Richard Branson Gets His Astronaut Wings, Aims to Eliminate Asterisk* Next Time

Unity 22 crew: Michael Masucci, Colin Bennett, Richard Branson, Sirisha Bandla, David Mackay and Beth Moses at the 37th Space Symposium. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
  • Billionaire aims to go higher and faster next time
  • Virgin Galactic still can’t get SpaceShipTwo all the way up (to Karman line)
  • FAA throws in the towel on deciding who is and who isn’t an astronaut

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Earlier this month, Richard Branson and two Virgin Galactic employees received commercial astronaut wings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity flight test they took part in last July. The trio was the last group to receive the wings — FAA ended the program last year — and the honors came with a pretty big asterisk.

(more…)

SatixFy, a Leader in Next-Generation Satellite Communication Systems, to Go Public via Combination with Endurance Acquisition Corp.

SatixFy is a vertically integrated fabless semiconductor chip company providing products based on in-house developed chips across the entire satellite communications value chain

SatixFy customers include a list of significant players in the satellite telecom industry, such as Telesat, OneWeb, Airbus and others.

This transaction along with a recently completed capital raise will result in up to $350 million in gross proceeds assuming no trust redemptions, including a $29 million PIPE with participation from key institutional investors including Sensegain Group and Antarctica Capital, and a Committed Equity Facility of up to $75 million from CF Principal Investments LLC, an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald. In addition, the Company recently closed on an additional financial commitment of $55 million from Francisco Partners.

Transaction implies a pro forma implied equity value of the combined company at approximately $813 million.

NEW YORK & REHOVOT, Israel, March 08, 2022 (SatixFy Communications/Endurance Acquisition Corp PR) — SatixFy Communications Ltd. (“SatixFy”), a leader in next- generation satellite communication systems based on in-house developed chipsets, and Endurance Acquisition Corp. (“Endurance”) (NASDAQ: EDNC), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company formed by an affiliate of Antarctica Capital, an international private equity firm with $2 billion of assets under management, announced today a definitive merger agreement that will result in SatixFy becoming a publicly listed company.

(more…)

Terran Orbital Announces a Record $170+ Million in New Contracts and Awards Since September 30, 2021

BOCA RATON, Fla., February 15, 2022 (Terran Orbital PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (“Terran Orbital”), a leading vertically integrated provider of end-to-end satellite solutions, announced  contracts and awards totaling over $170 million since September 30, 2021. This includes multiple agreements and awards from several government and commercial customers.

“Terran Orbital is fortunate to enjoy unique relationships with leaders in the defense, civil, and commercial sectors,” said Marc Bell, Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Terran Orbital. “Our team continues to focus on delivering the highest quality solutions at a compelling price. We are honored by the trust and partnership of our customers and look forward to delivering the capabilities they need.”

(more…)

Rob Meyerson’s SPAC Completes $287.5 Million Initial Public Offering

WASHINGTON (C5 Acquisition Corporation PR) — C5 Acquisition Corporation (the “Company”), a special purpose acquisition company, announced the closing of its initial public offering of 28,750,000 units at a price of $10.00 per unit, including 3,750,000 units issued pursuant to the exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option in full, on January 11, 2022. The units were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and began trading under the ticker symbol “CXAC.U” on January 7, 2022.

Each unit consists of one share of Class A common stock of the Company and one-half of one redeemable public warrant. Each whole public warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock of the Company at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the shares of Class A common stock and public warrants are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols “CXAC” and “CXAC WS,” respectively.

(more…)

Virgin Orbit Stock Sinks in NASDAQ Debut

Credit: Google Finance

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Orbit’s debut on the NASDAQ stock exchange wasn’t exactly stellar.

The stock opened at $9.18 when trading began on Thursday, Dec. 30. It reached a low of $8.04 when trading ended the following day befrore rising to $8.30 in after-hours trading.

Richard Branson’s launch company went public after merging with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that was already traded on NASDAQ. The merger allowed Virgin Orbit to go public on the exchange under its own name.

NextGen stock was trading at $9.68 when the merger deal was announced on Aug. 23.

A SPAC is a “blank check company” that is essentially an investment vehicle that is traded on the stock exchange. SPACs typically have two years to find a private company with which to merge and take public. If they don’t, then investors can received their money back. Investors also have the option to sell their shares back to the company if they don’t like the deal, which is what happened with the NextGen-Virgin Orbit merger.

As a result, Virgin Orbit will received only $228 million of the $483 million in growth capital it had expected when the deal was announced in August. The Virgin Group and other investors had to put more money into the merger to meet the $100 million cash requirement for the deal.

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…)

Virgin Orbit Delays Next Launch Until After Merger Vote

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Orbit has delayed its next satellite launch, originally set for Wednesday, Dec. 22, to next month. The launch will come after shareholders of NextGen Acquisition Corp. II vote on Dec. 28 on whether to merge with Richard Branson’s launch services provider.

The merger with the special purpose acquisition company would allow Virgin Orbit to go public on Nasdaq under its own name. The deal will provide $483 million in capital to allow the company to grow.

(more…)

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Virgin Galactic Alleging Securities Fraud

Michael Colglazier (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A class action lawsuit was filed in New York on Dec. 7 alleging securities fraud by Virgin Galactic, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in October 2019 after merging with Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH).

Named in the lawsuit are Virgin Galactic Holdings, CEO Michael Colglazier, former CEO George Whitesides, former current chief financial officer Doug Ahrens, and former chief financial officer Jon Compagna.

The lawsuit was filed amid years-long delays in the start of commercial human suborbital flights that have caused a sharp decline in the value of the stock. Virgin Galactic began trading on the New York Stock Exchange at an opening price of $12.34 on Oct. 28, 2019. The stock is now trading at $14.46 having previously soared to a high of $62.80.

(more…)

Space SPACs Earnings Week

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)

Five space companies that went public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) report earnings this week.

Monday, Nov. 8

Virgin Galactic
5 p.m. EST (22:00 UTC)
https://investors.virgingalactic.com/news/news-details/2021/Virgin-Galactic-Announces-Date-of-Third-Quarter-2021-Financial-Results-and-Conference-Call/default.aspx

Tuesday, Nov. 9

Momentus
5 p.m. EST (22:00 UTC)
https://investors.momentus.space/news-releases/news-release-details/momentus-announces-date-third-quarter-2021-financial-results-and

Wednesday, Nov. 10

Redwire
8:30 a.m. EST (13:30 UTC)
https://ir.redwirespace.com/news-events/press-releases/detail/32/redwire-corporation-to-report-third-quarter-2021-results-on

Spire Global
5 p.m. EST (22:00 UTC)
https://ir.spire.com/news-events/press-releases/detail/76/spire-global-inc-schedules-third-quarter-2021-results

Thursday, Nov. 11

Astra Space
4:30 p.m. EST (21:30 UTC)
https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-report-third-quarter-financial-results-november-11-2021

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…)

Redwire Shares Surge on First Day of Trading on NYSE

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Shares of space infrastructure and manufacturing conglomerate Redwire (RDW) surged by 16.57 percent on Friday during the company’s first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock price rose by $1.74 to $12.24.

The debut came after shareholders of Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. overwhelmingly backed a merger with Redwire on Wednesday. Genesis Park was a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that was already traded on NYSE that was established by investors with the goal of finding a company with which to merge and take public.

(more…)

Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. and Redwire Announce Shareholder Approval of the Business Combination

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. and HOUSTON, Sept. 1, 2021 (Genesis Park PR) — Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. (“GPAC”) (NYSE: GNPK), a U.S. publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, and Redwire, LLC (“Redwire” or the “Company”), a leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced that at GPAC’s extraordinary general meeting held today (the “Extraordinary General Meeting”), GPAC’s shareholders voted to approve the previously announced proposed business combination between GPAC and Redwire (the “Business Combination”), as well as all other proposals related to the Business Combination. Approximately 97% of the votes cast at the meeting, representing approximately 73% of GPAC’s outstanding shares as of the record date, voted to approve the Business Combination.

(more…)

Rocket Lab, Vector Acquisition Set Date for Vote on Merging, Going Public

Electron launches with OHB satellite. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Vector Acquisition Corp. PR) — Vector Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq: VACQ) (“Vector”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company backed by leading technology investor Vector Capital, today announced that its Annual Meeting of the Company’s shareholders (“Annual Meeting”) to consider the previously announced business combination (“Business Combination”) with Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (“Rocket Lab”), a global leader in launch and space systems, has been set for August 20, 2021. Shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 30, 2021 (“Record Date”) are eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting.

(more…)

SEC Announces Charges Against Momentus, Stable Road and Their CEOs for Misleading Claims in SPAC Merger

Mikhail Kokorich

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2021 (SEC PR) — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against special purpose acquisition corporation Stable Road Acquisition Company, its sponsor SRC-NI, its CEO Brian Kabot, the SPAC’s proposed merger target Momentus Inc., and Momentus’s founder and former CEO Mikhail Kokorich for misleading claims about Momentus’s technology and about national security risks associated with Kokorich. The SEC’s litigation is proceeding against Kokorich, against whom the SEC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. All other parties are settling with the SEC, with terms including total penalties of more than $8 million, tailored investor protection undertakings, and the SPAC sponsor’s forfeiture of founder’s shares it stands to receive if the merger, currently scheduled for August 2021, is approved.

(more…)

Launch 2020: U.S. Reclaimed Top Spot, Flew Astronauts Again from American Soil

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The United States reclaimed the top spot in launches from China last year as NASA astronauts flew into orbit from American soil for the first time in nearly nine years, SpaceX deployed the world’s first satellite mega-constellation with reused rockets, and two new launchers debuted with less than stellar results.

American companies conducted 44 launches in 2020, with 40 successes and four failures. Bryce Tech reports that U.S. companies accounted for 32 of the 41 commercial launches conducted last year. The majority of those flights were conducted by SpaceX, which launched 25 orbital missions.

China came in second with a record of 35 successful launches and four failures. The 39 launch attempts tied that nation’s previous record for flights during a calendar year.

Let’s take a closer look at what U.S. companies achieved last year.

(more…)