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Space SPAC Index: Virgin Orbit Bankruptcy Could Have A Broader Impact

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 4, 2023
Filed under , , , , , , , , ,
Space SPAC Index: Virgin Orbit Bankruptcy Could Have A Broader Impact
SpaceX Starlink satellites awaiting deployment

Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy could have fallout across the space industry. The company estimates it owes $100-500 million to somewhere between “200-999” creditors. The amount includes debts in excess of $15.3 million to four companiesArqit,, Redwire, and Spire Global on the Space SPAC Index.

Virgin Orbit’s Space SPAC Unsecured Creditors

CreditorLocationNature of Claim
Arqit Ltd.London, EnglandTrade payable/customer deposit$9,979,975
BigBear.aiColumbia, MarylandTrade payable$3,000,000
Redwire SpaceJacksonville, FloridaTrade payable$1,242,558
Spire Global SubsidiaryVienna, VirginiaCustomer deposit$1,125,000

Customer deposits involve payments for services (presumably launches). “Trade payable” describes bills for goods and services that haven’t been paid yet.

Spire Global’s (NYS: SPIR) shares fell 5.8 percent to close at $0.60. The company recently received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange that gave it until Sept. 28 to get its stock price above $1.00 or face possible delisting. The company can appeal for an additional 180 days if necessary.

Shares of (NYS: BBAI) fell by $0.45 or 14.38% to close at $2.68 on Tuesday.

Redwire Space (NYS: RDW) shares were down 4.68% to close at $2.85.

Arqit (NAS: ARQQ) shares rose by more than 10% today to close at $1.41. Note: Arqit requested to be taken off the Space SPAC Index last week, saying it had pivoted away from space applications. Parabolic Arc will honor the request.

Other well known Virgin Orbit creditors include:

  • U.S. Space Force: $6,759,711.33
  • iQPS, Inc.: $5,198,555.00
  • All Nippon Airways Trading Co., Ltd.: $1,650,000.00
  • Spaceflight Inc.: $800,000
  • Millennium Space Systems: $605,659.85.

Investments in Virgin Orbit
by Virgin Investments Ltd.

DateInterest RateAmount (Millions)

Richard Branson’s Virgin Investments Ltd. (VIL) has pumped $102.5 million in debt financing into the now bankrupt company since early November to keep the company afloat.

In the event of a default, VIL has the right to foreclose on “substantially all of their respective assets, including all aircrafts, aircraft engines (including spare aircraft parts) and related assets, other than certain customary excluded assets and permitted liens described in the Convertible Note.”

2022 Earnings Estimates

In a separate Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Virgin Orbit said it would not be able to publish its 2022 fourth quarter and full year earnings within the required time period due to its financial condition.

Virgin Orbit did provide some preliminary estimates that demonstrated just how close the company came to bankruptcy several months ago.

Virgin Orbit 2022 Preliminary Earnings Estimates
(in millions of dollars)

Net Loss$(191.2)$(157.3)
Cash & Cash Equivalents$51.2$194.2
Accumulated Deficit$1,011.6$820.5

“The information above is preliminary and subject to change and does not present all information necessary for an understanding of the Company’s results of operations for these periods. The Company’s actual results may differ from the preliminary estimates above,” Virgin Orbit said in the filing.

Virgin Orbit ended last year with $51.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. That amount included $45 million contributed by VIL in two different tranches in November and December.

Space SPAC Index
April 4, 2023

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighClosing Price
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.38
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$4.49 (NYS: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$2.68
BlackSky (NYS: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$1.35
Intuitive Machines (NAS: LUNR)Feb. 14, 2023$10.00$10.58 (2/14/23)$10.12
Momentus (NAS: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.52
Planet Labs (NYS: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$3.72
Redwire (NYS: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$2.85
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $3.87
Satellogic (NAS: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22) $2.28
Satixfy (NYS: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYS: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$0.60
Terran Orbital (NYS: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.79
Virgin Galactic (NYS: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$3.43
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28 (1/11/22)$0.15
Stock Price Source: Google Finance

Decision Day for Astra Space

Today was the end of the 180-day period for Astra Space to get its stock price above $1 or face being delisted from Nasdaq. The stock closed at $0.38 today.

The struggling launch and spacecraft engine provider has requested another 180 days to get the stock in compliance. Astra has said it expects to hear back from Nasdaq on Wednesday.

Astra Rocket 3.0. (Credit: DARPA)

Astra reported a net loss of $411 million for 2022 as its strategy to become a low-cost launch provider founded. The company ended development of its Rocket 3.3 booster after two of three launches failed last year. Astra is developing its larger Rocket 4 launch vehicle that it expects to launch on flight tests at the end of this year.

The company said it has 278 “cumulative committed orders” for its Astra Spacecraft Engine. Customers for the engines include Airbus OneWeb Satellites, Astroscale, and Maxar Technologies.

Astra said it ended 2022 with approximately $102.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

One response to “Space SPAC Index: Virgin Orbit Bankruptcy Could Have A Broader Impact”

  1. Thomas Matula says:


    An article on VO and its failed rescue.

    April 8, 2023
    Virgin Orbit’s would-be white knight and a $200 million rescue that fell flat
    By Joey Roulette and Kevin Krolicki

    And another about VG as a result of it.

    Officials mum on dates for 2023 spaceflights after Virgin Orbit bankruptcy
    Danielle Prokop
    April 7, 2023

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