Firefly Eyes Mid-September Launch for Second Alpha Mission

Second Firefly Alpha rocket on the launch pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

I’ve been making the rounds in the Utah State University Fieldhouse here in Logan talking with the various companies with booths at Small Satellite 2022 conference. Here is the first of several updates.

The window for Firefly Aerospace’s second attempt to launch its Alpha booster opens on Sept. 11. That flight will be out of Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The rocket is already on the launch pad at Vandenberg undergoing pre-flight tests.

(more…)

Tom Markusic Out as Firefly CEO 3 Months After AEI Takes Majority Stake in Rocket Company

Tom Markusic and Lauren Lyons in front of Firefly Alpha rocket on the pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Firefly Aerospace co-founder Tom Markusic is out as CEO, a move that comes three months after AE Industrial Partners (AEI) led a $75 million Series B funding round and completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the rocket company.

Firefly announced this week that Markusic transitioned to the role of full-time board member and chief technical advisor on Thursday, June 16. He remains “a significant minority investor” in the company, which is preparing for the second flight test of its Alpha small-satellite booster.

(more…)

AE Industrial Partners Leads $75 Million Series B Growth Equity Investment in Firefly Aerospace, a Leading Provider of Launch and In-Space Vehicles

AEI Concurrently Closes its Previously Announced Strategic Investment in Firefly Aerospace

BOCA RATON, Fla., March 22, 2022 (AE Industrial Partners PR) — AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a U.S-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, power and utility services, and specialty industrial markets, announced today that it led a $75 million Series B financing round in Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services. The Series B investment will support Firefly’s next stage of growth by providing capital for future Alpha flights, the Blue Ghost Lunar Lander Program, and the development of additional launch and in-space solutions. Concurrently, AEI completed its previously reported acquisition of Noosphere Venture Partners LP’s (“Noosphere Ventures”) stake in the Company. The transaction values Firefly above its May 2021 Series A valuation of more than $1 billion.

(more…)

AE Industrial Partners Reaches a Definitive Agreement to Acquire a Significant Stake in Firefly Aerospace, a Leading Provider of Launch and In-Space Vehicles

Definitive Agreement on Acquisition by U.S.-based Investment Firm will Fuel Firefly’s Continued Journey as a Leader in End-to-End Space Transportation

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 24, 2022 (AEI PR) — AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a U.S-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power and utility services, and specialty industrial markets, announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire a significant stake in Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or “the Company”), an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, from Noosphere Venture Partners LP (“Noosphere”). Transaction closing is subject to the satisfaction of regulatory approvals, including Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) clearance. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

(more…)

Merger Leaves Virgin Orbit with Less Than Half of Funding Originally Planned

Virgin Orbit Cosmic Girl Boeing 747 takes off from the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In a clear sign of investor skepticism, Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit will receive only about $228 million of the $483 million in growth capital it expected after merging with the NextGen Acquisition II special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

(more…)

Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp. Signs Definitive Agreement to Take Terran Orbital Public Using a SPAC; Valuation of $1.58 Billion

  • $345 million cash-in-trust from Tailwind Two
  • $50 million PIPE with participation from AE Industrial Partners, Beach Point Capital, Daniel Staton and Lockheed Martin
  • $75 million of additional financial commitments from Francisco Partners and Beach Point Capital
  • Transaction expected to close in first quarter of 2022

New York, NY. and BOCA RATON, FL. (October 28, 2021) Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:TWNT) (“Tailwind Two”), a special purpose acquisition company, and Terran Orbital Corporation, the global leader and pioneer in the development, innovation and operation of small satellites and earth observation solutions, jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement.  Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company (the “Company”) will operate as Terran Orbital Corporation, with plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol LLAP. The pro forma total enterprise value of the combined companies is approximately $1.58 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

(more…)

AE Industrial Partners and The Boeing Company Form Strategic Partnership to Expand Early-Stage Investing at HorizonX Ventures

AE Industrial Partners to manage and expand HorizonX venture capital activity for Boeing and other limited partners as AEI HorizonX, investing in businesses that will transform the future of mobility, space and connectivity, industrial tech, and enterprise digital solutions, with a broader emphasis on sustainability.

BOCA RATON, FL, August 5, 2021 (AE Industrial Partners PR) – AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power generation, and specialty industrial markets, announced today a partnership with The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) to manage and invest in HorizonX Ventures, Boeing’s venture capital fund. This partnership augments AEI’s capabilities by focusing on early-stage minority equity investments in transformative technologies and businesses that will define the future of AEI’s target markets through the development of new capabilities and an expansion of sustainable aviation.

(more…)

Redwire Acquires Deployable Space Systems (DSS), a Leading Supplier of Space Mission-Enabling Deployable Solar Arrays, Structures and Mechanisms

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. February 23, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS), a leading supplier of mission-enabling deployable solar arrays, structures and mechanisms for space applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“DSS has an unmatched reputation for innovative deployable space technologies and infrastructure, and that is a perfect fit for Redwire’s technology portfolio,” said Peter Cannito, Chairman and CEO of Redwire. “These new capabilities will expand our set of space infrastructure solutions and deliver even greater value to our customers.”

(more…)

Redwire Acquires Oakman Aerospace, a Leading Digitally Engineered Spacecraft and Satellite Design Firm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., January 19, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired Oakman Aerospace, Inc. (OAI) a leading provider of cutting-edge products and services related to digital engineering, spacecraft and satellite design and development, mission payload development, and data distribution services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Oakman Aerospace adds a critical capability in digital engineering that will significantly enhance our space infrastructure solutions,” said Peter Cannito, Chairman and CEO of Redwire. “Their modular open systems architecture design and development approach and proprietary commercial off-the-shelf software suite is transforming the way future space capabilities are designed, developed, deployed and operated.”

(more…)

Redwire Acquires LoadPath, a Leading Developer of Payload Adapters for the Space Industry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., December 15, 2020 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired LoadPath, a leading developer of payload adapters, deployable structures, and thermal products for the space industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“LoadPath brings market-leading capabilities to augment Redwire’s space infrastructure portfolio and broaden our range of technology products and services to support our customers’ missions,” said Peter Cannito, Chairman and CEO of Redwire. “We are excited to work with Adam and Greg and the LoadPath team to leverage their impressive technology flight heritage and advance their capabilities as a part of Redwire.”

(more…)

Redwire Acquires Roccor, a Manufacturer of Critical Systems for Satellite Industry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., October 29, 2020 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired Roccor, a disruptive military and commercial hardware supplier in the rapidly growing small satellite market and a premier manufacturer of deployable booms, structures, antennas, thermal products, and solar arrays for the space industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

(more…)

Redwire Names Government Industry Veteran Peter Cannito as Chairman and CEO

Next Generation Space Technology Company was Formed by AE Industrial Partners Earlier this Month

BOCA RATON, Fla., June 11, 2020 (Redwire PR) — Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for a next generation space architecture, announced today that Peter Cannito has been named Chairman and CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Cannito brings more than 25 years of experience in the defense, technology, and government services industries to Redwire.

(more…)