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Boeing is investing $20 million in Virgin Galactic, a vertically integrated human spaceflight company.

The companies will work together to broaden commercial space access and transform global travel technologies.

Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, said: “Boeing’s strategic investment facilitates our effort to drive the commercialisation of space and broaden consumer access to safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible new forms of transportation.

“Our work with Virgin Galactic, and others will help unlock the future of space travel and high-speed mobility.”

To date, Virgin Galactic has invested $1 billion of capital to build reusable human spaceflight systems designed to enable significantly more people to experience and utilise space.

In July, the company announced its intent to become a publicly-listed entity via a business combination with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings.

The Boeing investment will be in return for new shares in Virgin Galactic which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Virgin Galactic is a pioneer of commercial human space flight and is the first and only company to have put humans into space in a vehicle built for commercial service, having built and flown a Mach 3 passenger vehicle.

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, added: “We are excited to partner with Boeing to develop something that can truly change how people move around the planet and connect with one another. As a Virgin company, our focus will be on a safe and unparalleled customer experience, with environmental responsibility to the fore.”