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Space SPAC Index – AST SpaceMobile Stock Plunges on Stock Sale, Questions About Finances

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 28, 2023
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Space SPAC Index – AST SpaceMobile Stock Plunges on Stock Sale, Questions About Finances
AST SpaceMobile employees pose with deployed antenna of the BlueWalker 3 satellite.
Image credit: AST SpaceMobile.

Welcome to S-SPACi! In this week’s edition, shares of AST SpaceMobile plunged on a stock sale and questions about the company’s future, Virgin Galactic prepares for its first commercial crewed flight, Intuitive Machines filed to sell more stock, and the latest news about BlackSky, Intuitive Machines, Planet Labs, Redwire, Rocket Lab, Spire Global, and Terran Orbital.

Stock decline of AST SpaceMobile
AST SpaceMobile stock decline. Image credit: Yahoo Finance.

AST SpaceMobile shares plunge

Shares of AST SpaceMobile (Nasdaq: ASTR) plunged more than 27 percent on Wednesday after the company announced it was selling 12 million shares of Class A common stock. The price fell by $1.27 to close at $4.64.

The satellite-to-cell-phone communications company also filed a document with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that included a response to a story that Mergermarket published on June 12 that raised questions about the company’s prospects and finances.

Virgin Galactic first commercial mission crew
Galactic 01 crew members Image credit: Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic prepares for flight

Virgin Galactic’s (NYSE: SPCE) stock also declined last week after the company announced it had raised $300 million in stock sales and filed to raise $400 million. The company needs the funds to produce its next-generation Delta-class SpaceShipTwo vehicles and WhiteKnightTwo motherships.

The announcement erased gains made after the company announced it would launch its first crewed commercial mission this week. The suborbital flight will be conducted on Thursday, June 29, from Spaceport America in New Mexico. SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity will carry three Italian researchers who will conduct experiments. The company will live stream the Galactic 01 flight on the company’s website beginning at 11 AM EDT (9 AM MDT/15:00 UTC). 

Intuitive Machines files to issue new stock

Intuitive Machines has filed with the SEC to sell 95.2 shares of Class A common stock at an exercise price of $11.50 per share, 8.3 million warrants to purchase shares of Class A common stock at a price of $11.50, and 21.9 million shares of Class A common stock underlying the warrants at a price of $10.00 per unit.

Intuitive Machines appoints new board member

Intuitive Machines (Nasdaq: LUNR) has appointed former Sony executive Nicole Seligman to its Board of Directors. Seligman was the president of Sony Entertainment, Inc. from 2014 to 2016 and of Sony Corporation of America from 2012 to 2016. She served as the executive vice president and global general counsel of Sony Corporation from 2005 through 2014.

“Nicole’s expertise in business, public company leadership, and corporate governance will have an immediate impact on Intuitive Machines reaching its fullest potential,” Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus said in a company announcement. “We look forward to her strategic acumen and deep understanding of navigating complex regulatory landscapes to continue the Company’s growth and success in the aerospace industry.”

IROSA 5 solar array installed on the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA.

Redwire to build additional ISS solar arrays

Redwire (NYSE: RDW) announced it has received a follow-on contract from Boeing to develop two additional Roll-Out Solar Arrays (IROSA) for installation aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts recently installed the fifth and sixth IROSAs on the station to boost the power available for operations. Redwire developed the arrays in partnership with Boeing’s Spectrolab subsidiary for delivery to NASA.

Spire Global wins contract for 8 satellites

Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR) will build, launch and operate an eight-satellite constellation for OroraTech that will monitor global temperatures and wildfires. Each spacecraft will carry OroraTech’s proprietary thermal-infrared optical payload and data processing unit with on-orbit fire detection capability. The first and largest satellite constellation dedicated to monitoring wildfires will be launched in 2024.

Spire Global and OroraTech previously worked together on the FOREST-1 and FOREST-2 satellites, which were precursors designed to test the technology.

Euclid Space Telescope. Image credit: By ESA, CC BY-SA IGO 3.0,

Redwire technology launching aboard Euclid

Redwire technology will enable the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid space telescope to explore the dark universe. The company’s subsidiary in Belgium built the telescope’s baffle, a lightweight structure that will protect the visible imager and near-infrared spectrograph and photometer from stray light that would interfere with observations.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 will launch Euclid from Florida on Saturday, July 1 at 11:11 AM EDT (15:11 UTC). SpaceX will webcast the launch on its YouTube channel.

Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle lifts off from New Zealand
An Electron launches two BlackSky satellites from New Zealand on March 24, 2023. Image credit: Rocket Lab.

Rocket Lab schedules launch for July 14

Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB) will launch seven small satellites and attempt to recover the first stage of its Electron booster for reuse from the Pacific Ocean next month. The window for the launch from Mahia, New Zealand opens on July 14.

Payloads on the mission will include:

  • Four NASA Starling satellites that will demonstrate in-space network communications, onboard relative navigation between spacecraft, autonomous maneuver planning and execution, and distributed spacecraft autonomy for small-satellite swarms,
  • Two Spire Global 3U CubeSats carrying Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation payloads that will provide data that will fed into weather forecasting models, and
  • Telesat’s LEO 3 technology demonstration satellite, which was built by Space Flight Laboratory.

Rocket Lab to launch Spire Global satellites

Rocket Lab announced it had signed a contract for a dedicated Electron launch that will carry four space situational awareness satellites that Spire Global built for NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. The launch from Rocket Lab’s spaceport in Mahia, New Zealand is scheduled for September.

Space SPAC Index
June 28, 2023

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighClosing Price
Astra Space (Nasdaq: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.36
AST SpaceMobile (Nasdaq: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$4.64 (NYSE: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$2.30
BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$2.10
Intuitive Machines (Nasdaq: LUNR)Feb. 14, 2023$10.00$136.00 (2/20/23)$8.71
Momentus (Nasdaq: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.27
Planet Labs (NYSE: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$3.03
Redwire (NYSE: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$2.54
Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB)Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $5.87
Satellogic (Nasdaq: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22) $1.92
Satixfy (NYSE AMERICAN: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYSE: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$0.45
Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.39
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$4.74
Stock Price Source: Google Finance.

Terran Orbital and Safran to produce propulsion systems

Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP) and Safran have signed a memorandum of agreement to produce a new generation of electric propulsion systems for satellites in the United States. The product will be based on Safran’s PPSX00 plasma thruster.

Terran Orbital and Safran agreed to conduct an in-depth analysis of the technical, industrial, and economic requirements for a US-based production line. Production will likely take place at Terran Orbital’s microsat production facility in Irvine, Calif. The new line will match Safran’s production facilities in France.

Terran Orbital involved in ‘PopeSat’

Terran Orbital’s Italian subsidiary, Tyvak International, supported students who developed the Spei Satelles for the Vatican. Students at the Polytechnic University of Turin (PoliTO) CubeSat Team and DIANA Robotics Team designed the 3U CubeSat spacecraft. Spei Satelles contains a nanobook that contains images and readings associated with Pope Francis’s “Statis Orbis” coronavirus pandemic prayer delivered on March 27, 2020.

BlackSky joins Russell 3000 Index

BlackSky Technology (NYSE: BKSY) joined the broad-market Russell 3000 Index after markets closed on June 23. Membership in the US all-cap index will remain in place for one year. BlackSky will also be automatically included in the large-cap Russell 1000 Index or small-cap Russell 2000 Index as well as the appropriate growth and value style indexes.

Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for index funds and as benchmarks for active investment strategies. Approximately $12.1 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell’s US indexes.

“We are honored to be included in the Russell 3000 index,” said CEO Brian E. O’Toole. “This is a milestone event for the company and a testament to BlackSky’s strong fundamentals and business performance, and further underscores our role as a market leader in the geospatial intelligence industry. We believe BlackSky’s inclusion will increase visibility, providing us with the opportunity to reach a wider set of investment managers and institutional investors.”

Planet Labs cheers decision on land use

Planet Labs has cheered a decision by NASA and the Bureau of Land Management to remove a 36-square mile (93.2 square km) area of eastern Nevada desert from the list of land open to mining lithium needed for electric car batteries. The flat lakebed is ideal for calibrating satellites launched into space.

“As our nation becomes ever more impacted by an evolving and changing environment, it is critical to have reliable and accurate data and imagery of our planet,” said Planet Labs Vice President of Government Affairs Mark Moneza.

One response to “Space SPAC Index – AST SpaceMobile Stock Plunges on Stock Sale, Questions About Finances”

  1. lopan says:

    The market is still treating Rocket Lab like a startup despite their deep manifest and record of executing. Wall Street is just awful.

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