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Space SPAC Index – Redwire Wins NASA Lunar Contract

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
July 26, 2023
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Space SPAC Index – Redwire Wins NASA Lunar Contract
Lunar terrain vehicle creates a clear path on the Moon.
Image credit: Redwire.

Welcome to S-SPACi! In this week’s edition, Redwire won a NASA contract to develop lunar technologies, Intuitive Machines is helping to build a nuclear generator for use on the Moon, Spire Global won an ESA contract and unveiled a weather visualization tool, AST SpaceMobile opened a research and development facility in India, won a US Army contract, Momentus’ accounting firm resigned, and BlackSky released images of a Chinese naval base in Cambodia.

Redwire wins NASA lunar contract

Redwire (NYSE: RDW) has won a $12.9 million NASA Tipping Point award to produce a prototype of technology capable of building landing pads, roads, and foundations of habitats on the Moon using lunar materials. The technology will use a microwave emitter to heat and solidify regolith (lunar dust and crushed rock) to construct infrastructure. Redwire’s partners in the project include Astrobotic, Lockheed Martin Space, Lambda Technologies, Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Central Florida.

“Lunar sustainability is at the very heart of the Artemis program. Developing the technology to create infrastructure on the Moon to support landing, habitation, and commercial operations will enable the robust future that America and its international partners are creating,” said Redwire Executive Vice President John Vellinger. “We are very excited to leverage Redwire’s decades of flight heritage and experience on the International Space Station, providing the vision technology for Orion and numerous other systems, to literally build the foundation of a new era in lunar space exploration and utilization.”

Intuitive Machines' lunar lander with Zeno Power unit.
Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander with Zeno Power unit. Image credit: Zeno Power.

Intuitive Machines helps develop nuclear generator

Baby, it’s cold outside. At night. On the Moon.

The 14-day lunar night, which can see surface temperatures sink to as low as -250° C (-410 degrees F), is deadly for landers and rovers. Intuitive Machines (Nasdaq: LUNR) is part of a team led by Zeno Power that has received a $15 million NASA Tipping Point award to develop an americium-241 (Am-241) radioisotope Stirling generator to provide power through the lunar night.

Intuitive Machines will receive approximately $2.4 million to assist Zeno Power in developing the generator. The goal of the Harmonia program is to demonstrate the system on the lunar surface in 2027. Partners in the venture include Blue Origin, Sunpower Inc., NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Marshall Flight Center, and the University of Dayton Research Institute.

“The ability to survive the lunar night is paramount to Intuitive Machines and the space exploration community,” said Trent Martin, Intuitive Machines Vice President of Space Systems. “NASA investing in mission longevity and the endurance of spacecraft paves the way for uninterrupted scientific exploration, enabling future robotic and human missions to unlock the mysteries of the lunar surface and propel humanity’s presence in space to new frontiers.”

Space SPAC Index
July 19, 2023

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighClosing Price
Astra Space (Nasdaq: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.42
AST SpaceMobile (Nasdaq: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$3.94 (NYSE: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$1.93
BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$1.96
Intuitive Machines (Nasdaq: LUNR)Feb. 14, 2023$10.00$136.00 (2/20/23)$8.57
Momentus (Nasdaq: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.41
Planet Labs (NYSE: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$3.42
Redwire (NYSE: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$3.27
Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB)Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $7.14
Satellogic (Nasdaq: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22) $1.97
Satixfy (NYSE AMERICAN: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYSE: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$0.66
Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.41
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$3.90
Stock Price Source: Google Finance.

Spire Global wins ESA contract

Spire Global has won a €16 million (USD $17.76 million) contract to design and demonstrate a space-based surveillance system to track aircraft across the globe. Spire will develop the mission and system design for a satellite constellation in low Earth orbit (LEO), and then design, deploy, and operate a demonstrator mission that proves the performance of the system and its critical technologies. ESA plans to select a company to build out a large satellite constellation after the demonstrator phase.

“Space-based aircraft tracking and geolocation is the future of air traffic management to ensure safe, secure, and sustainable air travel at a global scale,” said Spire CEO Peter Platzer. “We are honored to be selected by ESA to lead the development of this first-of-its-kind aviation surveillance system demonstrator, leveraging our more than 500 years of flight heritage operating satellites in space and expertise in radio frequency technology.'”

DeepVision high temperature alert by Spire Global
DeepVision high temperature alert. Image credit: Spire Global.

Spire Global launches weather visualization platform

Spire Global has launched DeepVision, a weather visualization system designed to allow energy, supply chain, and logistics industries to better monitor weather conditions and anticipate potential disruptions. DeepVision is a highly scalable system that features customizable alerts, advanced global weather forecasts, shipment monitoring, and interactive maps.

“The world is witnessing an increase in extreme and high-impact weather events. Now, more than ever, businesses require highly scalable solutions that can monitor weather impacts and optimize their supply chains,” said Mike Eilts, Spire’s general manager of weather and Earth intelligence. “With DeepVision™, our customers can weather-proof their supply chains, allowing them to make informed decisions and enhance operational efficiencies in the face of weather-related challenges.”

AST SpaceMobile employees pose with deployed antenna of the BlueWalker 3 satellite.
AST SpaceMobile employees pose with deployed antenna of the BlueWalker 3 satellite. Image credit: AST SpaceMobile.

AST SpaceMobile opens Indian R&D center

Satellite-to-phone communications provider AST SpaceMobile (Nasdaq: ASTS) has opened a new research and development services hub and space technology development center in Hyderabad, India. Space and technology industry veteran Narayana Pidugu will serve as general manager and vice president of global R&D services. The company sees great potential on the subcontinent, where about two-thirds of Indians live in rural areas. wins US Army contract (NYSE: BBAI) has won a nine-month, $7.7 million contract for the second phase of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) Integrated Mission Management System. will provide a modern no-code/low-code solution designed to replace ATEC’s legacy systems with a cloud-based, API-centric platform combining project and portfolio management, enterprise content management, workflow management, application integration, and business intelligence/data analytics capabilities.

Accounting firm parts ways with Momentus

Armamino LLP will resign as Momentus’ (Nasdaq: MNTS) independent registered public accounting firm upon the filing of the company’s quarterly report for the interim period of September 30, 2023, the space company said in a public filing.

“Armanino advised the Company that its decision not to stand for re-appointment was due to Armanino’s transition away from providing financial statement audit services to public companies,” Momentus said in the filing.

“Armanino audited the Company’s consolidated financial statements as of and for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021. The reports of Armanino on the financial statements of the Company for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2022, and 2021 did not contain any adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles,” the document added.

“During the Company’s fiscal years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, and through the interim period ended March 31, 2023, there were no disagreements between the Company and Armanino on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure, which disagreements, if not resolved to the satisfaction of Armanino, would have caused Armanino to make reference to the subject matter of the disagreements in connection with its audit reports on the Company’s financial statements,” the filing said.

BlackSky Technology image of a Chinese naval base being built in Cambodia.
Image of a Chinese naval base being built in Cambodia. Image credit: BlackSky Technology.

BlackSky releases images of Chinese naval base

BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) released a 10-image collection of a Chinese naval base being built at a rapid pace in Ream, Cambodia between August 2021 and July 2023.

“BlackSky’s unique ability to capture and quickly deliver large volumes of dawn-to-dusk, time-diverse imagery increases transparency into strategic military and economic activities that otherwise would have gone unnoticed,” said BlackSky CEO Brian E. O’Toole. “Our commercial high-frequency monitoring satellite constellation and AI-driven tasking and analytics platform gives our customers the on-demand ability to observe critical change over time.”

View the images here.

Upcoming Earnings Reports

  • August 1: Virgin Galactic
  • August 8: Big
  • August 8: Rocket Lab
  • August 9: BlackSky Technology
  • August 9: Spire Global
  • August 15: Terran Orbital

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