Boeing invests big in Branson's Virgin Galactic in space race

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is getting a nice chunk of change from Boeing.

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The planemaker announced it will invest $20 million in the human spaceflight company and the two will work together to make commercial space travel a reality.

"This is the beginning of an important collaboration for the future of air and space travel, which are the natural next steps for our human spaceflight program," Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, said in a statement. "Virgin Galactic and Boeing share a vision of opening access to the world and space, to more people, in safe and environmentally responsible ways."

The transaction which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 will award Boeing new shares in Virgin Galactic.

"Boeing's strategic investment facilitates our effort to drive the commercialization of space and broaden consumer access to safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible new forms of transportation," said Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. "Our work with Virgin Galactic and others will help unlock the future of space travel and high-speed mobility," he said.

Boeing and Branson, along with Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Tesla's Elon Musk are in a massive space race. Bezos' is investing billions into his company Blue Origin, while Musk is doing the same with his SpaceX.