Virgin Galactic signed the Space Space Act Agreement with NASA's Johnson Space Center. As part of the agreement, the space tourism company will work with NASA to seek companies or organizations that have a need to send people to the International Space Station.
NASA is experiencing greater demand for the use of the Space Station for scientific and technological research and development, commercial activity, and international collaboration.
Why It's Important: The relationship will see NASA leverage Virgin's commercial expertise and industry knowledge. Virgin will also provide relevant astronaut training packages for private passengers. The company already has a customized "Future Astronaut REadiness program" that lets people become familiar with the environment in space.
"We are excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program, which will not only allow us to use our spaceflight platform, but also offer our space training infrastructure to NASA and other agencies," Virgin CEO George Whitesides said in the press release.
What's Next: Virgin will identify candidates, procure transportation to the Space Station, offer on-orbit resources, and ground resources, the company said.
The stock was up 19% to $17.85 per share at time of publication.