Satellite News Network

Space SPAC Index – Astra Shares Plunge After Sale Story

Spacecraft Propulsion Kit.
Image credit: Astra Space.

Welcome to S-SPACi! In today’s edition, Astra shares took a header after a story by Bloomberg, Spire and Momentus won contracts, Planet’s newest satellite was shipped for launch, Rocket Lab officially opened an engine development center in Virgin Orbit’s old headquarters, Virgin Galactic completed another suborbital tourism flight, and the US Declaration of Independence is headed for the Moon.


Astra shares plunge on Bloomberg report

Shares of Astra Space (Nasdaq: ASTR) plunged 24.4 percent to close at $0.99 on Wednesday (October 11) following a Bloomberg article saying that the struggling company is considering selling a 51 percent stake of its in-space propulsion subsidiary. The story also said Astra is weighing the sale of equipment and parts from the factory where the company manufactures launch vehicles.

Selling a stake in the propulsion subsidiary would provide some funding for the cash-strapped company. Astra reported revenue of $770,000 and a net loss of $58.9 million during the first half of 2023. The company’s cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities had shrunk to $26.3 million as of June 30.

Last month, Astra filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $100 million through the sale of common and preferred stock, debt securities, debt warrants, equity warrants, rights, and units.

Astra undertook a 1-for-15 reverse stock split on September 14 in order to raise its stock price above $1.00 and avoid being delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange. In a reverse stock split, a large number of shares are exchanged for a smaller number of more valuable shares, thus raising the stock price.

Astra, which originally focused on building launch vehicles, obtained the in-space propulsion business when it acquired Apollo Fusion in 2021.

Space SPAC Index
October 11, 2023

Company First Trading Day Opening Share Price High Closing Price
Astra Space (Nasdaq: ASTR) July 1, 2021 $12.30 $16.95 (7/2/21) $0.99
AST SpaceMobile (Nasdaq: ASTS) April 7, 2021 $11.63 $15.48 (6/30/21) $3.44 (NYSE: BBAI) Dec. 8, 2021 $9.84 $16.12 (4/6/22) $1.40
BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) Sept. 10, 2021 $11.80 $13.20 (9/16/21) $1.29
Intuitive Machines (Nasdaq: LUNR) Feb. 14, 2023 $10.00 $136.00 (2/20/23) $3.83
Momentus (Nasdaq: MNTS) Aug. 13, 2021 $10.85 12.87 (9/7/21) $1.79
Planet Labs (NYSE: PL) Dec. 8, 2021 $11.25 $11.65 (12/8/21) $2.46
Redwire (NYSE: RDW) Sept. 3, 2021 $10.70 $16.98 (10/25/21) $2.80
Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB) Aug. 25, 2021 $11.58 $21.34 (9/9/21) $4.83
Satellogic (Nasdaq: SATL) Jan. 26, 2022 $9.19 $10.92 (5/4/22) $1.07
SatixFy (NYSE AMERICAN: SATX) Oct. 28, 2022 $8.29 $51.70
Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR) Aug. 17, 2021 $10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21) $4.10
Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP) March 28, 2022 $12.69 $12.69 (3/28/22) $0.72
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) Oct. 28, 2019 $11.79 $62.80 (2/4/21) $1.65
Stock Price Source: Google Finance.

Spire Global wins contract to improve maritime shipping

Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR) won a contract from MAN Energy Solutions (MAN-ES) to provide weather and real-time automatic identification system data to improve fuel efficiency and optimize routes in the maritime shipping industry.

“MAN-ES will integrate Spire AIS and weather data into – among other tools – its digital solution, MAN-CEON, a digital platform used to support monitoring and advisory tools for the decarbonisation and optimisation of marine, power and industrial equipment. This integration aims to provide customers with improved performance, troubleshooting and decarbonisation insights,” Spire said in a press release.

Momentus wins contract, ships payloads for launch

Momentus (Nasdaq: MNTS) won a contract from C3S to provide transportation and orbital delivery services for the company’s payloads in 2025. Momentus delivered C3S’s VIREO payload to orbit in April 2023.

Momentus also announced it has integrated and shipped five satellites to Vandenberg Space Force Base for launch aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-9 mission in November. The five satellites include:

  • AMAN-1 Earth observation satellite for SatRev of Poland,
  • JINJUSat-1 Earth observation satellite for the CONTEC Company of South Korea,
  • Picacho sub-surface imaging satellite for U.S.-based Lunasonde, and
  • Hello Test 1 & 2 Internet of Things satellites for Hello Space of Turkey.
Ordering images from a Pelican satellite.
Ordering images from a Pelican satellite. Image credit: Planet Labs.

Planet’s Pelican-1 demonstration satellite ready for launch

Planet Labs (NYSE: PL) announced that its Pelican-1 technology demonstration satellite and 36 SuperDove Earth observation spacecraft have arrived at Vandenberg Space Force Base in preparation for launch in November.

Pelican-1 is the first of Planet’s new satellite fleet designed to provide high-resolution images. The satellite will not provide commercially-available data, but will test technology and provide data that will allow Planet’s engineers to develop a fleet of advanced Pelican spacecraft.

“When fully operational, the Pelican constellation is planned to improve upon every dimension of Planet’s existing high-resolution SkySat constellation – faster acquisition and delivery of data, better spatial resolution to see finer details, higher revisit to catch fleeting events, and more ways to combine insights with other analytics and sensors,” the company said in a press release.

Long Beach Councilwoman Megan Kerr, Rocket Lab CFO Adam Spice, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, and California State Senator Lena Gonzalez. Image credit: Austin Adams.

Rocket Lab opens Engine Development Center

Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB) officially opened its new Engine Development Center in Long Beach, California last week. The company will use the 144,000+ square foot facility to increase production of 3D printed Rutherford engines for the Electron rocket. Engineers will also develop and manufacture the Archimedes engine for Rocket Lab’s new Neutron booster.

The center was formerly the headquarters and production facility of Virgin Orbit, which declared bankruptcy and ceased operations earlier this year. Rocket Lab assumed the lease on the facility and acquired the factory’s assets, machinery, and equipment for $16.1 million in May 2023.

Galactic 04 customers on VSS Unity float in microgravity. Image credit: Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic completes fourth commercial flight

Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) flew three more of its “founder” ticketholders on a suborbital flight on October 6. The paying customers included:

  • American science educator Ron Rosano,
  • British advertising executive Trevor Beattie, and
  • Space Trust Founder Namira Salim of Pakistan.

Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses joined them in the passenger cabin. Commander Kelly Latimer and pilot CJ Sturckow flew VSS Unity on its suborbital flight. Commander Nicola Pecile and pilot Jameel Janjua piloted the VMS Eve mothership that air-launched the spacecraft.

Nova-C lander on the moon. Image credit: Intuitive Machines.

Declaration of Independence headed for the Moon

The Declaration of Independence signed in 1776 by 13 former British colonies is headed for the Moon. Well, not a paper copy of the original declaration, but an electronic copy that will be transmitted to and stored aboard Intuitive Machines’ (Nasdaq: LUNR) Nova-C lunar lander, set for launch later this year. Lonestar Data Holdings will transmit the document to demonstrate its “disaster recovery as a service” capabilities and plans to establish data centers on the Moon.

“We are thrilled to be at the forefront of this historic moment in data storage and recovery. Transmitting the US Declaration of Independence to the Moon is a testament to the reliability and resilience of our Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions,” said Lonestar Data Founder and CEO Chris Stott.

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