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Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Virgin Galactic is set to hit the New York Stock Exchange on Monday after its merger with venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya's special purpose vehicle was approved by company shareholders, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: The approval means Virgin Galactic will become the first human spaceflight and space tourism company to be publicly traded on the stock market.

Background: Virgin Galactic's spacecraft can carry up to six passengers along with two pilots up to the edge of space. The flights go for about $250,000 per person, with 603 members of the public already on a waitlist to fly.

The company's merger with former Facebook senior executive Palihapitiya's company Social Capital Hedosophia was announced back in May.

  • Social Capital Hedosophia took a 49% stake in Virgin Galactic, giving the company a $1.5 billion valuation.
  • Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson retained a 51% controlling stake.

Go deeper: Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is going public

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."