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Space SPAC Index: Terran Orbital Completes Contract, UK Says It Didn’t Delay Virgin Orbit Launch, Rocket Lab Sets Virginia Launch Date & Astra Space’s Ticking Clock

Electron on the launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. (Credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

Welcome to S-SPACi.

In this week’s edition, Terran Orbital completed a contract for Lockheed Martin, UK government says it didn’t delay Virgin Orbit‘s launch, Rocket Lab sets a new date for its first launch from U.S. soil, and the clock continues to tick on Astra Space‘s delisting notice.

Terran Orbital Completes Contract

Terran Orbital Corporation (NYS: LLAP) announced on Tuesday that its GEOStare SV2 spacecraft completed a commercial data services imagery contract for Lockheed Martin.

“Throughout the duration of the contract, Terran Orbital’s operations team successfully demonstrated the ability to rapidly re-task the spacecraft to assemble a catalog of thousands of images to support an independent research project led by Lockheed Martin,” Terran Orbital said.

“GEOStare SV2’s main payload consists of two MonoTele telescopes designed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is a dual-use system suitable for both Earth Observation and Space Domain Awareness (SDA). The aim of space domain awareness is to track the satellites and debris in space to avoid collisions,” the company added.

Virgin Orbit team completing final technical rehearsal of LauncherOne R5 for January flight. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Virgin Orbit Launch

I received the following email from the UK Civil Aviation Authority disputing something I had written on Monday:

Regarding your article Virgin Orbit Stock Plunges as UK Launch Fails, we would like to point out that the mission was not delayed by “regulatory delays” as stated. The licences were issued within 15 months, within the expected timescales for these types of licences, putting the UK’s regulatory framework on a competitive footing with other international space regulators.

Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB) had been eyeing late August for its first launch from Spaceport Cornwall. LauncherOne was to have orbited nine payloads after being dropped from the company’s modified Boeing 747.

The launch on Monday failed due to an unidentified anomaly with the upper stage. Virgin Orbit and UK authorities are investigating the failure. The company’s stock was trading at $1.67 on Wednesday afternoon.

Space SPAC Index

Company First Trading Day Opening Share Price High Current Price
Arqit (NAS: ARQQ) Sept. 7, 2021 $9.25 $41.52 (9/23/21) $2.56
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR) July 1, 2021 $12.30 $16.95 (7/2/21) $0.51
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS) April 7, 2021 $11.63 $15.48 (6/30/21) $5.06 (NYSE: BBAI) Dec. 8, 2021 $9.84 $16.12 (4/6/22) $0.79
BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) Sept. 10, 2021 $11.80 $13.20 (9/16/21) $1.75
Momentus (NAS: MNTS) Aug. 13, 2021 $10.85 12.87 (9/7/21) $0.91
Planet Labs (NYSE: PL) Dec. 8, 2021 $11.25 $11.65 (12/8/21) $5.03
Redwire (NYSE: RDW) Sept. 3, 2021 $10.70 $16.98 (10/25/21) $2.26
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB) Aug. 25, 2021 $11.58 $21.34 (9/9/21) $4.47
Satellogic (NAS: SATL) Jan. 26, 2022 $9.19 $10.92 (5/4/22) $3.92
Satixfy (NYSE: SATX) Oct. 28, 2022 $8.29 $51.70
Spire (NYSE: SPIR) Aug. 17, 2021 $10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21) $1.10
Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP) March 28, 2022 $12.69 $12.69 (3/28/22) $1.11
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) Oct. 28, 2019 $11.79 $62.80 (2/4/21) $4.34
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB) Dec. 30, 2021 $8.525 $11.28 (1/11/22) $1.67
Stock Price Source: Yahoo Finance
Satellite cluster (Credit: HawkEye 360)

Rocket Lab Sets Launch Date

Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB) said the window for its first Electron launch from the United States opens on Jan. 23, with backup dates extending into early February. The daily windows will be open from 6-8 p.m. EST (23:00 – 1:00 UTC).

Rocket Lab’s “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” mission will deploy three satellites for radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360. The launch will be conducted from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Rocket Lab had planned to launch the mission in December. However, a combination of regulatory and weather delays pushed the flight into January.

Rocket Lab has launched all previous missions from Mahia Peninsula n New Zealand. The company constructed a new launch pad at MARS to better serve U.S. customers.

Rocket 3.3 lifts off from Kodiak Island on March 15, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/ webcast)

Astra Space Faces Ticking Clock

The clock continues to tick for struggling launch provider Astra Space (NAS: ASTR), whose stock was trading at $0.51 on Wednesday afternoon.

Astra Space received a delisting notice from Nasdaq in early October after its stock price closed below $1 for 30 consecutive days. It was given 180 days (until April 4) to get the price back up to $1 or facing being delisted from the stock exchange. The company has the right to appeal any delisting move. It could be granted an additional 180 days to raises its stock price.

Astra Space abandoned launches of its Rocket 3.3 last year after multiple failures. The company is hoping to conduct flight tests of its larger Rocket 4 later this year.

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