Virgin Galactic is planning to go public. - Reuters

Richard Branson’s space-tourism venture, Virgin Galactic, is planning to go public as part of a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) created by Social Capital LP Chief Executive Officer Chamath Palihapitiya, a person familiar with the matter said.

The deal was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said the SPAC, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp, will invest about US$800 million for a 49% stake in Virgin Galactic.

The deal could be announced as early as Tuesday morning, said the source, who declined to be named because the matter is confidential.

Virgin Galactic and Social Capital Hedosophia did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters outside the regular business hours.--Reuters