Space Space Index: Electron’s First U.S. Launch, Satellogic’s Mexico Deal, Redwire & BigBear.ai Team Up on Cybersecurity & Terran Orbital News

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

Welcome to this week’s edition of S-SPACi. We’ve got the latest news about Rocket Lab, Satellogic, Redwire, Terrran Orbital and the newest addition to the index, BigBear.ai.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Electron’s American Debut

Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB) is set to conduct the first launch of its Electron rocket from U.S. soil from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in Virginia on the evening of Dec. 16. The booster will carry the Hawk 6A, Hawk 6B and Hawk 6C signal intelligence satellites for HawkEye 360. The company will webcast the launch at www.rocketlabusa.com.

Rocket Lab began as a New Zealand company, incorporated in the United States, and has launched 32 previous missions from its spaceport on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. Electron has a record of 29 successes and three failures.

Rocket Lab’s first launch from MARS was significantly delayed over NASA’s need to certify the Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU) software that will destroy Electron if the rocket wanders off its planned trajectory.

MARS is a spaceport operated by the commonwealth of Virginia at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Northrop Grumman launches Antares and Minotaur rockets from the base on Wallops Island. NASA also launches sounding rockets from the spaceport.

Space SPAC Index
Dec. 13, 2022

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighCurrent Price
Arqit (NAS: ARQQ)
Sept. 7, 2021$9.25$41.52 (9/23/21)$6.29
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.45
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$3.95
BigBear.ai (NYSE: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$0.90
BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$2.02
Momentus (NAS: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.97
Planet Labs (NYSE: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$5.45
Redwire (NYSE: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$2.00
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $4.20
Satellogic (NAS: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22)$3.85
Satixfy (NYSE: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
(11/17/22)
$12.61
Spire (NYSE: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$1.29
Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22)$1.42
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$4.73
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28 (1/11/22)$2.22
Stock Price Source: Yahoo Finance

Satellogic MOU with Mexican Space Agency

Earth observation data company Satellogic Inc. (NAS: SATL) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Agencia Espacial Mexicana (AEM) to develop a fully-featured and operational Constellation-as-a-Service program to monitor approximately two million square kilometers of Mexico.

“The LOI provides a framework for the development of a Constellation-as-a-Service program, leveraging Satellogic satellites to deliver high-resolution multispectral (70cm GSD) imagery to support Mexico’s innovation and participation in the New Space economy with multipurpose, country-wide monitoring up to three times a year, enhancing Mexico’s EO competence via commercial capabilities. The LOI also includes details for a pilot project with AEM to utilize archive imagery,” the company said in a press release.

“Satellogic works with sovereign nations to define and develop tailored Constellation-as-a-Service programs, enabling governments to monitor at-risk and high-interest borders or remote regions to support timely decision-making, manage policy impact, measure investment and socio-economic progress,” the company added. “Satellogic recently signed a three-year program agreement with the Republic of Albania, which includes training of remote-sensing specialists to bolster Albania’s domestic workforce.”

Mynaric to Use Redwire/BigBear.ai Cybersecurity Tools

Mynaric (NAS: MYNA) (FRA: M0YN) will use space cybersecurity tools developed by Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW) and BigBear.ai (NYSE: BBAI) in the development of an advanced satellite communication program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Mynaric specializes in advanced laser communications terminals for space, airborne and mobile applications. The company will use the Space Cyber Resiliency through Evaluation and Security Testing (SpaceCREST) platform developed by Redwire and BigBear.ai to support the cybersecurity evaluation of their optical communications terminal.

“Redwire is proud to support Mynaric in identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities within crucial national security programs,” said Dean Bellamy, Redwire’s Executive Vice President of National Security Space. “This application of SpaceCREST demonstrates the value that Redwire and BigBear.ai’s collaboration holds for the growing space economy. SpaceCREST will be a critical tool for proactive maintenance and protection of government and commercial customers building the next generation of resilient space architectures.”

Terran Orbital Forms New Group, Appoints Senior VP

Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP) has announced the formation of a new Optical Solutions Group (OSG) focused on electro-optical (EO) satellite imaging products.

“The Optical Solutions Group will develop and field cost-effective and responsive space-based imaging solutions for Earth Observation and Space Domain Awareness,” the company said. “These solutions will employ Terran Orbital’s family of satellite bus platforms featuring agile boresight and broadband communications capabilities coupled with both internally created and partner optical solutions. OSG products will be highly modular and rapidly reconfigurable with a goal of dramatically reducing latency associated with production, launch integration, launch, and on-orbit checkout. Additionally, OSG products will be highly flexible, providing significant automation for executing both routine and complex tasking.”

Terran Orbital has also appointed James Black as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Black was previously vice president and deputy general counsel of the North American division of UK defense company Ultra Electronics. He also served as chief legal officer at Osiris Therapeutics. Black previously held executive positions at Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Orbital Sciences Corp.