Laguna Beach Lawyer Takes Short Trip To Space With Virgin Galactic Holdings

Neil Kornswiet’s career has seen him become an expert in down-to-earth business matters such as litigation claims finance, real estate finance and corporate law.

On Jan. 26, the co-owner and chief executive of Optium Capital LLC of Newport Beach knocked off a long-awaited bucket list item with a trip that was anything but down-to-earth.

Kornswiet last month was part of Tustin-based space tourism company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE: SPCE) sixth commercial mission, and its first of 2024.

The Galactic 06 flight, which reached 55.2 miles above Earth, also marked the company’s first with private astronauts in all four passenger seats, besides the company’s commander and co-pilot.

The nearly hour-long round-trip journey, one that topped more than 2,200 miles an hour, or 2.98 Mach, made the Laguna Beach resident the first reported Orange County local to take part in the nascent space tourism industry.

“When you look down at the Earth, you see no borders or boundaries for countries,” Kornswiet told the Business Journal.

“It’s really an integrated whole. You see how thin the atmosphere is. You really do experience the Overview Effect, the term first coined by author Frank White to describe the perspective you get when viewing the Earth from space,” Kornswiet said.

“The view of the Earth from space was truly more vibrant and vivid than anything I could have imagined.”

Litigation Receivables

Kornswiet grew up in Ohio and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Ohio State University. Then he headed to Washington, D.C., where he earned a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center.

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Laguna Beach Lawyer Rides High as Astronaut