisfaction, this could cause operational delays. In addition, any delay in manufacturing new spacecraft as planned could cause us to operate our existing spaceflight system more frequently than planned and in such a manner that may increase maintenance costs. Further, flight operations within restricted airspace require advance scheduling and coordination with government range owners and other users, and any high priority national defense assets will have priority in the use of these resources, which may impact our cadence of spaceflight operations or could result in cancellations or rescheduling. Any operational or manufacturing delays or other unplanned changes to our ability to operate spaceflights could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be unable to manage our future growth effectively, which could make it difficult to execute our business strategy.
If our operations continue to grow as planned, of which there can be no assurance, we will need to expand our sales and marketing, research and development, customer and commercial strategy, products and services, supply, and manufacturing and distribution functions. We will also need to continue to leverage our manufacturing and operational systems and processes, and there is no guarantee that we will be able to scale the business and the manufacture of spacecraft as currently planned or within the planned timeframe. The continued expansion of our business may also require additional manufacturing and operational facilities, as well as space for administrative support, and there is no guarantee that we will be able to find suitable locations or partners for the manufacture and operation of our spaceflight systems.
Our continued growth could increase the strain on our resources, and we could experience operating difficulties, including difficulties in hiring, training and managing an increasing number of pilots and employees, finding manufacturing capacity to produce our spaceflight systems and related equipment, and delays in production and spaceflights. These difficulties may result in the erosion of our brand image, divert the attention of management and key employees and impact financial and operational results. In addition, in order to continue to expand our fleet of spacecraft and increase our presence around the globe, we expect to incur substantial expenses as we continue to attempt to streamline our manufacturing process, increase our flight cadence, hire more employees, and continue research and development efforts relating to new products and technologies and expand internationally. If we are unable to drive commensurate growth, these costs, which include lease commitments, headcount and capital assets, could result in decreased margins, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our prospects and operations may be adversely affected by changes in consumer preferences and economic conditions that affect demand for our spaceflights.
Because our business is currently concentrated on a single, discretionary product category, commercial human spaceflight, we are vulnerable to changes in consumer preferences or other market changes. The global economy has in the past, and will in the future, experience recessionary periods and periods of economic instability, including the current business disruption and related financial impact resulting from the global COVID-19 health crisis. During such periods, our future astronauts may be more inclined to have us refund their deposits with us, and our potential future astronauts may choose not to make discretionary purchases or may reduce overall spending on discretionary
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purchases, which may include not scheduling spaceflight experiences or cancelling existing reservations for spaceflight experiences. There could be a number of other effects from adverse general business and economic conditions on our business, including insolvency of any of our third-party suppliers or contractors, decreased consumer confidence, decreased discretionary spending and reduced consumer demand for spaceflight experiences. Moreover, future shifts in consumer spending away from our spaceflight experience for any reason, including decreased consumer confidence, adverse economic conditions or heightened competition, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If such business and economic conditions are experienced in future periods, this could reduce our sales and adversely affect our profitability, as demand for discretionary purchases may diminish during economic downturns, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Adverse publicity stemming from any incident involving us or our competitors, or an incident involving a commercial airline or other air travel provider, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are at risk of adverse publicity stemming from any public incident involving our company, our people or our brand. If our personnel or one of our spaceflight systems, or the personnel or spacecraft of one of our competitors or the personnel or aircraft of a commercial airline or governmental agency, were to be involved in a public incident, accident or catastrophe this could create an adverse public perception of spaceflight and result in decreased customer demand for spaceflight experiences, which could cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial conditions and results of operations. Further, if our personnel or our spaceflight systems were to be involved in a public incident, accident or catastrophe, we could be exposed to significant reputational harm or potential legal liability. Any reputational harm to our business could cause future astronauts with existing reservations to cancel their spaceflights and could significantly impact our ability to make future sales. The insurance we carry may be inapplicable or inadequate to cover any such incident, accident or catastrophe. In the event that our insurance is inapplicable or not adequate, we may be forced to bear substantial losses from an incident or accident.
Due to the inherent risks associated with commercial spaceflight, there is the possibility that any accident or catastrophe could lead to the loss of human life or a medical emergency.
Human spaceflight is an inherently risky activity that can lead to accidents or catastrophes impacting human life. For example, on October 31, 2014, VSS Enterprise, an earlier model of SpaceShipTwo manufactured and operated by a third-party contractor, had an accident during a rocket-powered test flight. The pilot was seriously injured, the co-pilot was fatally injured and the vehicle was destroyed. As part of its 2015 accident investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board (the “NTSB”) determined that the probable cause of the accident related to the failure by a third-party contractor to consider and protect against the possibility that a single human error could result in a catastrophic hazard to the vehicle. After the accident, we assumed responsibility for the completion of the flight test program and submitted a report to the NTSB that listed the actions we were taking for reducing the likelihood and effect of human error. This included modification of the feather lock control mechanism to add automatic inhibits that would prevent inadvertent operation during safety critical periods of flight. We have implemented and repeatedly demonstrated the efficacy of these actions, including implementing more rigorous protocols and procedures for safety-critical aircrew actions, requiring additional training for pilots that focuses on response protocols for safety critical actions, and eliminating certain single-point human performance actions that could potentially lead to similar accidents. We believe the steps we have taken are sufficient to address the issues noted in the NTSB’s report; however, it is impossible to completely eliminate the potential for human error, and there is a possibility that other accidents may occur in the future as a result of human error or for a variety of other reasons, some of which may be out of our control. Any such accident could result in substantial losses to us, including reputational harm and legal liability, and, as a result, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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We may require substantial additional funding to finance our operations, but adequate additional financing may not be available when we need it, on acceptable terms or at all.
Prior to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, we financed our operations and capital expenditures primarily through cash flows financed by Vieco 10. In the future, we could be required to raise capital through public or private financing or other arrangements. Such financing may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all, and our failure to raise capital when needed could harm our business. For example, the global COVID-19 health crisis and related financial impact has resulted in, and may continue to result in, significant disruption and volatility of global financial markets that could adversely impact our ability to access capital. We may sell equity securities or debt securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner as we may determine from time to time. If we sell any such securities in subsequent transactions, our current investors may be materially diluted. Any debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants and could reduce our operational flexibility or profitability. If we cannot raise funds on acceptable terms, we may not be able to grow our business or respond to competitive pressures.
Certain future operational facilities may require significant expenditures in capital improvements and operating expenses to develop and foster basic levels of service needed by the spaceflight operation, and the ongoing need to maintain existing operational facilities requires us to expend capital.
As part of our growth strategy, we may utilize additional spaceports outside the United States. Construction of a spaceport or other facilities in which we conduct our operations may require significant capital expenditures to develop, and in the future we may be required to make similar expenditures to expand, improve or construct adequate facilities for our spaceflight operations. While Spaceport America was funded by the State of New Mexico and we intend to pursue similar arrangements in the future, we cannot assure that such arrangements will be available to us on terms similar to those we have with the State of New Mexico or at all. If we cannot secure such an arrangement, we would need to use cash flows from operations or raise additional capital in order to construct additional spaceports or facilities. In addition, as Spaceport America and any other facilities we may utilize mature, our business will require capital expenditures for the maintenance, renovation and improvement of such existing locations to remain competitive and maintain the value of our brand standard. This creates an ongoing need for capital, and, to the extent we cannot fund capital expenditures from cash flows from operations, we will need to borrow or otherwise obtain funds. If we cannot access the capital we need, we may not be able to execute on our growth strategy, take advantage of future opportunities or respond to competitive pressures. If the costs of funding new locations or renovations or enhancements at existing locations exceed budgeted amounts or the time for building or renovation is longer than anticipated, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
We rely on a limited number of suppliers for certain raw materials and supplied components. We may not be able to obtain sufficient raw materials or supplied components to meet our manufacturing and operating needs, or obtain such materials on favorable terms, which could impair our ability to fulfill our orders in a timely manner or increase our costs of production.
Our ability to produce our current and future spaceflight systems and other components of operation is dependent upon sufficient availability of raw materials and supplied components, such as nitrous oxide, valves, tanks, special alloys, helium and carbon fiber, which we secure from a limited number of suppliers. Our reliance on suppliers to secure these raw materials and supplied components exposes us to volatility in the prices and availability of these materials. We may not be able to obtain sufficient supply of raw materials or supplied components, on favorable terms or at all, which could result in delays in manufacture of our spacecraft or increased costs. For example, there are only a few nitrous oxide plants around the world and if one or more of these plants were to experience a slowdown in operations or to shutdown entirely, including as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, we may need to qualify new suppliers or pay higher prices to maintain the supply of nitrous oxide needed for our operations.
In addition, we have in the past and may in the future experience delays in manufacture or operation as we go through the requalification process with any replacement third-party supplier, as well as the limitations imposed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and other restrictions on transfer of sensitive technologies.
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Additionally, the imposition of tariffs on such raw materials or supplied components could have a material adverse effect on our operations. Prolonged disruptions in the supply of any of our key raw materials or components, difficulty qualifying new sources of supply, implementing use of replacement materials or new sources of supply or any volatility in prices could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate in a cost-efficient, timely manner and could cause us to experience cancellations or delays of scheduled spaceflights, customer cancellations or reductions in our prices and margins, any of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our spaceflight systems and related equipment may have shorter useful lives than we anticipate.
Our growth strategy depends in part on the continued operation of our current spaceflight system and related equipment, as well as the manufacture of other spaceflight systems in the future. Each spaceflight system has a limited useful life, which is driven by the number of cycles that the system undertakes. While the vehicle is designed for a certain number of cycles, known as the design life, there can be no assurance as to the actual operational life of a spaceflight system or that the operational life of individual components will be consistent with its design life. A number of factors impact the useful lives of the spaceflight systems, including, among other things, the quality of their design and construction, the durability of their component parts and availability of any replacement components, the actual combined environment experienced compared to the assumed combined environment for which the spaceflight systems were designed and tested and the occurrence of any anomaly or series of anomalies or other risks affecting the spaceflight systems during launch, flight and reentry. In addition, we are continually learning, and as our engineering and manufacturing expertise and efficiency increases, we aim to leverage this learning to be able to manufacture our spaceflight systems and related equipment using less of our currently installed equipment, which could render our existing inventory obsolete. Any continued improvements in spaceflight technology may make obsolete our existing spaceflight systems or any component of our spacecraft prior to the end of its life. If the spaceflight systems and related equipment have shorter useful lives than we currently anticipate, this may lead to greater maintenance costs than previously anticipated such that the cost to maintain the spacecraft and related equipment may exceed their value, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure of third-party contractors could adversely affect our business.
We are dependent on various third-party contractors to develop and provide critical technology, systems and components required for our spaceflight system. For example, each spaceflight currently requires replenishment of certain components of our RocketMotorTwo (as defined below) propulsion system that we obtain from third-party contractors. Should we experience complications with any of these components, which are critical to the operation of our spacecraft, we may need to delay or cancel scheduled spaceflights. We face the risk that any of our contractors may not fulfill their contracts and deliver their products or services on a timely basis, or at all. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, operational complications with our contractors. The ability of our contractors to effectively satisfy our requirements could also be impacted by such contractors’ financial difficulty or damage to their operations caused by fire, terrorist attack, natural disaster, pandemic, such as the current COVID-19 outbreak, or other events. The failure of any contractors to perform to our expectations could result in shortages of certain manufacturing or operational components for our spacecraft or delays in spaceflights and harm our business. Our reliance on contractors and inability to fully control any operational difficulties with our third-party contractors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We expect to face intense competition in the commercial spaceflight industry and other industries in which we may develop products.
The commercial spaceflight industry is still developing and evolving, but we expect it to be highly competitive. Currently, our primary competitor in establishing a commercial suborbital spaceflight offering is Blue Origin, a privately funded company founded in 2000. In addition, we are aware of several large, well-funded, public and private entities actively engaged in developing products within the aerospace industry, including SpaceX and Boeing. While these companies are currently focused on providing orbital spaceflight transportation to government agencies, a fundamentally different product from ours, we cannot assure you that one or more of these companies will not shift their focus to include suborbital spaceflight and directly compete with us in the future.
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Many of our current and potential competitors are larger and have substantially greater resources than we have and expect to have in the future. They may also be able to devote greater resources to the development of their current and future technologies or the promotion and sale of their offerings, or offer lower prices. Our current and potential competitors may also establish cooperative or strategic relationships amongst themselves or with third parties that may further enhance their resources and offerings. Further, it is possible that domestic or foreign companies or governments, some with greater experience in the aerospace industry or greater financial resources than we possess, will seek to provide products or services that compete directly or indirectly with ours in the future. Any such foreign competitor, for example, could benefit from subsidies from, or other protective measures by, its home country.
We believe our ability to compete successfully as a commercial provider of human spaceflight does and will depend on a number of factors, which may change in the future due to increased competition, including the price of our offerings, consumer confidence in the safety of our offerings, consumer satisfaction for the experiences we offer, and the frequency and availability of our offerings. If we are unable to compete successfully, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We may in the future invest significant resources in developing new offerings and exploring the application of our proprietary technologies for other uses and those opportunities may never materialize.
While our primary focus for the foreseeable future will be on commercializing human spaceflight, we may invest significant resources in developing new technologies, services, products and offerings. However, we may not realize the expected benefits of these investments. In addition, we expect to explore the application of our proprietary technologies for other commercial and government uses, including, among other things, supersonic and hypersonic point-to-point travel. These anticipated technologies, however, are unproven and these products or technologies may never materialize or be commercialized in a way that would allow us to generate ancillary revenue streams. Relatedly, if such technologies become viable offerings in the future, we may be subject to competition from our competitors within the commercial spaceflight industry, some of which may have substantially greater monetary and knowledge resources than we have and expect to have in the future to devote to the development of these technologies. Further, under the terms of an amended and restated trademark license agreement (the “Amended TMLA”), our ability to operationalize some of the technologies may be dependent upon the consent of Virgin Enterprises Limited (“VEL”). Such competition or any limitations on our ability to take advantage of such technologies could impact our market share, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Such research and development initiatives may also have a high degree of risk and involve unproven business strategies and technologies with which we have limited operating or development experience. They may involve claims and liabilities (including, but not limited to, personal injury claims), expenses, regulatory challenges and other risks that we may not be able to anticipate. There can be no assurance that consumer demand for such initiatives will exist or be sustained at the levels that we anticipate, or that any of these initiatives will gain sufficient traction or market acceptance to generate sufficient revenue to offset any new expenses or liabilities associated with these new investments. Further, any such research and development efforts could distract management from current operations, and would divert capital and other resources from our more established offerings and technologies. Even if we were to be successful in developing new products, services, offerings or technologies, regulatory authorities may subject us to new rules or restrictions in response to our innovations that may increase our expenses or prevent us from successfully commercializing new products, services, offerings or technologies.
The “Virgin” brand is not under our control, and negative publicity related to the Virgin brand name could materially adversely affect our business.
We possess certain exclusive and non-exclusive rights to use the name and brand “Virgin Galactic” and the Virgin signature logo pursuant to the Amended TMLA. We believe the “Virgin” brand is integral to our corporate identity and represents quality, innovation, creativity, fun, a sense of competitive challenge and employee-friendliness. We expect to rely on the general goodwill of consumers and our pilots and employees towards the Virgin brand as part of our internal corporate culture and external marketing strategy. The Virgin brand is also licensed to and used by a number of other companies unrelated to us and in a variety of industries, and the integrity
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and strength of the Virgin brand will depend in large part on the efforts and the licensor and any other licensees of the Virgin brand and how the brand is used, promoted and protected by them, which will be outside of our control. Consequently, any adverse publicity in relation to the Virgin brand name or its principals, or in relation to another Virgin-branded company over which we have no control or influence, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to adequately protect our proprietary intellectual property rights, our competitive position could be impaired and we may lose valuable assets, generate reduced revenue and incur costly litigation to protect our rights.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect our proprietary intellectual property rights, including certain methodologies, practices, tools, technologies and technical expertise we utilize in designing, developing, implementing and maintaining applications and processes used in our spaceflight systems and related technologies. To date, we have relied primarily on trade secrets and other intellectual property laws, non-disclosure agreements with our employees, consultants and other relevant persons and other measures to protect our intellectual property, and intend to continue to rely on these and other means, including patent protection, in the future. However, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property may be inadequate, and we may choose not to pursue or maintain protection for our intellectual property in the United States or foreign jurisdictions. We will not be able to protect our intellectual property if we are unable to enforce our rights or if we do not detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property. Despite our precautions, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to copy our technology and use information that we regard as proprietary to create technology that competes with ours.
Further, the laws of some countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights in some foreign countries may be inadequate. To the extent we expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying and use of our technologies and proprietary information may increase. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon, misappropriating or otherwise violating our technology and intellectual property.
We rely in part on trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information to maintain our competitive position. Although we enter into non-disclosure and invention assignment agreements with our employees, enter into non-disclosure agreements with our future astronauts, consultants and other parties with whom we have strategic relationships and business alliances and enter into intellectual property assignment agreements with our consultants and vendors, no assurance can be given that these agreements will be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our technology and proprietary information. Further, these agreements do not prevent our competitors from independently developing technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our products.
We rely on licenses from third parties for intellectual property that is critical to our business, and we would lose the rights to use such intellectual property if those agreements were terminated or not renewed.
We rely on licenses from third parties for certain intellectual property that is critical to our branding and corporate identity, as well as the technology used in our spacecraft. Termination of our current or future license agreements could cause us to have to negotiate new or restated agreements with less favorable terms or cause us to lose our rights under the original agreements.
In the case of our branding, we will not own the Virgin brand or any other Virgin-related assets, as we will license the right to use the Virgin brand pursuant to the Amended TMLA. Virgin controls the Virgin brand, and the integrity and strength of the Virgin brand will depend in large part on the efforts and businesses of Virgin and the other licensees of the Virgin brand and how the brand is used, promoted and protected by them, which will be outside of our control. For example, negative publicity or events affecting or occurring at Virgin or other entities who use the Virgin brand, including transportation companies and/or other entities unrelated to us that presently or in the future may license the Virgin brand, may negatively impact the public’s perception of us, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.
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In addition, there are certain circumstances under which the Amended TMLA may be terminated in its entirety, including our material breach of the Amended TMLA (subject to a cure period, if applicable), our insolvency, our improper use of the Virgin brand, our failure to commercially launch a spaceflight for paying passengers by a specified date, if we are unable to undertake any commercial flights for paying passengers for a specified period (other than in connection with addressing a significant safety issue), and our undergoing of a change of control to an unsuitable buyer, including a competitor of VEL’s group. Termination of the Amended TMLA would eliminate our rights to use the Virgin brand and may result in our having to negotiate a new or reinstated agreement with less favorable terms or cause us to lose our rights under the Amended TMLA, including our right to use the Virgin brand, which would require us to change our corporate name and undergo other significant rebranding efforts. These rebranding efforts may require significant resources and expenses and may affect our ability to attract and retain future astronauts, all of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.
In the case of a loss of technology used in our spaceflight systems, we may not be able to continue to manufacture certain components for our spacecraft or for our operations or may experience disruption to our manufacturing processes as we test and requalify any potential replacement technology. Even if we retain the licenses, the licenses may not be exclusive with respect to such component design or technologies, which could aid our competitors and have a negative impact on our business.
Protecting and defending against intellectual property claims may have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our success depends in part upon successful prosecution, maintenance, enforcement and protection of our owned and licensed intellectual property, including the Virgin brand and other intellectual property that we license from Virgin under the Amended TMLA. Under the terms of the Amended TMLA, Virgin has the primary right to take actions to obtain, maintain, enforce and protect the Virgin brand. If, following our written request, Virgin elects not take an action to maintain, enforce or protect the Virgin brand, we may do so, at our expense, subject to various conditions including that so long as doing so would not have a material adverse effect on Virgin, any of Virgin’s other licensees or the Virgin brand and we reasonably believe failing to do so would materially adversely affect our business. Should Virgin determine not to maintain, enforce or protect the Virgin brand, we and/or the Virgin brand could be materially harmed and we could incur substantial cost if we elect to take any such action.
To protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect these rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our trade secrets. Such litigation could be costly, time consuming and distracting to management and could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could disrupt our business, as well as have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The results of intellectual property litigation are difficult to predict and may require us to stop using certain technologies or offering certain services or may result in significant damage awards or settlement costs. There is no guarantee that any action to defend, maintain or enforce our owned or licensed intellectual property rights will be successful, and an adverse result in any such proceeding could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects.
In addition, we may from time to time face allegations that we are infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights of third parties, including the intellectual property rights of our competitors. We may be unaware of the intellectual property rights that others may claim cover some or all of our technology or services. Irrespective of the validity of any such claims, we could incur significant costs and diversion of resources in defending against them, and there is no guarantee any such defense would be successful, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.
Even if these matters do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor or without significant cash settlements, these matters, and the time and resources necessary to litigate or resolve them, could divert the time and resources of our management team and harm our business, our operating results and our reputation.
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We have government customers, which subjects us to risks including early termination, audits, investigations, sanctions and penalties.
We derive limited revenue from contracts with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) and the U.S. government and may enter into additional contracts with the U.S. or foreign governments in the future, and this subjects us to statutes and regulations applicable to companies doing business with the government, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation. These government contracts customarily contain provisions that give the government substantial rights and remedies, many of which are not typically found in commercial contracts and which are unfavorable to contractors. For instance, most U.S. government agencies include provisions that allow the government to unilaterally terminate or modify contracts for convenience, and in that event, the counterparty to the contract may generally recover only its incurred or committed costs and settlement expenses and profit on work completed prior to the termination. If the government terminates a contract for default, the defaulting party may be liable for any extra costs incurred by the government in procuring undelivered items from another source.
Some of our federal government contracts are subject to the approval of appropriations being made by the U.S. Congress to fund the expenditures under these contracts. In addition, government contracts normally contain additional requirements that may increase our costs of doing business, reduce our profits, and expose us to liability for failure to comply with these terms and conditions. These requirements include, for example:
specialized disclosure and accounting requirements unique to government contracts;
financial and compliance audits that may result in potential liability for price adjustments, recoupment of government funds after such funds have been spent, civil and criminal penalties, or administrative sanctions such as suspension or debarment from doing business with the U.S. government;
public disclosures of certain contract and company information; and
mandatory socioeconomic compliance requirements, including labor requirements, non-discrimination and affirmative action programs and environmental compliance requirements.
Government contracts are also generally subject to greater scrutiny by the government, which can initiate reviews, audits and investigations regarding our compliance with government contract requirements. In addition, if we fail to comply with government contract laws, regulations and contract requirements, our contracts may be subject to termination, and we may be subject to financial and/or other liability under our contracts, the Federal Civil False Claims Act (including treble damages and other penalties), or criminal law. In particular, the False Claims Act’s “whistleblower” provisions also allow private individuals, including present and former employees, to sue on behalf of the U.S. government. Any penalties, damages, fines, suspension, or damages could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our financial results.
If we commercialize outside the United States, we will be exposed to a variety of risks associated with international operations that could materially and adversely affect our business.
As part of our growth strategy, we may leverage our initial U.S. operations to expand internationally. In that event, we expect that we would be subject to additional risks related to entering into international business relationships, including:
restructuring our operations to comply with local regulatory regimes;
identifying, hiring and training highly skilled personnel;
unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers and regulatory requirements;
economic weakness, including inflation, or political instability in foreign economies and markets;
compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees living or traveling abroad;
foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;
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the need for U.S. government approval to operate our spaceflight systems outside the United States;
foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenue;
government appropriation of assets;
workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the United States; and
disadvantages of competing against companies from countries that are not subject to U.S. laws and regulations, including anti-corruption laws and anti-money laundering regulations, as well as exposure of our foreign operations to liability under these regulatory regimes.
Our business is subject to a wide variety of extensive and evolving government laws and regulations. Failure to comply with such laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations relating to various aspects of our business, including with respect to our spaceflight system operations, employment and labor, health care, tax, privacy and data security, health and safety, and environmental issues. Laws and regulations at the foreign, federal, state and local levels frequently change, especially in relation to new and emerging industries, and we cannot always reasonably predict the impact from, or the ultimate cost of compliance with, current or future regulatory or administrative changes. We monitor these developments and devote a significant amount of management’s time and external resources towards compliance with these laws, regulations and guidelines, and such compliance places a significant burden on management’s time and other resources, and it may limit our ability to expand into certain jurisdictions. Moreover, changes in law, the imposition of new or additional regulations or the enactment of any new or more stringent legislation that impacts our business could require us to change the way we operate and could have a material adverse effect on our sales, profitability, cash flows and financial condition.
Failure to comply with these laws, such as with respect to obtaining and maintaining licenses, certificates, authorizations and permits critical for the operation of our business, may result in civil penalties or private lawsuits, or the suspension or revocation of licenses, certificates, authorizations or permits, which would prevent us from operating our business. For example, commercial space launches, reentry of our spacecraft and the operation of our spaceflight system in the United States require licenses and permits from certain agencies of the Department of Transportation, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (the “FAA”), and review by other agencies of the U.S. Government, including the Department of Defense, Department of State, NASA, and the Federal Communications Commission. License approval includes an interagency review of safety, operational, national security, and foreign policy and international obligations implications, as well as a review of foreign ownership. In 2016, the FAA granted us our commercial space launch license with a limited number of verification and validation steps that we must complete before we can include future astronauts on our spaceflights. While we are in the process of completing those steps, which includes submission to the FAA of final integrated vehicle performance results conducted in an operational flight environment, delays in FAA action allowing us to conduct spaceflights with future astronauts on board imposed by the agency could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our financial results.
Additionally, the FAA and other state government agencies also enforce informed consent and cross-waiver requirements for spaceflight participants and have the authority to regulate training and medical requirements for crew. Certain related federal and state laws provide for indemnification or immunity in the event of certain losses. However, this indemnification is subject to limits, and money to be used for indemnification under federal laws is still subject to appropriation by Congress. Furthermore, no such claim regarding the immunity provided by these informed consent provisions has been brought in New Mexico or in federal courts, and we are unable to determine whether the protections provided by applicable laws or regulations would be upheld by U.S. or foreign courts.
Moreover, regulation of our industry is still evolving, and new or different laws or regulations could affect our operations, increase direct compliance costs for us or cause any third-party suppliers or contractors to raise the prices they charge us because of increased compliance costs. For example, the FAA has an open notice of proposed rulemaking relating to commercial space launches, which could affect us and our operations. Application of these laws to our business may negatively impact our performance in various ways, limiting the collaborations we may
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pursue, further regulating the export and re-export of our products, services, and technology from the United States and abroad, and increasing our costs and the time necessary to obtain required authorization. The adoption of a multi-layered regulatory approach to any one of the laws or regulations to which we are or may become subject, particularly where the layers are in conflict, could require alteration of our manufacturing processes or operational parameters which may adversely impact our business. Potential conflicts between U.S. policy and international law defining the altitude above the earth’s surface where “space” begins and defining the status of, and obligations toward, spaceflight participants could introduce an additional level of legal and commercial complexity. We may not be in complete compliance with all such requirements at all times and, even when we believe we are in complete compliance, a regulatory agency may determine that we are not.
We are subject to stringent U.S. export and import control laws and regulations. Unfavorable changes in these laws and regulations or U.S. government licensing policies, our failure to secure timely U.S. government authorizations under these laws and regulations, or our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.
Our business is subject to stringent U.S. import and export control laws and regulations as well as economic sanctions laws and regulations. We are required to import and export our products, software, technology and services, as well as run our operations in the United States, in full compliance with such laws and regulations, which include the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, ITAR, and economic sanctions administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls. Similar laws that impact our business exist in other jurisdictions. These foreign trade controls prohibit, restrict, or regulate our ability to, directly or indirectly, export, deemed export, re-export, deemed re-export or transfer certain hardware, technical data, technology, software, or services to certain countries and territories, entities, and individuals, and for end uses. If we are found to be in violation of these laws and regulations, it could result in civil and criminal liabilities, monetary and non-monetary penalties, the loss of export or import privileges, debarment and reputational harm.
Pursuant to these foreign trade control laws and regulations, we are required, among other things, to (i) maintain a registration under ITAR, (ii) determine the proper licensing jurisdiction and export classification of products, software, and technology, and (iii) obtain licenses or other forms of U.S. government authorization to engage in the conduct of our spaceflight business. The authorization requirements include the need to get permission to release controlled technology to foreign person employees and other foreign persons. Changes in U.S. foreign trade control laws and regulations, or reclassifications of our products or technologies, may restrict our operations. The inability to secure and maintain necessary licenses and other authorizations could negatively impact our ability to compete successfully or to operate our spaceflight business as planned. Any changes in the export control regulations or U.S. government licensing policy, such as those necessary to implement U.S. government commitments to multilateral control regimes, may restrict our operations. Given the great discretion the government has in issuing or denying such authorizations to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, there can be no assurance we will be successful in our future efforts to secure and maintain necessary licenses, registrations, or other U.S. government regulatory approvals.
Failure to comply with federal, state and foreign laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection and consumer protection, or the expansion of current or the enactment of new laws or regulations relating to privacy, data protection and consumer protection, could adversely affect our business and our financial condition.
We collect, store, process, and use personal information and other customer data, including medical information, and we rely in part on third parties that are not directly under our control to manage certain of these operations and to collect, store, process and use payment information. Due to the volume and sensitivity of the personal information and data we and these third parties manage and expect to manage in the future, as well as the nature of our customer base, the security features of our information systems are critical. A variety of federal, state and foreign laws and regulations govern the collection, use, retention, sharing and security of this information. Laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection and consumer protection are evolving and subject to potentially differing interpretations. These requirements may not be harmonized, may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another or may conflict with other rules or our practices. As a result, our practices may not have complied or may not comply in the future with all such laws, regulations, requirements and obligations. For example, in January 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) took effect, which
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provides new data privacy rights for consumers in California and new operational requirements for companies doing business in California. Compliance with the new obligations imposed by the CCPA depends in part on how particular regulators interpret and apply them. If we fail to comply with the CCPA or if regulators assert that we have failed to comply with the CCPA, we may be subject to certain fines or other penalties.
We expect that new industry standards, laws and regulations will continue to be proposed regarding privacy, data protection and information security in many jurisdictions, including the European e-Privacy Regulation, which is currently in draft form. We cannot yet determine the impact such future laws, regulations and standards may have on our business. Complying with these evolving obligations is costly. For instance, expanding definitions and interpretations of what constitutes “personal data” (or the equivalent) within the United States, the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) and elsewhere may increase our compliance costs and legal liability.
As we have expanded our international presence, we are also subject to additional privacy rules, many of which, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) and national laws supplementing the GDPR, such as in the United Kingdom, are significantly more stringent than those currently enforced in the United States. The law requires companies to meet stringent requirements regarding the handling of personal data of individuals located in the EEA. These more stringent requirements include expanded disclosures to inform future astronauts about how we may use their personal data through external privacy notices, increased controls on profiling future astronauts and increased rights for data subjects (including future astronauts and employees) to access, control and delete their personal data. In addition, there are mandatory data breach notification requirements. The law also includes significant penalties for non-compliance, which may result in monetary penalties of up to the higher of €20.0 million or 4% of a group’s worldwide turnover for the preceding financial year for the most serious violations. The GDPR and other similar regulations require companies to give specific types of notice and informed consent is required for the placement of a cookie or similar technologies on a user’s device for online tracking for behavioral advertising and other purposes and for direct electronic marketing, and the GDPR also imposes additional conditions in order to satisfy such consent, such as a prohibition on pre-checked tick boxes and bundled consents, thereby requiring future astronauts to affirmatively consent for a given purpose through separate tick boxes or other affirmative action.
A significant data breach or any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with any federal, state or foreign privacy or consumer protection-related laws, regulations or other principles or orders to which we may be subject or other legal obligations relating to privacy or consumer protection could adversely affect our reputation, brand and business, and may result in claims, investigations, proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities or others or other penalties or liabilities or require us to change our operations and/or cease using certain data sets. Depending on the nature of the information compromised, we may also have obligations to notify users, law enforcement or payment companies about the incident and may need to provide some form of remedy, such as refunds, for the individuals affected by the incident.
Failures in, or incidents involving, our technology infrastructure could damage our business, reputation and brand and substantially harm our business and results of operations.
If our data and network infrastructure were to fail, or if we were to suffer an interruption or degradation of services in our data center, third-party cloud, and other infrastructure environments, we could lose important manufacturing and technical data, which could harm our business. Our facilities, as well as the facilities of third-parties that maintain or have access to our data or network infrastructure, are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, cyber security attacks, terrorist attacks, power losses, telecommunications failures and similar events. In the event that our or any third-party provider’s systems or service abilities are hindered by any of the events discussed above, our ability to operate may be impaired. A decision to close facilities without adequate notice, or other unanticipated problems, could adversely impact our operations. Any of the aforementioned risks may be augmented if our or any third-party provider’s business continuity and disaster recovery plans prove to be inadequate. Our data center, third-party cloud, and managed service provider infrastructure also could be subject to break-ins, cyber attacks, sabotage, intentional acts of vandalism and other misconduct, from a spectrum of actors ranging in sophistication from threats common to most industries to more advanced and persistent, highly organized adversaries. Any security breach, including personal data breaches, or incident, including cybersecurity incidents, that we experience could result in unauthorized access to, misuse of or
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unauthorized acquisition of our internal sensitive corporate data, such as financial data, intellectual property, or data related to contracts with commercial or government customers or partners, as well as our future astronauts’ data. Such unauthorized access, misuse, acquisition, or modification of sensitive data may result in data loss, corruption or alteration, interruptions in our operations or damage to our computer hardware or systems or those of our employees, customers and future astronauts. We have been the target of cyber attacks involving the unauthorized breach or attempted breach of our systems, and although we have taken and continue to take steps to enhance our cybersecurity posture, we cannot assure that future cyber incidents will not occur or that our systems will not be targeted or breached in the future. Moreover, negative publicity arising from these types of disruptions could damage our reputation. We may not carry sufficient business interruption insurance to compensate us for losses that may occur as a result of any events that cause interruptions in our service. Significant unavailability of our services due to attacks could cause users to cease using our services and materially and adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
We use complex proprietary software in our technology infrastructure, which we seek to continually update and improve. Replacing such systems is often time-consuming and expensive, and can also be intrusive to daily business operations. Further, we may not always be successful in executing these upgrades and improvements, which may occasionally result in a failure of our systems. We may experience periodic system interruptions from time to time. Any slowdown or failure of our underlying technology infrastructure could harm our business, reputation and ability to acquire and serve our future astronauts, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations. Our disaster recovery plan or those of our third-party providers may be inadequate, and our business interruption insurance may not be sufficient to compensate us for the losses that could occur.
We are highly dependent on our senior management team and other highly skilled personnel, and if we are not successful in attracting or retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.
Our success depends, in significant part, on the continued services of our senior management team and on our ability to attract, motivate, develop and retain a sufficient number of other highly skilled personnel, including pilots, manufacturing and quality assurance, engineering, design, finance, marketing, sales and support personnel. Our senior management team has extensive experience in the aerospace industry, and we believe that their depth of experience is instrumental to our continued success. The loss of any one or more members of our senior management team, for any reason, including resignation or retirement, could impair our ability to execute our business strategy and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Competition for qualified highly skilled personnel can be strong, and we can provide no assurance that we will be successful in attracting or retaining such personnel now or in the future. We have not yet started commercial spaceflight operations, and our estimates of the required team size to support our estimated flight rates may require increases in staffing levels that may require significant capital expenditure. Further, any inability to recruit, develop and retain qualified employees may result in high employee turnover and may force us to pay significantly higher wages, which may harm our profitability. Additionally, we do not carry key man insurance for any of our management executives, and the loss of any key employee or our inability to recruit, develop and retain these individuals as needed, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Any acquisitions, partnerships or joint ventures that we enter into could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
From time to time, we may evaluate potential strategic acquisitions of businesses, including partnerships or joint ventures with third parties. We may not be successful in identifying acquisition, partnership and joint venture candidates. In addition, we may not be able to continue the operational success of such businesses or successfully finance or integrate any businesses that we acquire or with which we form a partnership or joint venture. We may have potential write-offs of acquired assets and/or an impairment of any goodwill recorded as a result of acquisitions. Furthermore, the integration of any acquisition may divert management’s time and resources from our core business and disrupt our operations or may result in conflicts with our business. Any acquisition, partnership or joint venture may not be successful, may reduce our cash reserves, may negatively affect our earnings and financial
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performance and, to the extent financed with the proceeds of debt, may increase our indebtedness. We cannot ensure that any acquisition, partnership or joint venture we make will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to many hazards and operational risks that can disrupt our business, including interruptions or disruptions in service at our primary facilities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our operations are subject to many hazards and operational risks inherent to our business, including general business risks, product liability and damage to third parties, our infrastructure or properties that may be caused by fires, floods and other natural disasters, power losses, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, human errors and similar events. Additionally, our manufacturing operations are hazardous at times and may expose us to safety risks, including environmental risks and health and safety hazards to our employees or third parties.
Moreover, our commercial spaceflight operations were recently moved to operate entirely out of a single facility, Spaceport America, in New Mexico, and our manufacturing operations are based in Mojave, California. Any significant interruption due to any of the above hazards and operational to the manufacturing or operation of our spaceflight systems at one of our primary facilities, including from weather conditions, growth constraints, performance by third-party providers (such as electric, utility or telecommunications providers), failure to properly handle and use hazardous materials, failure of computer systems, power supplies, fuel supplies, infrastructure damage, disagreements with the owners of the land on which our facilities are located, or damage sustained to our runway could result in manufacturing delays or the delay or cancellation of our spaceflights and, as a result, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, Spaceport America is run by a state agency, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, and there may be delays or impacts to operations due to considerations unique to doing business with a government agency. For example, governmental agencies often have an extended approval process for service contracts, which may result in delays or limit the timely operation of our Spaceport America facilities.
Moreover, our insurance coverage may be inadequate to cover our liabilities related to such hazards or operational risks. In addition, passenger insurance may not be accepted or may be prohibitive to procure. Moreover, we may not be able to maintain adequate insurance in the future at rates we consider reasonable and commercially justifiable, and insurance may not continue to be available on terms as favorable as our current arrangements. The occurrence of a significant uninsured claim, or a claim in excess of the insurance coverage limits maintained by us, could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Natural disasters, unusual weather conditions, epidemic outbreaks, terrorist acts and political events could disrupt our business and flight schedule.
The occurrence of one or more natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods and earthquakes, unusual weather conditions, epidemic or pandemic outbreaks, terrorist attacks or disruptive political events in certain regions where our facilities are located, or where our third-party contractors’ and suppliers’ facilities are located, could adversely affect our business. Natural disasters including tornados, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes may damage our facilities or those of our suppliers, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Severe weather, such as rainfall, snowfall or extreme temperatures, may impact the ability for spaceflight to occur as planned, resulting in additional expense to reschedule the operation and customer travel plans, thereby reducing our sales and profitability. Terrorist attacks, actual or threatened acts of war or the escalation of current hostilities, or any other military or trade disruptions impacting our domestic or foreign suppliers of components of our products, may impact our operations by, among other things, causing supply chain disruptions and increases in commodity prices, which could adversely affect our raw materials or transportation costs. These events also could cause or act to prolong an economic recession or depression in the United States or abroad, such as the current business disruption and related financial impact resulting from the global COVID-19 health crisis. To the extent these events also impact one or more of our suppliers or contractors or result in the closure of any of their facilities or our facilities, we may be unable to maintain spaceflight schedules, provide other support functions to our astronaut experience or fulfill our other contracts. In addition, the disaster recovery and
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business continuity plans we have in place currently are limited and are unlikely to prove adequate in the event of a serious disaster or similar event. We may incur substantial expenses as a result of the limited nature of our disaster recovery and business continuity plans and, more generally, any of these events could cause consumer confidence and spending to decrease, which could adversely impact our commercial spaceflight operations.
We have identified two material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting and may identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal control, which may result in material misstatements of our financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations.
In connection with the audit of our consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, we identified two material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The first material weakness is related to the lack of a sufficient number of personnel to execute, review and approve all aspects of the financial statement close and reporting process. This material weakness may not allow for us to have proper segregation of duties and the ability to close our books and records and report our results, including required disclosures, on a timely basis. The second material weakness arises from the need to augment our information technology and application controls.
We are in the process of designing and implementing measures to improve our internal control over financial reporting to remediate the material weaknesses, primarily by implementing additional review procedures within our accounting and finance department, hiring additional staff, designing and implementing information technology and application controls in our financially significant systems, and, if appropriate, engaging external accounting experts to supplement our internal resources in our computation and review processes. While we are designing and implementing measures to remediate the material weaknesses, we cannot predict the success of such measures or the outcome of our assessment of these measures at this time. We can give no assurance that these measures will remediate either of the deficiencies in internal control or that additional material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting will not be identified in the future. Our failure to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in errors in our financial statements that may lead to a restatement of our financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations.
As a public company, we are generally required, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), to furnish a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for each Annual Report on Form 10-K to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), starting with our annual report for the year ending December 31, 2020. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. Beginning with our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2020, our independent registered public accounting firm will also be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We are required to disclose changes made in our internal control and procedures on a quarterly basis. To comply with the requirements of being a public company, we are undertaking, and expect to undertake, various actions, such as implementing new internal controls and procedures and hiring accounting or internal audit staff. Failure to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC, the NYSE or other regulatory authorities, which would require additional financial and management resources.
Our operating results may fluctuate significantly, which makes our future operating results difficult to predict and could cause our operating results to fall below expectations or any guidance we may provide.
Our quarterly and annual operating results may fluctuate significantly, which makes it difficult for us to predict our future operating results. These fluctuations may occur due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including:
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the number of flights we schedule for a period, the number of seats we are able to sell in any given spaceflight and the price at which we sell them;
unexpected weather patterns, maintenance issues, natural disasters or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule flights;
the cost of raw materials or supplied components critical for the manufacture and operation of our spaceflight system;
the timing and cost of, and level of investment in, research and development relating to our technologies and our current or future facilities;
developments involving our competitors;
changes in governmental regulations or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications;
future accounting pronouncements or changes in our accounting policies;
the impact of epidemics or pandemics, including current business disruption and related financial impact resulting from the global COVID-19 health crisis; and
general market conditions and other factors, including factors unrelated to our operating performance or the operating performance of our competitors.
The individual or cumulative effects of factors discussed above could result in large fluctuations and unpredictability in our quarterly and annual operating results. As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful.
This variability and unpredictability could also result in our failing to meet the expectations of industry or financial analysts or investors for any period. If our revenue or operating results fall below the expectations of analysts or investors or below any guidance we may provide, or if the guidance we provide is below the expectations of analysts or investors, the price of our common stock could decline substantially. Such a stock price decline could occur even when we have met any previously publicly stated guidance we may provide.
The historical financial results of the VG Companies and our unaudited pro forma financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus may not be indicative of what our actual financial position or results of operations would have been.
The historical financial results of the VG Companies included in this prospectus do not reflect the financial condition, results of operations or cash flows we would have achieved as a standalone company during the periods presented or that we will achieve in the future. This is primarily the result of the following factors:
the VG Companies’ historical financial results reflect charges for certain support functions that are now provided to us under the transition services agreements that we entered into in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination;
the VG Companies’ historical financial results reflect charges for the use of certain intellectual property licensed from Virgin under a prior trademark license agreement, which was replaced with the Amended TMLA in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination;
we have only recently started incurring, and will continue to incur, additional ongoing costs as a result of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, including costs related to public company reporting, investor relations and compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and
our capital structure is different from that reflected in the VG Companies’ historical financial statements prior to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
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Similarly, our unaudited pro forma financial information in this prospectus is presented for illustrative purposes only. Accordingly, such pro forma financial information may not be indicative of our future operating or financial performance and our actual financial condition and results of operations may vary materially from our pro forma results of operations and balance sheet contained elsewhere in this prospectus.
We may become involved in litigation that may materially adversely affect us.
From time to time, we may become involved in various legal proceedings relating to matters incidental to the ordinary course of our business, including intellectual property, commercial, product liability, employment, class action, whistleblower and other litigation and claims, and governmental and other regulatory investigations and proceedings. Such matters can be time-consuming, divert management’s attention and resources, cause us to incur significant expenses or liability or require us to change our business practices. Because of the potential risks, expenses and uncertainties of litigation, we may, from time to time, settle disputes, even where we believe that we have meritorious claims or defenses. Because litigation is inherently unpredictable, we cannot assure you that the results of any of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are subject to environmental regulation and may incur substantial costs.
We are subject to federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations and ordinances relating to the protection of the environment, including those relating to emissions to the air, discharges to surface and subsurface waters, safe drinking water, greenhouse gases and the management of hazardous substances, oils and waste materials. Federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment may require a current or previous owner or operator of real estate to investigate and remediate hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum product releases at or from the property. Under federal law, generators of waste materials, and current and former owners or operators of facilities, can be subject to liability for investigation and remediation costs at locations that have been identified as requiring response actions. Compliance with environmental laws and regulations can require significant expenditures. In addition, we could incur costs to comply with such current or future laws and regulations, the violation of which could lead to substantial fines and penalties.
We may have to pay governmental entities or third parties for property damage and for investigation and remediation costs that they incurred in connection with any contamination at our current and former properties without regard to whether we knew of or caused the presence of the contaminants. Liability under these laws may be strict, joint and several, meaning that we could be liable for the costs of cleaning up environmental contamination regardless of fault or the amount of waste directly attributable to us. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by these environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred. Environmental liabilities could arise and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and performance. We do not believe, however, that pending environmental regulatory developments in this area will have a material effect on our capital expenditures or otherwise materially adversely affect its operations, operating costs, or competitive position.
Changes in tax laws or regulations may increase tax uncertainty and adversely affect results of our operations and our effective tax rate.
We will be subject to taxes in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions. Due to economic and political conditions, tax rates in various jurisdictions, including the United States, may be subject to change. Our future effective tax rates could be affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and changes in tax laws or their interpretation. In addition, we may be subject to income tax audits by various tax jurisdictions. Although we believe our income tax liabilities are reasonably estimated and accounted for in accordance with applicable laws and principles, an adverse resolution by one or more taxing authorities could have a material impact on the results of our operations.

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Risks Related to Our Ownership Structure
We are a controlled company within the meaning of the NYSE rules, and, as a result, qualify for exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that provide protection to stockholders of other companies. To the extent we utilize any of these exemptions, you will not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to such requirements.
As of April 29, 2020, Vieco 10, the Sponsor and the chairman of our board of directors, Chamath Palihapitiya, collectively control more than 50% of our common stock and, on account of the voting agreement between those holders included in the stockholders’ agreement entered in connection with the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination (the “Stockholders’ Agreement”), we are considered a “controlled company” for the purposes of NYSE rules and corporate governance standards. As a controlled company, we are exempt from certain NYSE corporate governance requirements, including those that would otherwise require our board of directors to have a majority of independent directors and require that we either establish compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees, each comprised entirely of independent directors, or otherwise ensure that the compensation of our executive officers and nominees for directors are determined or recommended to the board of directors by the independent members of the board of directors. While we are not currently relying on any of these exemptions, we will be entitled to do so for as long as we are considered a “controlled company,” and to the extent we rely on one or more of these exemptions, holders of our common stock will not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements.
Vieco 10 and the other stockholders that are party to the Stockholders’ Agreement have the ability to control the direction of our business, and the concentrated ownership of our common stock will prevent you and other stockholders from influencing significant decisions.
Pursuant to the terms of the Stockholders’ Agreement, we are required to take all necessary action to cause the specified designees of Vieco 10 and Mr. Palihapitiya to be nominated to serve on our board of directors, and each of the holders that is party to the Stockholders’ Agreement is required, among other things, to vote all of our securities held by such party in a manner necessary to elect the individuals designated by such holders. For so long as these parties hold a majority of our common stock, they will be able to control the composition of our board of directors, which in turn will be able to control all matters affecting us, subject to the terms of the Stockholders’ Agreement, including:
any determination with respect to our business direction and policies, including the appointment and removal of officers and, in the event of a vacancy on our board of directors, additional or replacement directors;
any determinations with respect to mergers, business combinations or disposition of assets;
determination of our management policies;
our financing policy;
our compensation and benefit programs and other human resources policy decisions; and
the payment of dividends on our common stock.
Additionally, as of March 31, 2020, Vieco 10 individually controlled shares representing a majority of our total outstanding shares of common stock. Even if Vieco 10 were to control less than a majority of our total outstanding shares of common stock, it will be able to influence the outcome of corporate actions so long as it owns a significant portion of our total outstanding shares of common stock. Specifically, under the terms of the Stockholders’ Agreement, for so long as Vieco 10 continues to beneficially own at least 25% of the shares of our common stock it beneficially owned upon completion of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, Vieco 10’s consent is required for, among other things:
any non-ordinary course sales of our assets having a fair market value of at least $10.0 million;
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any acquisition of an entity, or the business or assets of any other entity, having a fair market value of at least $10.0 million;
certain non-ordinary course investments having a fair market value of at least $10.0 million;
any increase or decrease in the size of our board of directors;
any payment by us of dividends or distributions to our stockholders or repurchases of stock by us, subject to certain limited exceptions; or
incurrence of certain indebtedness.
Furthermore, Vieco 10’s consent is also required for the following, among other things, for so long as Vieco 10 continues to beneficially own at least 10% of the shares of our common stock it beneficially owned upon completion of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination:
any sale, merger, business combination or similar transaction to which we are a party;
any amendment, modification or waiver of any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws;
any liquidation, dissolution, winding-up or causing any voluntary bankruptcy or related actions with respect to us; or
any issuance or sale of any shares of our capital stock or securities convertible into or exercisable for any shares of our capital stock in excess of 5% of our then-issued and outstanding shares, other than issuances of shares of capital stock upon the exercise of options to purchase shares of our capital stock.
Because the interests of these stockholders may differ from our interests or the interests of our other stockholders, actions that these stockholders take with respect to us may not be favorable to us or our other stockholders.
Delaware law and our organizational documents contain certain provisions, including anti-takeover provisions, that limit the ability of stockholders to take certain actions and could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law contain certain provisions that could have the effect of rendering more difficult, delaying, or preventing an acquisition that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. These provisions could also limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, and therefore depress the trading price of our common stock. These provisions could also make it difficult for stockholders to take certain actions, including electing directors who are not nominated by the current members of our board of directors or taking other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. Among other things, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws include provisions regarding:
the ability of our board of directors to issue shares of preferred stock, including “blank check” preferred stock and to determine the price and other terms of those shares, including preferences and voting rights, without stockholder approval, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquirer;
subject to the terms of the Stockholders’ Agreement, our board of directors has the exclusive right to expand the size of the board of directors and to elect directors to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors or the resignation, death or removal of a director, which will prevent stockholders from being able to fill vacancies on the board of directors;
once we no longer qualify as a “controlled company” under the listing standards of the NYSE, our stockholders will not be able to act by written consent, which will force stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of stockholders;
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the prohibition of cumulative voting in the election of directors, which limits the ability of minority stockholders to elect director candidates;
the limitation of the liability of, and the indemnification of, our directors and officers;
the ability of our board of directors to amend the bylaws, which may allow our board of directors to take additional actions to prevent an unsolicited takeover and inhibit the ability of an acquirer to amend the bylaws to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt;
advance notice procedures with which stockholders must comply to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting, which could preclude stockholders from bringing matters before annual or special meetings of stockholders and delay changes in our board of directors and also may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company; and
expansive negative consent rights for Vieco 10, which provide that as long as Vieco 10 maintains certain ownership thresholds to appoint a director under the Stockholders’ Agreement, the written consent of Vieco 10 is required to enter into certain business combinations or related transactions.
These provisions, alone or together, could delay or prevent hostile takeovers and changes in control or changes in our board of directors or management.
The provisions of our certificate of incorporation requiring exclusive forum in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware for certain types of lawsuits may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.
Our certificate of incorporation provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, and unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors, officers, stockholders, employees or agents arising out of or related to any provision of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware or our certificate of incorporation or bylaws or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors, officers, stockholders, employees or agents governed by the internal affairs doctrine; provided, however, that, in the event that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware lacks subject matter jurisdiction over any such action or proceeding, the sole and exclusive forum for such action or proceeding will be another state or federal court located within the State of Delaware, in each such case, unless the Court of Chancery (or such other state or federal court located within the State of Delaware, as applicable) has dismissed a prior action by the same plaintiff asserting the same claims because such court lacked personal jurisdiction over an indispensable party named as a defendant therein. Notwithstanding the foregoing, our certificate of incorporation provides that the exclusive forum provision will not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
These provisions may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with any applicable action brought against us, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in the certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in such action.
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Our certificate of incorporation limits liability of Vieco US and Mr. Palihapitiya and their respective affiliates’ liability, including Vieco 10, to us for breach of fiduciary duty and could also prevent us from benefiting from corporate opportunities that might otherwise have been available to us.
Our certificate of incorporation provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, and other than corporate opportunities that are expressly presented to one of our directors in his or her capacity as such, Vieco US and its respective affiliates (including Vieco 10) and Mr. Palihapitiya and his respective affiliates (but in each case, other than us and our officers and employees):
will not have any fiduciary duty to refrain from engaging in the same or similar business activities or lines of business as us, even if the opportunity is one that we might reasonably be deemed to have pursued or had the ability or desire to pursue if granted the opportunity to do so;
will have no duty to communicate or offer such business opportunity to us; and
will not be liable to us for breach of any fiduciary or other duty, as a director or officer or otherwise, by reason of the fact that such exempted person pursues or acquires such business opportunity, directs such business opportunity to another person or fails to present such business opportunity, or information regarding such business opportunity, to us.
Risks Related to Our Securities and Being a Public Company
Future resales of common stock may cause the market price of our securities to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.
Subject to certain exceptions, pursuant to the registration rights agreement entered in connection with the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination (the “Registration Rights Agreement”), Vieco 10 is contractually restricted for the first two years following the Virgin Galactic Business Combination from selling or transferring more than 50% of the shares of common stock it received in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, and the Sponsor is contractually restricted for the first two years following the Virgin Galactic Business Combination from selling or transferring any of the shares of common stock held by it after the Virgin Galactic Business Combination. However, following the expiration of such lockup, neither Vieco 10 nor the Sponsor will be restricted from selling shares of our common stock held by them, other than by applicable securities laws. As such, sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market could occur at any time, including pursuant to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. These sales, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock.
As restrictions on resale end and registration statements for the sale of the shares held by the parties to the Registration Rights Agreement are available for use, including the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, the sale or possibility of sale of these shares could have the effect of increasing the volatility in the market price of our common stock, or decreasing the market price itself.
The trading price of our common stock may be volatile.
The trading price of our common stock may fluctuate due to a variety of factors, including:
changes in the industries in which we operate;
the number of flights we schedule for a period, the number of seats we are able to sell in any given spaceflight and the price at which we sell them;
developments involving our competitors;
unexpected weather patterns, maintenance issues, natural disasters or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule flights;
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variations in our operating performance and the performance of our competitors in general;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual operating results;
publication of research reports by securities analysts about us, our competitors or our industry;
the public’s reaction to our press releases, public announcements and filings with the SEC;
additions and departures of key personnel;
changes in laws and regulations affecting our business;
commencement of, or involvement in, litigation involving us;
changes in our capital structure, such as future issuances of securities or the incurrence of debt;
investors mistaking developments involving other companies, including Virgin-branded companies, as involving us and our business;
the volume of shares of our common stock available for public sale; and
general economic and political conditions such as the COVID-19 global health crisis or other pandemics or epidemics, recessions, interest rates, fuel prices, international currency fluctuations, corruption, political instability and acts of war or terrorism.
These market and industry factors may materially reduce the market price of our common stock regardless of our operating performance, including the VG Companies businesses acquired in the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
The obligations associated with being a public company will involve significant expenses and will require significant resources and management attention, which may divert from our business operations.
As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Exchange Act requires the filing of annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to a public company’s business and financial condition. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that a public company establish and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting. As a result, we are incurring, and will continue to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that the VG Companies did not previously incur. Our management team and many of our other employees will need to devote substantial time to compliance, and may not effectively or efficiently manage its transition into a public company.
Additionally, we lost our status as an “emerging growth company” and a “smaller reporting company” under federal securities laws as of December 31, 2019, meaning that we can no longer utilize the exemptions and reduced disclosure requirements available to such companies.
An active trading market for our common stock may not be maintained.
We can provide no assurance that we will be able to maintain an active trading market for our common stock on the NYSE or any other exchange in the future. If an active market for our common stock is not maintained, or if we fail to satisfy the continued listing standards of the NYSE for any reason and our securities are delisted, it may be difficult for our security holders to sell their securities without depressing the market price for the securities or at all. An inactive trading market may also impair our ability to both raise capital by selling shares of common stock and acquire other complementary products, technologies or businesses by using our shares of common stock as consideration.
Securities analysts may not publish favorable research or reports about our business or may publish no information at all, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
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The trading market for our common stock is influenced to some extent by the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us and our business. We do not control these analysts, and the analysts who publish information about our common stock may have had relatively little experience with us or our industry, which could affect their ability to accurately forecast our results and could make it more likely that we fail to meet their estimates. In the event we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage, if any of the analysts who cover us provide inaccurate or unfavorable research or issue an adverse opinion regarding our stock price, our stock price could decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports covering us regularly, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
We do not intend to pay cash dividends for the foreseeable future.
We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to finance the further development and expansion of our business and do not intend to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, restrictions contained in the Stockholders’ Agreement and future agreements and financing instruments, business prospects and such other factors as our board of directors deems relevant.
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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements (including within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning us and other matters. These statements may discuss goals, intentions and expectations as to future plans, trends, events, results of operations or financial condition, or otherwise, based on current beliefs of management, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management.
Forward-looking statements may be accompanied by words such as “achieve,” “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “drive,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “future,” “grow,” “improve,” “increase,” “intend,” “may,” “outlook,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” or similar words, phrases or expressions. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside our control. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following:
our ability to achieve or maintain profitability;
our ability to effectively market and sell human spaceflights;
the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19, on our business and operations;
the development of the markets for commercial human spaceflight and commercial research and development payloads;
any delay in completing the flight test program and final development of our spaceflight system, which is comprised of our SpaceShipTwo Spaceship, VSS Unity, and our WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, VMS Eve;
our ability to operate our spaceflight systems after commercial launch;
the safety of our spaceflight systems;
our ability to convert our backlog or inbound inquiries into revenue;
our ability to conduct test flights at our anticipated full passenger capacity;
delay in developing or the manufacture of our spaceflight systems;
our expected capital requirements and the availability of additional financing;
our ability to attract or retain highly qualified personnel, including in accounting and finance roles;
extensive and evolving government regulations that impact the way we operate;
risks associated with international expansion; and
our ability to continue to use, maintain, enforce, protect and defend our owned and licensed intellectual property, including the Virgin brand.
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USE OF PROCEEDS
We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of common stock by the selling stockholders.
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DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE
Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “SPCE”. The actual offering price by the selling stockholders of the shares of common stock covered by this prospectus will be determined by prevailing market prices at the time of sale, by private transactions negotiated by the selling stockholders or as otherwise described in the section entitled “Plan of Distribution.”
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MARKET PRICE OF COMMON STOCK AND DIVIDENDS
Market Price of Our Common Stock
Our common stock is currently listed on the NYSE under the symbol “SPCE”.
On May 8, 2020, the closing price of our common stock was $20.18. As of April 29, 2020, there were 210,403,856 shares of our common stock outstanding, held of record by 118 holders. The number of record holders of our common stock does not include DTC participants or beneficial owners holding shares through nominee names.
Dividend Policy
We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock to date. Our board of directors may from time to time consider whether or not to institute a dividend policy. It is our present intention to retain any earnings for use in our business operations and, accordingly, we do not anticipate the board of directors declaring any dividends in the foreseeable future. The payment of cash dividends in the future will be dependent upon our revenues and earnings, if any, capital requirements and general financial condition. The payment of any cash dividends will be within the discretion of our board of directors. Further, our ability to declare dividends may be limited by the terms of financing or other agreements entered into by us from time to time.
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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Introduction
The Virgin Galactic Business Combination was consummated on October 25, 2019. We are providing the following unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information to aid you in your analysis of the financial aspects of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination. The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information should be read in conjunction with the accompanying notes.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 gives effect to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination as if it had been consummated on January 1, 2019.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information does not include an unaudited pro forma consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2019 as the Virgin Galactic Business Combination is already reflected in our historical audited consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2019 included elsewhere in this prospectus.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 was derived from and should be read in conjunction with the historical audited consolidated financial statements of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (“VGH, Inc.”) as of and for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. The foregoing historical financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”).
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information should also be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for the year ended December 31, 2019 included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Description of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination
Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, the VG Companies merged with and into the Merger Subs in exchange for an aggregate merger consideration payable by Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. (“SCH”) to Vieco US. The VG Companies survived the Mergers as direct wholly owned subsidiaries of SCH and SCH was immediately renamed “Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.” The aggregate merger consideration payable by SCH to Vieco US under the Merger Agreement was 130,000,000 shares of our common stock at a deemed value of $10.00 per share for an aggregate merger consideration of $1.3 billion.
Accounting for the Virgin Galactic Business Combination
The Virgin Galactic Business Combination was accounted for as a reverse recapitalization in accordance with GAAP. Under this method of accounting, SCH has been treated as the “acquired” company for financial reporting purposes. This determination was primarily based on current shareholders of the VG Companies having a relative majority of the voting power of the combined entity, the operations of the VG Companies prior to the acquisition comprising the only ongoing operations of the combined entity, and senior management of the VG Companies comprising the majority of the senior management of the combined entity. Accordingly, for accounting purposes, the financial statements of the combined entity represent a continuation of the financial statements of the VG Companies with the acquisition being treated as the equivalent of the VG Companies issuing stock for the net assets of SCH, accompanied by a recapitalization. The net assets of SCH were recognized as of the date of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination at historical cost, with no goodwill or other intangible assets recorded.
Other Events in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination
On July 9, 2019, VEL, VGH, LLC and SCH agreed that the trademark license agreement with VEL would, effective on the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, be amended and restated and novated to us, permitting us to use the “Virgin Galactic” name and brand and the Virgin signature logo. Pursuant to the terms of the Amended TMLA, we will be obligated to pay VEL quarterly royalties equal to the greater of (a) a low single-digit percentage of its gross sales and (b) prior to the first spaceflight for paying future astronauts, a mid-five figure amount in dollars. After commercial launch, we will be
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obligated to pay increased royalties. See the section of this prospectus titled “Business—Intellectual Property—Virgin Trademark License Agreement.”
The second qualifying milestone under the VG Companies’ multiyear cash incentive plan (the “Cash Incentive Plan”) was amended upon the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination such that the participants who remained continuously employed through the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination were entitled to receive 100% of the bonus that such participant would have otherwise received upon the achievement of the original second qualifying milestone. See the section of this prospectus titled “Compensation Discussion and Analysis—Elements of Our Executive Compensation Program—Cash-Based Incentive Compensation—Cash Incentive Plan.”
Four individuals who served on SCH’s board of directors prior to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination were granted restricted stock unit awards (the “Director RSU Awards”) relating to an aggregate of 1,500,000 underlying shares of our common stock. The Director RSU Awards were vested at grant upon the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination but will not settle into shares of common stock until a date, selected by us, between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. See the section this prospectus titled “Director Compensation—Director Compensation Table for Fiscal Year 2019.”
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. approved and implemented a compensation program for its non-employee directors (the “Director Compensation Program”) that consists of annual retainer fees and long-term equity awards for our non-employee directors who are determined to not be affiliated with Virgin Galactic and/or SCH. The initial eligible directors are Drs. Austin and Ryans and Messrs. Kreeger and Mattson. Under the Director Compensation Program, each initial eligible director will receive an annual retainer of $125,000 as cash compensation and will receive a restricted stock unit (“RSU”) award covering shares of our common stock with an aggregate value of $300,000, which will vest as to one-third of the shares subject to the award on each anniversary of the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, subject to continued service. See the section of this prospectus titled “Director Compensation—Equity Compensation.”
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. adopted the 2019 Incentive Award Plan (the “2019 Plan”) in connection with the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, under which we may grant cash and equity incentive awards covering shares of its common stock to employees, consultants and directors of the Company, and employees and consultants of its subsidiaries.
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. entered into new employment agreements with its executive officers. The terms of these new employment agreements include salary compensation and equity incentive awards covering shares of our common stock. See the section of this prospectus titled “Compensation Discussion and Analysis—Executive Compensation—Narrative to Summary Compensation Table and Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table.”
An entity affiliated with The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) purchased 1,924,402 newly issued shares of our common stock in exchange for aggregate consideration of $20.0 million.
Basis of Pro Forma Presentation
The historical financial statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 has been adjusted to give pro forma effect to events that are (i) related and/or directly attributable to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, (ii) factually supportable, and (iii) are expected to have a continuing impact on the results of the combined entity. The adjustments in the unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 have been identified and presented to provide relevant information necessary for an accurate understanding of the combined entity upon consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information is for illustrative purposes only. The financial results may have been different had the companies been always combined. You should not rely on the unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 as being indicative of the
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historical results that would have been achieved had the companies been always combined or the future results that the combined entity will experience, including additional expenses we may incur as a result of operating as a public company subsequent to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination. SCH and the VG Companies have not had any historical relationship prior to the transactions. Accordingly, no pro forma adjustments were required to eliminate activities between the companies.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information has been prepared to reflect the following:
Total redemptions of 15,877,288 Class A public shares, consisting of 3,771,178 shares redeemed on September 9, 2019 and 12,106,110 shares redeemed on October 23, 2019, that are already reflected in the audited consolidated financial statements of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. as of and for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The election by Vieco US for us to repurchase 5,209,562 shares of our common stock held by Vieco US at a price of $10.00 per share in cash (the “Repurchase”). The Repurchase was derived from the remaining $52.1 million cash available as of October 25, 2019 for the Repurchase in excess of the $500.0 million balance required to be held by Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. in cash and cash equivalents subsequent to the Repurchase.
The election by Vieco US for Chamath Palihapitiya to purchase 10,000,000 shares of our common stock held by Vieco US at a price of $10.00 per share in cash as contemplated by a purchase agreement entered into in connection with the merger agreement relating to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination (the “Secondary Purchase”). The Secondary Purchase has no impact to the total shares of our common stock outstanding as presented in the unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information.
After giving effect to the redemption of the Class A public shares, the Repurchase, and the Secondary Purchase, shares of our common stock issued and outstanding immediately after the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination were as follows:
Shareholder
No. of Shares
% Ownership
Vieco US114,790,438  58.6 %
SCH’s public shareholders53,122,712  27.1 %
Sponsor & related parties (including Mr. Palihapitiya)25,750,000  13.1 %
Boeing1,924,402  1.0 %
Shares issued to settle transaction costs(1)
413,486  0.2 %
Total(2)
196,001,038  100.0 %
__________________
(1)Shares were issued in November 2019 as partial consideration for advisory services rendered in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
(2)Outstanding shares of our common stock held by Sponsor excludes the 1,500,000 shares of our common stock underlying the Director RSU Awards that were granted in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination. The Director RSU Awards vested at the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination but will not settle into shares of common stock until a date, selected by us, that occurs between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information is based on the assumption that there are no adjustments for the outstanding public or private placement warrants issued by SCH as such securities were not exercisable until 30 days after the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
If the actual facts are different than these assumptions, then the amounts and shares outstanding in the unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information will be different.
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Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Statement of Operations
For the Year Ended December 31, 2019
(In thousands, except share and per share amounts)
(a)
VGH, Inc.
Pro Forma
Adjustments
Pro Forma
VGH, Inc.
Revenue$3,781  $—  $3,781  
Cost of revenue2,004  —  2,004  
Gross profit1,777  —  1,777  
Selling, general, and administrative expenses82,166  67   
750   
7,600   
(6,443)  84,140  
Research and development expenses132,873  4,829   
(3,424)  134,278  
Operating loss(213,262) (3,379) (216,641) 
Interest income2,297  —  2,297  
Interest expense36  —  36  
Other income128  —  128  
Loss before income taxes(210,873) (3,379) (214,252) 
Income tax expense62  —  62  
Net income (loss)$(210,935) $(3,379) $(214,314) 
Net loss per share
Basic and diluted$(1.09) $(1.09) f
Weighted average shares outstanding
Basic and diluted194,378,154  3,122,884  g197,501,038  g

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NOTES TO UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
1. Basis of Presentation
The pro forma adjustments have been prepared as if the Virgin Galactic Business Combination had been consummated on January 1, 2019.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information has been prepared assuming the following methods of accounting in accordance with GAAP.
The Virgin Galactic Business Combination was accounted for as a reverse recapitalization in accordance with GAAP. Accordingly, for accounting purposes, the financial statements of the combined entity represent a continuation of the financial statements of the VG Companies with the acquisition being treated as the equivalent of the VG Companies issuing stock for the net assets of SCH, accompanied by a recapitalization. The net assets of SCH have been stated at historical cost, with no goodwill or other intangible assets recorded.
The pro forma adjustments represent management’s estimates based on information available as of the date of this prospectus and are subject to change as additional information becomes available and additional analyses are performed. Management considers this basis of presentation to be reasonable under the circumstances.
Equity awards granted under the 2019 Plan to executive officers and employees in connection with the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination were 5,912,609 nonqualified stock options and 1,795,209 restricted stock units (“RSUs”). The nonqualified stock options are subject to service-based vesting conditions that are met over a four-year graded vesting period. The RSU awards are subject to service-based and share price-based vesting conditions. The service-based condition for the RSUs granted is met over a four-year graded-vesting period; the share price-based vesting condition for each RSU granted was based at the time of the grant on a $10.00 share price hurdle to be met at each service vesting date, but such condition was removed in April 2020. The grant date fair values of the equity awards were determined based on the fair value of VGH, Inc.’s underlying common stock of $11.79 per share as of the date of the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination using the Black-Scholes option pricing model for the nonqualified stock options and the Monte Carlo simulation model for the RSUs.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated financial information does not include the effect of the outstanding warrants as they were not exercisable upon the close of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
The unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 does not reflect the income tax effects of the pro forma adjustments as based on the statutory rate in effect for the period presented. Management believes that income tax adjustments in the unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 to not be meaningful given the combined entity incurred a significant loss during the period presented due to having not yet launched its commercial human spaceflight service.
2. Adjustments and Assumptions to the Unaudited Pro Forma Consolidated Statement of Operations for the Year Ended December 31, 2019
The unaudited pro forma consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019 reflects the following adjustments:
(a)Represents the VGH, Inc. historical audited consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2019.
(b)Represents the net increase in trademark license royalty expense under the Amended TMLA for the period prior to the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination on October 25, 2019.
(c)Represents the compensation for the initial eligible directors under the Director Compensation Program for the period prior to the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination on October 25, 2019, which consists of $0.4 million for the retainer fees and $0.3 million for the stock-based compensation expenses associated with the grant of 101,780 RSUs at the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
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(d)Represents the estimated change in aggregate compensation expense for Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.’s executive officers and employees for the period prior to the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination on October 25, 2019, which consists of $0.2 million in cash compensation and $12.2 million for the stock-based compensation expenses associated with the grant of 5,912,609 options and 1,795,209 RSUs at the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
(e)Represents an adjustment to exclude the non-recurring $9.9 million compensation cost recorded in the VGH, Inc. historical audited consolidated statement of operations in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination. The compensation cost was earned by participants pursuant to the amended cash incentive plan upon the achievement of the second qualifying milestone in connection with the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
(f)Represents the basic and diluted net loss per share as a result of the pro forma adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2019.
(g)Represents an adjustment to reflect the basic and diluted weighted average shares of common stock outstanding as based on the 196,001,038 shares of common stock outstanding immediately after the Virgin Galactic Business Combination and the vested 1,500,000 Director RSU Awards granted in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination that remain unsettled as of December 31, 2019. Refer to the table below for the reconciliation of the weighted average shares of common stock outstanding.
Pro Forma
VGH, Inc.
(In thousands, except share and per share amounts)
Numerator
Net loss$(214,314) 
Denominator
Vieco US114,790,438  
SCH’s public shareholders53,122,712  
Sponsor & related parties (including Mr. Palihapitiya)25,750,000  
Boeing1,924,402  
Shares issued to settle transaction costs413,486  
RSU awards—vested and unsettled1,500,000  
Basic and diluted weighted average shares of common stock outstanding197,501,038   
Net loss per share
Basic and diluted$(1.09)  

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA
The consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2020 and consolidated statement of operations data for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 are derived from our unaudited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus, and the consolidated balance sheet data and consolidated statement of operation data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. The consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2019 are derived from our consolidated financial statements and related notes not included herein. The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America and on the same basis as our audited financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments, which include only normal recurring adjustments, necessary for the fair presentation of our results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 and of our financial position as of March 31, 2020 and 2019. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future and results for the three months ended March 31, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for the full year or any other period.
The information is only a summary and should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes together with the information under the caption Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contained elsewhere in this prospectus.
The historical consolidated financial statements include certain expenses of Vieco 10, Galactic Ventures, LLC and VO Holdings, Inc. that were allocated to the VG Companies prior to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination for corporate-related and operating functions based on an allocation methodology that considered the VG Companies’ headcount, unless directly attributable to the business. General corporate overhead expense allocations included tax, accounting and auditing professional fees, and certain employee benefits. Operating expense allocations included use of machinery and equipment and other general administrative expense. The allocations may not, however, reflect the expense the VG Companies would have incurred as an independent company for the periods presented. Actual costs that may have been incurred if the VG Companies had been a stand-alone company would have depended on a number of factors, including the chosen organizational structure, what functions were outsourced or performed by employees and strategic decisions made in areas such as information technology and infrastructure. Subsequent to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination, we perform these functions using our own resources or purchased services.
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Three Months Ended
March 31,
Years Ended December 31,
20202019201920182017
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss Data:
Revenue$238  $1,782  $3,781  $2,849  $1,754  
Cost of revenue173  1,006  2,004  1,201  488  
     Gross profit65  776  1,777  1,648  1,266  
Operating expenses:
Selling, general and administrative expenses26,755  12,295  82,166  50,902  46,886  
Research and development expenses34,282  31,424  132,873  117,932  93,085  
     Operating loss(60,972) (42,943) (213,262) (167,186) (138,705) 
Interest income1,177  353  2,297  633  241  
Interest expense(9) (1) (36) (10) (21) 
Other income3  23  128  28,571  453  
Other expense(175)   —  —  —  
     Loss before income taxes(59,976) (42,568) (210,873) (137,992) (138,032) 
Income tax expense(46) 25  62  147  155  
     Net loss$(59,930) $(42,593) $(210,935) $(138,139) $(138,187) 

Three Months Ended
March 31,
Years Ended December 31,
20202019201920182017
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows Data:
Net cash provided by (used in):
     Operating activities$(56,313) $(42,871) $(203,556) $(145,703) $(136,675) 
     Investing activities$(4,036) $(3,068) $(19,411) $(10,590) $(5,597) 
     Financing activities$(720) $47,422  $634,320  $156,595  $137,870  

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As of March 31,As of December 31,
20202019201920182017
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:
Cash and cash equivalents$419,374  $74,973  $480,443  $73,990  $75,606  
Other current assets55,954  46,564  56,228  45,107  27,789  
Total current assets
475,328  121,537  536,671  119,097  103,395  
Total assets
$548,059  $160,472  $605,546  $156,039  $134,391  
Total current liabilities
$113,392  $106,010  $115,845  $106,322  $102,563  
Total liabilities
$136,058  $114,051  $137,986  $114,480  $111,324  
Total equity
$412,001  $46,421  $467,560  $41,559  $23,067  

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Unless the context otherwise requires, all references in this section to the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to the business of the VG Companies and their subsidiaries prior to the consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination and Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries after consummation of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination. Prior to the Virgin Galactic Business Combination and prior to the series of Vieco 10 reorganization steps, Galactic Ventures, LLC (“GV”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vieco 10, was the direct parent of the VG Companies.
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, such as those set forth under the “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” sections and elsewhere in this prospectus, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
The following generally compares our results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and 2019 and for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018. A detailed discussion comparing our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 can be found in “The VG Companies’ Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” of our definitive proxy statement filed on October 10, 2019.
Overview
We are at the vanguard of a new industry, pioneering the commercial exploration of space with reusable spaceflight systems. We believe the commercial exploration of space represents one of the most exciting and important technology initiatives of our time. This industry has begun growing dramatically due to new products, new sources of private and government funding, and new technologies. Demand is emerging from new sectors and demographics. As government space agencies have retired or reduced their own capacity to send humans into space, private companies are beginning to make crucial inroads into the fields of human space exploration. We have embarked into this commercial exploration journey with a mission to put humans into space and return them safely to Earth on a routine and consistent basis. We believe the success of this mission will provide the foundation for a myriad of exciting new industries.
We are a vertically integrated aerospace company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers. Our spaceship operations consist of commercial human spaceflight and flying commercial research and development payloads into space. Our operations also include the design and development, manufacturing, ground and flight testing, and post-flight maintenance of our spaceflight vehicles. We focus our efforts in spaceflights using our reusable technology for human tourism and for research and education. We intend to offer our customers, who we also refer to as “future astronauts”, a unique, multi-day experience culminating in a spaceflight that includes several minutes of weightlessness and views of Earth from space. As part of our commercial operations, we have exclusive access to the Gateway to Space facility at Spaceport America located in New Mexico. Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport and will be the site of our initial commercial spaceflight operations. We believe the site provides us with a competitive advantage when creating our spaceflight plans as it not only has a desert climate with relatively predictable weather conditions preferable to support our spaceflights, it also has airspace that is restricted for surrounding commercial air traffic that will facilitate frequent and consistent flight scheduling.
Our primary mission is to launch the first commercial program for human spaceflight. In December 2018, we made history by flying our groundbreaking spaceship, SpaceShipTwo, to space. This represented the first flight of a spaceflight system built for commercial service to take humans into space. Shortly thereafter, we flew our second spaceflight in SpaceShipTwo in February 2019, and, in addition to the two pilots, carried a crew member in the cabin. Since our December 2018 spaceflight, more than 9,160 individuals have expressed interest in space travel as of April 29, 2020 and we have also received reservations for approximately 600 spaceflight tickets and collected more than $80.0 million in future astronaut deposits as of April 29, 2020. Additionally, in February 2020, we
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launched our One Small Step campaign which allows interested individuals to place a $1,000 refundable registration deposit towards the cost of a future ticket once we reopen ticket sales and as of April 29, 2020, we had received over 400 One Small Step deposits. With each ticket purchased, future astronauts will experience a multi-day journey that includes a tour of the spaceport, flight suit fitting, spaceflight training and culminating with a trip to space on the final day.
We have also developed an extensive set of vertically integrated aerospace development capabilities encompassing preliminary vehicle design and analysis, detail design, manufacturing, ground testing, flight testing, and maintenance of our spaceflight system. Our spaceflight system consists of three primary components: our carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo; our spaceship, SpaceShipTwo; and our hybrid rocket motor.
SpaceShipTwo is a spaceship with the capacity to carry pilots and future astronauts, or commercial research and development payloads, into space and return them safely to Earth. Fundamentally, SpaceShipTwo is a rocket-powered aerospace vehicle that operates more like a plane than a traditional rocket. SpaceShipTwo is powered by a hybrid rocket propulsion system, which we refer to as “RocketMotorTwo”, which propels the spaceship on a trajectory into space. SpaceShipTwo’s cabin has been designed to maximize the future astronaut’s safety, experience and comfort. A dozen windows line the sides and ceiling of the spaceship, offering the future astronauts the ability to view the blackness of space as well as stunning views of the Earth below. Our mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, is a twin-fuselage, custom-built aircraft designed to carry SpaceShipTwo up to an altitude of approximately 45,000 feet where the spaceship is released for its flight into space. Using WhiteKnightTwo’s air launch capability, rather than a standard ground-launch, reduces the energy requirements of our spaceflight system as SpaceShipTwo does not have to rocket its way through the higher density atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface.
Our team is currently in various stages of designing, testing and manufacturing additional spaceships and rocket motors in order to meet the expected demand for human spaceflight experiences. Concurrently, we are researching and developing new products and technologies to grow our company. We are in the early planning stage to develop and build a second captive carry/launch service that will be featured in our carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo. Such features of the WhiteKnightTwo, along with its ability to carry heavy payloads into high altitudes, offers us a unique market offering for a wide array of customers in the future.
Our operations also include efforts in spaceflight opportunities for research and education. For example, professional researchers have utilized parabolic aircraft and drop towers to create moments of microgravity and conduct significant research activities. In most cases, these solutions offer only seconds of microgravity per flight and do not offer access to the upper atmosphere or space. Other researchers have conducted experiments on sounding rockets or satellites. These opportunities are expensive, infrequent and impose highly limiting operational constraints. We believe that research experiments will benefit from prolonged exposure to space conditions and yield better results aboard SpaceShipTwo due to the large cabin, gentler flight, relatively low cost, advantageous operational parameters, and frequent flights. As such, researchers and educators are able to conduct critical experiments and obtain important data without having to sacrifice time and resources. Our commitment to advancing research and science was present in our December 2018 and February 2019 spaceflights as we transported payloads into space for research purposes under a NASA flight contract.
We have also leveraged our knowledge and expertise in manufacturing spaceships to occasionally perform engineering services for customers, such as research, design, development, manufacturing and integration of advanced technology systems.
Factors Affecting Our Performance
We believe that our performance and future success depend on a number of factors that present significant opportunities for us but also pose risks and challenges, including those discussed below and in the section of this prospectus titled “Risk Factors.”
Commercial Launch of Our Human Spaceflight Program
We are in the final phases of developing our commercial spaceflight program. Prior to commercialization, we must complete our test flight program, which includes a rigorous series of ground and flight tests, including our
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baseline spaceflight metrics, flight paths and safety protocol that will be used throughout our spaceflight program. The final portion of the test flight program includes a submission to the Federal Aviation Administration for a modification to our license that will allow us to conduct a spaceflight with customers on board, which we expect to submit in 2020. However, the timing of the submission may be delayed by multiple factors, some of which are outside of our control, including the current, and uncertain future impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our business. Any delays in successful completion of our test flight program, whether on account of the impact of COVID-19 or otherwise, will impact our ability to generate human spaceflight revenue.
Customer Demand
While not yet in commercial service for human spaceflight, we have already received significant interest from potential future astronauts. Going forward, we expect the size of our backlog and the number of future astronauts that have flown to space on our spaceflight system to be an important indicator of our future performance. As of April 29, 2020, we had reservations for SpaceShipTwo flights for approximately 600 future astronauts. In February 2020, we launched our One Small Step campaign which allows interested individuals to place a $1,000 refundable registration deposit towards the cost of a future ticket once we reopen ticket sales, and as of April 29, 2020, we had received over 400 One Small Step deposits from 44 countries. As of April 29, 2020, we have also received more than 9,160 flight reservation inquiries since SpaceShipTwo’s first spaceflight in December 2018.
Available Capacity and Annual Flight Rate
We face constraints of resources and competing demand for our human spaceflights. We expect to commence commercial operations with a single SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, and a single WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, which together comprise our only spaceflight system. As a result, our annual flight rate will be constrained by the availability and capacity of this spaceflight system. To reduce this constraint, we are in various stages of designing, testing and manufacturing two additional SpaceShipTwo vehicles. We believe that expanding the fleet will allow us to increase our annual flight rate once commercialization is achieved.
Safety Performance of Our Spaceflight Systems
Our spaceflight systems are highly specialized with sophisticated and complex technology. We have built operational processes to ensure that the design, manufacture, performance and servicing of our spaceflight systems meet rigorous quality standards. However, our spaceflight systems are still subject to operational and process problems, such as manufacturing and design issues, pilot errors, or cyber attacks. Any actual or perceived safety issues may result in significant reputational harm to our business and our ability to generate human spaceflight revenue.
Components of Results of Operations
Revenue
To date, we have primarily generated revenue by transporting scientific commercial research and development payloads using our spaceflight systems and by providing engineering services as a subcontractor to the primary contractor of a long-term contract with the U.S. government. We also have generated revenues from a sponsorship arrangement.
Following the commercial launch of our human spaceflight services, we expect the significant majority of our revenue to be derived from sales of tickets to fly to space. We also expect that we will continue to receive a small portion of our revenue by providing services relating to the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems.
Cost of Revenue
Costs of revenue related to spaceflights include costs related to the consumption of a rocket motor, fuel, payroll and benefits for our pilots and ground crew, and maintenance. Cost of revenue related to the engineering services consist of expenses related to materials and human capital, such as payroll and benefits. Once we have completed our test flight program and commenced commercial operations, we will capitalize the cost to construct any
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additional SpaceShipTwo vehicles. Cost of revenue will include vehicle depreciation once those spaceships are placed into service. We have not capitalized any spaceship development costs to date.
Gross Profit and Gross Margin
Gross profit is calculated based on the difference between our revenue and cost of revenue. Gross margin is the percentage obtained by dividing gross profit by our revenue. Our gross profit and gross margin has varied historically based on the mix of revenue-generating spaceflights and engineering services. As we approach the commercialization of our spaceflights, we expect our gross profit and gross margin may continue to vary as we scale our fleet of spaceflight systems.
Selling, General and Administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses consist of human capital related expenses for employees involved in general corporate functions, including executive management and administration, accounting, finance, tax, legal, information technology, marketing, and human resources; depreciation expense and rent relating to facilities, including the lease with Spaceport America, and equipment; professional fees; and other general corporate costs. Human capital expenses primarily include salaries and benefits. As we continue to grow as a company, we expect that our selling, general and administrative costs will increase on an absolute dollar basis.
We also expect to incur additional expenses as a result of operating as a public company, including expenses necessary to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to companies listed on a national securities exchange and related to compliance and reporting obligations pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC, as well as higher expenses for general and director and officer insurance, investor relations, and professional services.
Research and Development
Research and development expense represents costs incurred to support activities that advance our human spaceflight towards commercialization, including basic research, applied research, concept formulation studies, design, development, and related testing activities. Research and development costs consist primarily of the following costs for developing our spaceflight systems:
flight testing programs, including rocket motors, fuel, and payroll and benefits for pilots and ground crew performing test flights;
equipment, material, and labor hours (including from third party contractors) for developing the spaceflight system’s structure, spaceflight propulsion system, and flight profiles; and
rent, maintenance, and depreciation of facilities and equipment and other overhead expenses allocated to the research and development departments.
As of March 31, 2020, our current primary research and development objectives focus on the development of our SpaceShipTwo vehicles for commercial spaceflights and developing our RocketMotorTwo, a hybrid rocket propulsion system that will be used to propel our SpaceShipTwo vehicles into space. The successful development of SpaceShipTwo and RocketMotorTwo involves many uncertainties, including:
timing in finalizing spaceflight systems design and specifications;
successful completion of flight test programs, including flight safety tests;
our ability to obtain additional applicable approvals, licenses or certifications from regulatory agencies, if required, and maintaining current approvals, licenses or certifications;
performance of our manufacturing facilities despite risks that disrupt productions, such as natural disasters and hazardous materials;
performance of a limited number of suppliers for certain raw materials and components;
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performance of our third-party contractors that support our research and development activities;
our ability to maintain rights from third parties for intellectual properties critical to research and development activities;
our ability to continue funding and maintain our current research and development activities; and
the impact of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic on the foregoing.
A change in the outcome of any of these variables could delay the development of SpaceShipTwo and RocketMotorTwo, which in turn could impact when we are able to commence our human spaceflights.
As we are currently still in our final development and testing stage of our spaceflight system, we have expensed all research and development costs associated with developing and building our spaceflight system. We expect that our research and development expenses will decrease once technological feasibility is reached for our spaceflight systems as the costs incurred to manufacture additional SpaceShipTwo vehicles, built by leveraging the invested research and development, will no longer qualify as research and development activities.
Interest Income
Interest income consists primarily of interest earned on cash and cash equivalents held by us in interest bearing demand deposit accounts and cash equivalents.
Interest Expense
Interest expense relates to our finance lease obligations.
Other Income
Other income consists of miscellaneous non-operating items, such as merchandising and legal settlements.
Income Tax Provision
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and the United Kingdom. Our income tax provision consists of an estimate of federal, state, and foreign income taxes based on enacted federal, state, and foreign tax rates, as adjusted for allowable credits, deductions, uncertain tax positions, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, and changes in tax laws.
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Results of Consolidated Operations
The following tables set forth our results of operations for the periods presented and expresses the relationship of certain line items as a percentage of revenue for those periods. The period-to-period comparisons of financial results is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Three Months Ended March 31,Years Ended December 31,
2020201920192018
($ in thousands)(In thousands)
Revenue$238  $1,782  $3,781  $2,849  
Cost of revenue173  1,006  2,004  1,201  
Gross profit65  776  1,777  1,648  
Operating expenses:
Selling, general and administrative expenses26,755  12,295  82,166  50,902  
Research and development expenses34,282  31,424  132,873  117,932  
Operating loss(60,972) (42,943) (213,262) (167,186) 
Interest income1,177  353  2,297  633  
Interest expense(9) (1) (36) (10) 
Other income 23  128  28,571  
Other expense(175) —  —  —  
Loss before income taxes(59,976) (42,568) (210,873) (137,992) 
Income tax (benefit) expense(46) 25  62  147  
Net loss$(59,930) $(42,593) $(210,935) $(138,139) 

Revenue
Three Months Ended March 31,$
Change
%
Change
Years Ended
December 31,
$
Change
%
Change
2020201920192018
(In thousands, except %)
Revenue$238  $1,782  $(1,544) (87)%$3,781  $2,849  $932  33 %
Three months ended March 31, 2020 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. Revenue decreased by $1.5 million, or 87%, to $0.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 from $1.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. This is primarily due to flying payload in February 2019 in connection with our testing program compared to no payload flights for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
Year ended December 31, 2019 compared to year ended December 31, 2018. Revenue increased by $0.9 million, or 33%, to $3.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 from $2.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This is primarily due to flying payload in February 2019 in connection with our testing program and an increase in engineering services provided under long-term U.S. government contracts in 2019.
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Cost of Revenue and Gross Profit
Three Months Ended March 31,$
Change
%
Change
Years Ended
December 31,
$
Change
%
Change
2020201920192018
(In thousands, except %)
Cost of revenue$173  $1,006  $(833) (83)%$2,004  $1,201  $803  67 %
Gross profit65  776  $(711) (92)%$1,777  $1,648  $129  %
Gross margin27 %44 %47 %58 %
Three months ended March 31, 2020 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. Cost of revenue decreased by $0.8 million, or 83%, to $0.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 from $1.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. The change in cost of revenue is primarily due to the costs for flying payload in February 2019, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019, during which time we recorded no payload revenue. The labor costs associated with providing engineering services under long-term U.S. government contracts decreased proportionally with the billings. Gross profit decreased by $0.7 million, or 92%, to $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 from $0.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. Gross margin for the three months ended March 31, 2020 decreased by 17 percentage points compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. The decrease in gross profit and the decrease in gross margin is primarily driven by smaller gross margins associated with the long-term engineering services.
Year ended December 31, 2019 compared to year ended December 31, 2018. Cost of revenue increased by $0.8 million, or 67%, to $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 from $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The change in cost of revenue is primarily due to labor costs associated with providing engineering services under long-term U.S. government contracts and flight costs for flying payload in February 2019. Gross profit increased by $0.1 million, or 8%, to $1.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 from $1.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. Gross margin for the year ended December 31, 2019 decreased by 11 percentage points compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase in gross profit and the decrease in gross margin is primarily driven by smaller gross margins associated with the increased mix of long-term engineering services and similarly for flying payload in February 2019.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Three Months Ended March 31,$
Change
%
Change
Years Ended
December 31,
$
Change
%
Change
2020201920192018
(In thousands, except %)
Selling, general and administrative expense$26,755  $12,295  $14,460  118 %$82,166  $50,902  $31,264  61 %
Three months ended March 31, 2020 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased by $14.5 million, or 118%, to $26.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 from $12.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. This $14.5 million increase was primarily due to the additional cost associated with being a public company, including $4.5 million of professional and legal fees, $3.0 million of insurance, $2.9 million of stock-based compensation, $1.0 million of salary and other benefits, as well as $1.1 million of other expenses, including IT, facilities, and equipment costs.
Year ended December 31, 2019 compared to year ended December 31, 2018. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased by $31.3 million, or 61%, to $82.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 from $50.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This $31.3 million increase was primarily due to general corporate growth, including preparation for becoming a public company in connection with the Virgin Galactic Business Combination.
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Research and Development Expenses
Three Months Ended March 31,$
Change
%
Change
Years Ended
December 31,
$
Change
%
Change
2020201920192018
(In thousands, except %)
Research and development expenses$34,282  $31,424  $2,858  %$132,873  $117,932  $14,941  13 %
Three months ended March 31, 2020 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. Research and development expenses increased by $2.9 million, or 9%, to $34.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 from $31.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. The increase was primarily due to costs associated with developing our spaceflight system, of which $0.5 million was due to increased third-party contractor costs, $0.4 million was due to increased research and development travel related costs, $0.4 million was due to increased equipment and material costs relating to rocket motor development, and $1.5 million was due to stock-based compensation.
Year ended December 31, 2019 compared to year ended December 31, 2018. Research and development expenses increased by $14.9 million, or 13%, to $132.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 from $117.9 million fo