2021.07.12

Virgin Galactic July 11 launch Unity boost in flight

Well, we still don't have flying cars, but it looks like space tourism has finally arrived.

Pre-flight checks

Virgin Galactic launch Colbert Khalid announcement

Virgin tried to turn the launch into an event. But, well, Colbert didn't do much more than read a few prepared lines and the "Khalid world premiere" didn't have much going for it. The tone of the entire broadcast felt like a sales pitch with product placement. I'm not sure why, space tourism very much sells itself.


/u/watchshoe
What a historical infomercial

Blue Origin tweet Virgin Galactic petty comparison
Click through for the full thing.

Bezos's Blue Origin might understandably be a bit salty that Virgin undercut their launch date, but they decided to sound as bent and petty as possible. While the environmental impact might be an interesting point to make at a more graceful moment, they chose the Karman (pretend I used the fancy 'a') Line as their hill to die on.

Space Blue Origin Virgin Galactic dispute
This isn't a homerun record, Jeff.

Launch(?)

Virgin Galactic July 11 launch Unity boost rocket engine

Is it a launch if the rocket fires 45,000 feet in the air rather than on a launchpad? I put in the question with my local SpaceX rocket scientist's husband and he has not yet forwarded an answer.

Anyway, the mothership plane went up, the Unity craft rocketed into suborbital probably-space-but-depends-on-who-you-ask, and three minutes later it descended back to New Mexico. Incident-free. Six sigma blackbelt stuff right there.

Virgin Galactic July 11 launch Unity climb

We got a double dose of underwhelming celebrity guests and unrelenting branding since the Unity cabin/exterior feed was more or less completely unavailable. Branson's speech had to be played back later, which is kind of funny considering it was being compared to Neil Armstrong's moon landing speech. So much for a giant leap for mankind, Neil, you idiot, we can't even get video from a suborbital craft fifty years later.

I'd do it though. Especially if my Virgin America miles transfer.

Virgin Galactic July 11 launch Unity landing rear view

Hot takes

Virgin Galactic launch karman line Reddit WallStreetBets Bezos

People are polarized these days. They rally around politicians and companies and now their favorite billionaire, willing to bend reality into a grandstand cheer. Some took up the Karman Line mantle.

Reddit WallStreetBets DJBarber89 space bears SPCE Virgin Galactic

WSB was split down the middle between the "to the moon" crowd and teams Bezos and Musk. Now, word is Elon was at the launch and has put in a rezzie for a Virgin flight, but that wouldn't stop his fanboy legion. Branson said that space tourism has room for twenty companies, or something like that. So why was Blue Origin so salty?

Reddit WallStreetBets Virgin Galactic Bezos Branson memeing

It kind of makes sense, Branson (reportedly) will offer three minutes in space-ish for 300k. Bezos will (reportedly) offer four minutes a few miles higher for twice that. That's pretty close competition, should you have more capacity than customers.

Elon is probably offering something very different and more expensive. I'm picturing a Tesla Roadster floating in space and a smoke-filled helmet. Or something like that.

Reddit WallStreetBets commentary astronauts Virgin Galactic Blue Origin

I'm going to have to agree with... ugh... /u/eyerollingsex, clients of these companies aren't astronauts. They're getting "the astronaut experience", and I say that with pretty big airquotes. Riding in a rocket or spaceplane with very little personal commitment makes you a space tourist and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Likewise I'm not sure what anyone is on about with the space/not space thing. Do people with 500k to spend on a two-hour flight really care if they've been to Karman space or sub-Karman space? Is this a Facebook thing? I want to believe the asterisk controversy is nothing more than really desperate marketing.

Virgin Galactic July 11 launch Unity tail space horizon
This right here is the space tourism value proposition. Not adding 'astronaut' to your LinkedIn. Jeff, your invisible line means nothing.

Reddit Virgin Galactic launch Prometheus diamond hands

Share dilution

Richard Branson Virgin Galactic deal with it sunglasses share price dilution

Something seemed amiss when pre-market opened Sunday afternoon; SPCE stayed pretty flat.

SPCE Virgin Galactic share price launch dilution
1. Very little price movement in pre-market. Surely institutionals were aware of the impending dilution. 2. Market opens, retail buys. 3. The new stock offering becomes public, share price plummets.

WSB SPCEbears were pretty smug about the dilution, claiming they had called it. In reality, there was only talk of a "pump and dump" (it wasn't a pump and dump) and "priced in" (it wasn't priced in, my put premiums can verify). The dilution could have been anticipated, having watched GME and AMC mint new shares with their meme value. While SPCE isn't a meme stock (though it has similar fundamentals), it makes sense that they'd want more capital to progress to the next stage, whatever that happens to be.

I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.
Euro final

Bar sportsbar Euro 2020 soccer final watching

The Euro 2020 final was pretty fun, particularly since Italy had to chase the entire match. We even got a great meme template:

Chiellini meme soccer Euro 2020 final beer
FUDtruckers

Reddit LMC Lordstown media conspiracy fud

Not a ton of developments on the LMC front. Then again, every day that they aren't announcing funding, a CEO, or that their only product is - say - leading a parade lap at a NASCAR race is another step closer to bankruptcy.

Spiderman_pointing.meme

Somebody (not me) lit up their subreddit in hilarious fashion:


/u/Fire_Boogaloo
This sub is the biggest circle-jerk so don't expect anyone to actually listen. You'll just get accused of FUD by a bunch of morons. I've started seeing a few more people realising this company is a scam which is good though.

I bought around $12-$16 and have been slowly reducing my position since. I really really wanted to believe in this company but the continual onslaught of bad press (justified bad press, its not FUD) has proven to me this company isn't trustworthy any more and I cannot believe they are actually going to meet production in september.

Anything that is even remotely bad this sub will spin into a good.

Baja - Hub motors worked!! Good job RIDE!!!
SEC - Buy the dip!! They have no evidence!!!
CEO/CFO leaving 2-3 months before production - This is really good!!! Burns was a moron!!!
DOJ - We already knew this anyway LMAO buy the dip!!!!
Going concern - This was expected they'll get the loan!!
Lower preorders confirmed - They have guaranteed preorders lets go boys!!!
Camping world leaving - LOL they were useless and dont know what they're missing

Like can we just be real here? How can you seriously attempt to spin this many bad shit into something good? Wake up! Every time more bad press comes out I just laugh at this point and come here for a bigger laugh to see how the deluded will try to spin it. Its honestly astounding how people can still justify their position in this company.

Only reason I'm still holding some shares is to try and get some money back. When this POS hits $10, I'm out. This company is not worth the stress.

Sorry for the rant, could have summed this entire thing down to "yeah, this company is a liability" lol, just wanted to point out not all of us are delusional idiots. This'll probably be my last comment on this sub anyway - either from a ban or because I've sold out and don't care anymore. I look forward to leaving this garbage ass company in the past.

Layoffs? Don't talk about layoffs!

Another commenter quoted a local newspaper that had previously reported layoffs at the LMC plant. LMC responded, here are some excerpts:

Lordstown Motors spokesperson Ryan Hallet said that while there were several positions terminated after the resignations of Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez June 13, there have been no additional layoffs at the plant.

Maybe need a direct quote here, this seems contradictory. You termed people after June and haven't had additional layoffs?

'We are actually continuing to bring jobs to the Mahoning Valley rather than eliminate,' Hallet said in an email to The Business Journal.

Ah yes, jingoism based on a nothing-phrase like "continuing to bring jobs".

'We are hiring on an ongoing basis,' he said. 'It makes no sense that we would be laying people off.'

"It makes no sense that I would have run that red light. I mean, I did, but it makes no sense!"

The Business Journal did contact spokesman Hallet on Friday, who at the time could not confirm whether there were additional layoffs at the plant.

Sus. I don't see a smoking gun here, but if this is how you do PR when you're telling the truth maybe it's not vaporware after all.


/u/tonitoni919
Hopium turning into copium turning into ropium.
Etc.

WSB dating advice, for a giggle.


CattleDecapitation
Kshot you may have hit rock bottom.
Is there a pack of Marlboro reds in the background?
Listen, I work in a fucked up place.
kshot