SPACovirus Sweeps Space Sector

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)
Wall Street’s latest easy money craze has attracted a growing number of space companies. But, just because they can go public, should they?

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Seven space companies have gotten caught up in the SPACovirus sweeping through Wall Street. The impact on the space industry is going to be interesting to watch.

A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company. It’s a publicly traded investment firm that, with outside investors, acquires or merges with another company, and then takes the acquisition public under its own name.

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Spire Global Goes SPAC: Space-based Data & Analytics Company to Go Public Through a Merger with NavSight Holdings

  • Spire collects spaced-based data through their proprietary constellation of over 100 satellites
  • Spire has a technology stack that is proven, at scale, and fully operational
  • Spire delivers subscription-based data, insights, and predictive analytics to global customers across a range of industries, including maritime, aviation, weather, and climate
  • Transaction funds growth strategy across key verticals and geographies, accelerates sales, marketing, and product development, and further strengthens competitive advantage
  • Transaction values the combined company at a $1.6 billion post-money equity value and is expected to provide approximately $475 million in gross proceeds, assuming no redemptions
  • Includes an upsized, and fully committed $245 million common stock PIPE, anchored by Tiger Global Management, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Hedosophia, JAWS – the family office of Barry Sternlicht, and Bloom Tree Partners
  • Spire stockholders, NavSight stockholders, and PIPE investors will hold shares in the combined company to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “SPIR”
  • Business combination expected to be completed in summer 2021
  • Investor webcast and call is scheduled for March 1st, at 8:30 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO & RESTON, Va., March 1, 2021 (Spire Global/NavSight Holdings PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire” or the “Company”)a leading global provider of space-based data and analytics, and NavSight Holdings Inc. (“NavSight”) (NYSE: NSH), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for a business combination that would result in Spire becoming a publicly listed company.

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India Launches Earth Observation Satellite, 9 Secondary Payloads

  • India’s first launch of 2020 lofts 10 satellites
  • ISRO has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • India typically launches five or six times per year
  • Secondary payloads included four Kleos Space maritime applications satellites and four Lemur multi-mission satellites for Spire

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — Today, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fifty first flight (PSLV-C49), successfully launched EOS-01 along with nine international customer satellites from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. 

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Australian Office of National Intelligence Partners with Spire for First Supercomputing Satellite

SAN FRANCISCO (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, a leading data analytics provider with the world’s largest earth observation constellation of satellites for advanced weather data, maritime analytics, and aircraft tracking, today announced its first dedicated LEMUR satellite, named Djara, developed for Australia’s Office of National Intelligence (ONI).

The close collaboration between Spire and ONI – together with the LEMUR satellite’s extensive spaceflight heritage – saw the rapid development of Djara from concept to orbital deployment. The Djara satellite is part of an Australian National Intelligence Community program to experiment with commercial satellite technologies, including the on-board application of advanced machine learning capabilities.

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What’s On Board Vega Booster

The European Vega rocket that launched this evening was carrying 53 satellites on its first rideshare mission as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

The payloads included 14 Flock 4V Earth imaging satellites from Planet, 12 SpaceBEE Internet of Things spacecraft from Swarm Technologies, and 8 maritime monitoring satellites from Spire.

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NASA Awards Earth Science Data Contracts to DigitalGlobe, Planet & SPIRE

One of the organizations in NASA’s Private Sector Small Constellation Satellite Data Product Pilot program, Planet, has several satellite constellations including Dove. Two of the Dove small satellites are shown here deploying from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has launched a pilot program to evaluate how Earth science data from commercial small-satellite constellations could supplement observations from the agency’s fleet of orbiting Earth science missions. On Sept. 28, the agency awarded sole-source contracts to acquire test data sets from three private sector organizations.

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Orbital ATK’s Cygnus Capsule to Host Research Destined for ISS

SS John Glenn near the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (May 16, 2018) – The 9th Commercial Resupply Services (awarded by NASA) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by Orbital ATK is targeted for launch no earlier than 5:04 a.m. EDT on May 20th. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus capsule will host multiple payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory (managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space). These payloads represent a diverse combination of science (life and materials sciences, chemistry evaluations), technology, small satellites, and the replenishment of hardware facilities to support future research. Additionally, multiple investigations will launch to station focused on inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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ISS U.S. National Lab Payloads Prepped for Orbital ATK CRS-8 Launch

SS John Glenn near the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., November 2, 2017 (CASIS) The Orbital ATK Cygnus vehicle is slated to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) no earlier than November 11, 2017 from Wallops Flight Facility.

The Cygnus spacecraft will carry ISS National Laboratory payloads to conduct research across a variety of areas aimed at improving life on Earth. In addition to the diverse research launching to the ISS National Lab, multiple payloads focused on enabling future research missions will be part of the CRS-8 manifest. Thus far in 2017, the ISS National Lab has sponsored more than 100 separate experiments that have reached the station.

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IAC Updates: Starliner, Rocket Lab and Long March 5

Electron lifts off on maiden flight from Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

The International Astronautical Congress has been going on all week down in Adelaide, Australia. In addition to Elon Musk’s presentation on Friday and some news I’ve already posted here, there have been a few updates on various programs.

Boeing CST-100 Starliner.  Boeing is aiming for a test flight of the CST-100 Starliner to the International Space Station in the third quarter of 2018. However, the first crewed test flight could slip from the fourth quarter of 2018 into the first quarter of 2019.  Link

Rocket Lab. The company’s next test launch will carry will two Dove Cubesats from Planet and a pair of Lemur CubeSsats from Spire Global. The satellite will allow Rocket Lab to test deploying spacecraft from the second stage of its Electron rocket. The launch is planned for several weeks from now. Link

Long March 5. The failure of a Long March 5 booster in July will delay the launch of China’s Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission, which had been scheduled for November. The Chang’e-4 mission, which will land on the far side of the moon, also will be delayed. That flight had been scheduled for late next year. The accident investigation is ongoing. Link