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Space SPAC Index – Quarterly Reports Show Increased Revenues and Losses

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
May 10, 2023
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Space SPAC Index – Quarterly Reports Show Increased Revenues and Losses
VSS Unity glides to a landing after a test on April 26, 2023.
Image credit: Virgin Galactic

Welcome to S-SPACi. In this week’s edition, Virgin Galactic reported a wider first-quarter loss, Rocket Lab’s revenues and net loss both increased, BlackSky reported higher revenue, bankrupt Virgin Orbit received more than 30 expressions of interest from potential buyers, and Spire Global won a contract to begin work on a wildfire monitoring satellite.

Virgin Galactic’s Wider Loss

Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) reported a wider first-quarter net loss on Tuesday as the company prepares to resume powered suborbital flights. The suborbital “spaceline” saw its net loss rise to $159.4 million from a $93.1 million net loss in the same period in 2022. Officials said the company has ramped up spending on manufacturing new SpaceShipTwo rocket planes and WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft.

Virgin Galactic will conduct the final suborbital flight test of the VSS Unity spaceship with four company employees in the passenger cabin in late May. The company plans to fly its first commercial flight with two Italian Air Force pilots and an Italian researcher aboard in late June.

Electron's first stage engines fire as the rocket heads toward space. (Credit: Rocket Lab)
Rutherford engines power Electron to orbit in the first launch from U.S. soil. Image credit: Rocket Lab webcast.

Rocket Lab’s Revenues and Loss Increase

Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB) reported on Tuesday that its first-quarter revenue and net loss had both increased. Revenue rose to $54.9 million from $40.7 million during the same period last year. Net loss increased from $26.7 million to $45.6 million year over year. Rocket Lab’s spending on developing its larger Neutron rocket also increased.

The company also announced it had signed with NASA to launch the space agency’s Starling mission from New Zealand in the third quarter of this year. The four-CubeSat constellation will demonstrate autonomous satellite swarm technologies as well as automated space traffic management.

Rocket Lab said it had completed and shipped a custom Photon spacecraft for Varda Space Industries. Photon will serve as the service module providing power, communications, propulsion, and attitude control for Varda’s 120 kg capsule, which will manufacture pharmaceutical products in orbit and return them to Earth. The spacecraft will be launched in June aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-8 rideshare mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Space SPAC Index
May 10, 2023

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighClosing Price
Astra Space (Nasdaq: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.38
AST SpaceMobile (Nasdaq: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$5.14 (NYSE: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$2.55
BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$1.29
Intuitive Machines (Nasdaq: LUNR)Feb. 14, 2023$10.00$136.00 (2/20/23)$7.60
Momentus (Nasdaq: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.43
Planet Labs (NYSE: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$4.13
Redwire (NYSE: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$3.03
Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $4.12
Satellogic (Nasdaq: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22) $2.15
Satixfy (NYSE: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYSE: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$0.71
Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.88
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$4.17
Virgin Orbit (OTCMKTS: VORBQ)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28 (1/11/22)$0.070
Stock Price Source: Google Finance.

Virgin Orbit Bankruptcy Sale

Virgin Orbit (OTCMKTS: VORBQ) said more than 30 parties have expressed interest in acquiring the bankrupt launch provider. Bids are due on May 15. An auction will be held on May 18 if there are multiple qualifying bids. Meanwhile, an aircraft maintenance company has placed a lien on Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 due to unpaid bills.

BlackSky’s Revenue Grows

BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) reported $18.4 million in revenue for the first quarter on Wednesday, an increase of 32 percent over the same period last year. Revenue from imagery and software analytical services grew 114 percent year over year.

Net loss declined from $20 million in the first quarter of 2022 to $17.2 million this year. Adjusted EBITDA loss for the quarter was $4.1 million compared with $9.5 million for the first three months of last year.

“We’re pleased that our high-margin imagery and analytics revenue in the first quarter of 2023 grew 114 percent year-over-year, and coupled with strong incremental contribution margins, we maintain our trajectory towards achieving positive adjusted EBITDA in Q4 this year,” said BlackSky CEO Brian E. O’Toole. “Since the beginning of the year, in addition to the $150+ million, multi-year subscription contract award we announced in March, we’ve also won over a dozen new contracts and renewals primarily supporting U.S. and international government agencies.”

Spire Subsidiary to Build Wildfire Monitoring Satellite

Spire Global’s (NYSE: SPIR) ExactEarth subsidiary has won a contract to deliver preparatory work for the implementation phases of a wildfire monitoring satellite. The purpose of CSA’s WildFireSat mission is to monitor all active wildfires in Canada from space on a daily basis. The data will allow firefighters to better manage blazes and provide more precise information about smoke and air quality conditions and carbon emitted by wildfires.

Spire will partner with OroraTech, which specializes in space-based thermal intelligence. The companies previously worked together on the launch of OroraTech’s wildfire detection and monitoring mission on a Spire satellite in 2022.

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