The Space Investor - 🚀 Virgin Orbit's Shutdown

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The Space Scoop
Week Ended 03.17.2023
Happy Friday! We apologize for being quiet on Twitter but it was a wild week from markets to the SATELLITE2023 news cycle. Space companies took a collective hit, down -10%, with troubling news coming out of Virgin Orbit. Astra and Sidus are fighting delisting notices and Amazon debuts its own Starlink internet antenna competitor. Lets dive in.

Market Max-Q

Top Stories

1) Virgin Orbit ($VORB) announced a company wide operations pause and is seeking funding. 
  • In an after hours scoop from Michael Sheetz at CNBC, it was reported (and later confirmed via SEC filing on Thursday) that Virgin Orbit called an all-hands company meeting to announce the pausing of operations for 7 days and the furlough of nearly all employees as the Company faces liquidity issues.
  • VORB confirmed it is starting an “operational pause” and plans to give “an update on go-forward operations in the coming weeks." Since late 2022, VORB has received various funding lifeboats of $55M via an arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
  • VORB has also still yet to announce when Q4 2022 earnings results would take place, while today the Financial Times reported that it is in talks about a potential buyout. Fingers crossed for Virgin Orbit, definitely wasn't our pick for first space SPAC to go down..
  • Shares fell -30% on Thursday alone and finished the week -41%.
2) Astra ($ASTR) submitted an application to NASDAQ to extend its minimum share price requirement out to the Fall.
  • On October 6, the Company received a letter from the NASDAQ noting it was no longer in compliance with listing rules of maintaining a share price above $1.00 per share.
  • On Monday, Astra submitted an application for an additional 180 days (to October 1, 2023) to satisfy the requirement.
  • "Based on our discussions with representatives of Nasdaq, we expect to hear back regarding the status of our application on or around April 5, and we are not aware of any reason why our application would not be approved", said CFO Axel Martinez. 
3) Sidus Space ($SIDU) announced and reported FY 2022 earnings within 14 hours of each other. Highlights include:
  • Cash & Equivalents: $2.3M
  • Revenue: $7.3M, +418% YoY
  • Gross Profit: 20% vs. (26%) YoY
  • Net Loss: ($12.8)M vs. ($3.8)M
  • Shares: -3.6%
4) The fallout from Silicon Valley Bank on space companies was, thankfully, less than previously expected.
  • $RKLB: 7.9% of cash and equivalents
  • $ASTR: 15% of cash and equivalents 
  • $RDW: No assets were held at the firm
  • $SSIT: 1/3 of investments held cash at the bank (phew...)

In Other News

Bank of America Reiterates Sell Rating on Virgin Galactic (
$BAC lowered its price target from $4 to $3 per share and maintained its sell-equivalent rating on $SPCE after Q4 / FY 2022 results. The bank emphasized its reasoning due to "lower projected flight volumes" of VSS Unity, and the "vulnerable strategy of leaving its VSS Imagine spacecraft idle."

Voyager Space ACquires ZIN Technologies (PR Newswire)
The space holding company acquired spaceflight engineering specialists for an undisclosed amount. While the terms weren't announced, CEO and chairman Dylan Taylor stated that the acquisition was Voyager’s “largest to date.” 

Quadsat Raises $9.6M Series A (SpaceNews)
The Denmark-based startup uses drones as stand-ins for satellites to test and calibrate antennas on the ground. The round was led by IQ Capital with participation from all existing investors including Seraphim Space, Vækstfonden and angel investors Torben Frigaard Rasmussen and Helge Munk.

Chart of the Week

Virgin Orbit: It looks like our friend $VORB will be the first domino to fall among the early stage space companies that went public via SPAC in 2021-2022. Shares fell -41% on the week on news of a week-long operational pause, furloughs and seeking a buyer.


• Thailand Authorizes Globalstar ($GSAT) Mobile Satellite & Ground Station Operations

• AST SpaceMobile ($ASTS) Announces Collaboration with Saudi Telcom Company

• Viasat ($VSAT) To Provide In-Flight Connectivity to Additional Delta ($DAL) Aircraft

• Intuitive Machines ($LUNR) Successfully Completes Launch Vibration Tests for Lunar Mission

• Aerojet Rocketdyne ($AJRD) Shareholders Approve Acquisition by L3Harris ($LHX)

• Firefly Aerospace Awarded $112M Contract for Lunar Orbit Payloads Under CLPS Program

• Varda Space Awarded $60M Air Force STRATFI Contract To Advance Our Nation’s Hypersonic Capabilities

• Amazon ($AMZN) Debuts Project Kuiper Satellite Internet Network Antennas

• Rocket Lab ($RKLB) Launches 34th Electron Rocket via Second Mission From Virginia

• Sidus ($SIDU) Receives Written Notice Regarding Minimum Bid Price Requirement


• Investors Project Space Company Funding To Rebound in 2023

• Getting Real About Space Business Models

• Momentus ($MNTS): Successful Launch, Maintain Buy-Venture Rating

Virgin Orbit ($VORB): A Massive Failure

Earnings Calendar

$LLAP: March 21 - Before Market Open
$MDA: March 23 - Before Market Open
$PL: March 29 - After Market Close
$ASTR: March 30 - After Market Close

*Company confirmed dates only.
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