Virgin Galactic is losing space tourism first-mover advantage to Blue Origin, says UBS

Jeff Bezos takes a look at the New Shepard rocket booster on the landing pad after a successful NS-15 flight and landing in April 2021.
Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin plans to launch the first crewed flight of its New Shepard rocket on July 20, a step that likely removes Virgin Galactic's first-mover advantage in the space tourism marketplace, UBS said.

"Blue Origin threw down the gauntlet on positioning itself to be (potentially) the first suborbital space tourism company with a paying passenger," UBS analyst Myles Walton wrote in a note to investors.

Shares of Virgin Galactic fell as much as 4% in trading from its previous close of $19.94. The stock is down more than 19% so far this year, having erased early gains after more than doubling to highs above $60 a share in February.

Virgin Galactic's spacecraft Unity reaches space for the first time.
Source: Virgin Galactic