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Space SPAC Index: Falcon 9 Launches 47 Payloads for SPAC Companies on Rideshare Mission

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
January 3, 2023
Filed under , , , , , , , , , ,
Falcon 9 Transporter-6 launch on Jan. 3, 2023. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

Happy New Year to all and welcome to the first S-SPACi of 2023.

SpaceX started off the year with a boom on Tuesday with the launch of its Transporter-6 rideshare mission from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The Falcon 9 first stage booster touched down on land instead of an off-shore drone ship, sending a sonic boom echoing across the Sunshine State.

The launch had 114 payloads on it. SpaceX has now launched 550 payloads into sun synchronous orbit on five Transporter missions since January 2021. The company has plans for three additional Transporter missions this year as it attempts to launch 100 times.

Four space SPACs had satellites aboard Transporter-6 mission, including:

  • Planet Labs (NYS: PL): 36 SuperDove Earth observation satellites
  • Spire Global (NYS: SPIR): six Lemur-2 multipurpose satellites
  • Satellogic (NAS: SATL): four Earth observation satellites, including two for Albanian government
  • Momentus (NAS: MNTS): Vigoride 5 space tug.

Spire Global’s six spacecraft included:

  • three satellites to replenish Spire’s constellation more than 100 spacecraft
  • two satellites carrying next-generation Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads to collect aircraft position data
  • one satellite carrying a polarimetric radio occultation (PRO) payload that will collect data on precipitation profiles and patterns
  • Internet of Things payloads for Spire customer Myriota.

Vigoride 5 is carrying Caltech’s Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD) as a hosted payload that will operate for several months. The 50 kg payload included three experiments:

  • Deployable on-Orbit ultraLight Composite Experiment (DOLCE): A 6×6 foot structure that demonstrates the architecture, packaging scheme and deployment mechanisms of the modular spacecraft for a kilometer-scale power station constellation
  • ALBA: 32 different types of photovoltaic (PV) cells for evaluation in space
  • Microwave Array for Power-transfer Low-orbit Experiment (MAPLE): An array of flexible lightweight microwave power transmitters to demonstrate wireless power transmission at distance in space.

The Vigoride 5 space tug also carried the Zeus-1 satellite for Qosmosys of Singapore. Very little information is available about the 3U CubeSat.

Satellogic’s four satellites include a pair of spacecraft that will provide Earth observation services for the government of Albania.

Space SPAC Index
Jan. 3, 2022

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighCurrent Price
Arqit (NAS: ARQQ)
Sept. 7, 2021$9.25$41.52 (9/23/21) $3.02
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.44
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$4.39 (NYS: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$0.72
BlackSky (NYS: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$1.52
Momentus (NAS: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.88
Planet Labs (NYS: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$4.44
Redwire (NYS: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$2.10
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $3.86
Satellogic (NAS: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22) $3.50
Satixfy (NYS: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYS: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$0.96
Terran Orbital (NYS: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.52
Virgin Galactic (NYS: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$3.50
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28 (1/11/22)$1.81
Stock Price Source: Google Finance
LauncherOne in a stormy Mojave before being transported to Spaceport Cornwall in England. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Virgin Orbit Launch Dates

NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) have been issued for Jan. 9, 13 and 15 for Virgin Orbit’s (NAS: VORB) LauncherOne flight from Spaceport Cornwall in England. The flight will actually take place off the southern coast of Ireland.

Virgin Orbit
Start Me Up Launch Payloads

AMANETCOEarth observationOman
CIRCE A, BDSTL*/NRL#Ionospheric researchUK/USA
DOVERRHEA GroupPNT** tech demoUK
ForgeStar-0Space ForgeIn-space manufacturing demoUK
IOD-3 AmberSatellite Applications CatapultMaritime domain awarenessUK
Prometheus 2A, 2BUK Ministry of Defence/NRO+Radio signal monitoring, Earth imaging demoUK/USA
STORK-6SatRevolutionEarth observationPoland
* Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
# U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
+ National Reconnaissance Office
** Positioning, navigation and timing

LauncherOne is scheduled to launch nine satellites for the United Kingdom, United States, Oman and Poland on Virgin Orbit’s first launch outside the United States.

5 responses to “Space SPAC Index: Falcon 9 Launches 47 Payloads for SPAC Companies on Rideshare Mission”

  1. Ball Peen Hammer ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

    “are going up are all proving Space Solar Power technology is practical”

    Hopefully that will be the results of the reseach, but since the results of the research aren’t yet known, that’s why the research is being undertaken.

    “The hydrogen oxygen two-stage reusable “monster” lift vehicle will come into it’s own with America, Europe, China, and other countries building, or licensing and building, their own versions.”

    If you consider that the hydrogen in the fuel will be bonded to carbon in a 4 to 1 ratio, that is spot-on, considering the vehicles in development around the world right now.

  2. duheagle says:

    For all the Karen-ing about space SPACs lately, it seems that some of them are actually in reasonable shape and doing real things.

  3. duheagle says:

    What happened to the part of the fantasy where most of the SPS mass was going to come from the Moon via nuclear-pulse ultra-heavy lifters? Now it’s all coming up from Earthside on giant water rockets? That’s not an improvement to the fantasy. The previous one at least had a certain maniac panache about it.

  4. duheagle says:

    Have you blocked them?

    Blocking doesn’t actually prevent anyone from reading your stuff or even from commenting on it. It just forces any such comments to have to appear other than directly subordinate to yours.

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