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Space SPAC Index: Intuitive Machines Looks to Join Club, Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo Returns to the Runway

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 7, 2023
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Space SPAC Index: Intuitive Machines Looks to Join Club, Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo Returns to the Runway
WhiteKnightTwo in flight during the Oshkosh Air Show in 2019. (Credit: D. Miller)

Welcome to this week’s S-SPACi.

Lunar lander builder Intuitive Machines looks to join the Space SPAC index this week. Shareholders are set to vote on its reverse merger with Inflection Point Acquisition Corp. on Wednesday morning. If the deal goes through, the Houston-based company will begin trading on Nasdaq under the symbol LUNR.

The merger is expected to generate $331 million for Intuitive Machines. NASA has awarded three lunar landing missions to the company under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. CLPS pays private companies to deliver agency-funded payloads to the Moon.

Space SPAC Index

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighCurrent Price
Arqit (NAS: ARQQ)
Sept. 7, 2021$9.25$41.52 (9/23/21) $2.77
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$6.05 (NYS: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12
BlackSky (NYS: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$1.86
Momentus (NAS: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87
Planet Labs (NYS: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$4.75
Redwire (NYS: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$2.54
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34
Satellogic (NAS: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92
Satixfy (NYS: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYS: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$1.10
Terran Orbital (NYS: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.93
Virgin Galactic (NYS: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28 (1/11/22)$1.75
Stock Price Source: Yahoo Finance

WhiteKnightTwo Back on the Runway

Virgin Galactic’s (NYS: SPCE) WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve took a step toward a return to flight on Monday as it conducted a short taxi test on runway 30 at the Mojave Air and Space Port at Rutan Field in California.

SpaceShipTwo’s mother ship didn’t get very far, traveling perhaps 900-1,000 ft down the 12,503-ft long runway before coming to a stop. Members of the ground crew examined VMS Eve’s landing gear at the front of the dual fuselage aircraft. Virgin Galactic then called it a day, and the aircraft taxied back to its hangar.

The 14-year old carrier aircraft is in the midst of a 15-month overhaul since it returned to Mojave from Virgin Galactic’s operating base at Spaceport America in New Mexico on Oct. 30, 2019. The taxi test was designed to test modifications to the aircraft before it resumes flights. A flight test could occur next week.

VMS Eve will return to Spaceport America to complete flight tests of SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity. The aircraft will air launch the spacecraft on one additional suborbital flight test, which include two pilots with four company employees in the passenger cabin.

A paid flight with three Italian Air Force pilots will follow. Virgin Galactic will then begin to fly the first of 900 ticket holders, some of whom put down deposits way back in 2005. These commercial flights are set to begin sometime in the second quarter.

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