Why Virgin Galactic Went SPAC

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the SmallSat Symposium last week, Richard Branson was asked why Virgin Galactic had gone public using a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

“I’m impatient. The SPAC gets through all of the rigmarole of public companies. Yes, I thought, that’s great, let’s do it,” he replied.

Branson was half right. A SPAC makes it a lot easier for a company to go public. But, impatience was probably not the main reason Virgin Galactic went SPAC.

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Redwire Acquires Oakman Aerospace, a Leading Digitally Engineered Spacecraft and Satellite Design Firm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., January 19, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired Oakman Aerospace, Inc. (OAI) a leading provider of cutting-edge products and services related to digital engineering, spacecraft and satellite design and development, mission payload development, and data distribution services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Oakman Aerospace adds a critical capability in digital engineering that will significantly enhance our space infrastructure solutions,” said Peter Cannito, Chairman and CEO of Redwire. “Their modular open systems architecture design and development approach and proprietary commercial off-the-shelf software suite is transforming the way future space capabilities are designed, developed, deployed and operated.”

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SpaceX CRS-21 Safely Splashes Down Off the Coast of Florida, Returning Science From the Space Station Back to Earth

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., January 14, 2021 (CASIS PR)  – SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely off the coast of Florida last night, concluding a month-plus stay at the International Space Station (ISS) to bring back thousands of pounds of scientific research and cargo.

With this successful splashdown, SpaceX completed its 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting laboratory for NASA. This also marks the first mission of the upgraded Dragon cargo spacecraft with double the powered locker capacity of previous capsules, allowing for even more research to travel back to Earth for analysis.

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Redwire Names Andrew Rush as President and Chief Operating Officer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., January 5, 2021– Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that Redwire Chief Operating Officer Andrew Rush has been promoted to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective January 1, 2021.

In this expanded role, Mr. Rush will manage the day-to-day operations of Redwire while assisting the CEO and Board of Directors in developing and executing the company’s long-term growth strategy. Additionally, Mr. Rush will oversee the development and implementation of Redwire policies and procedures, integration of new acquisitions, and execution of all technical programs. 

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Space Florida Looks Back on a Busy Year

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (December 23, 2020) – Today, Space Florida shared the many accomplishments of Florida’s aerospace and commercial space industry in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s Cape Canaveral Spaceport kept launching rockets. In May, the world watched as American astronauts lifted off from Florida for the first time since 2011, marking a new era of human spaceflight and commercial space exploration. The aerospace industry represents a key part of the State’s strategy for post-pandemic economic recovery, and Space Florida has good reason to be enthusiastic about the future of aerospace.

“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the State, our industry and our organization, Space Florida is pleased to have had a successful year of growth within the aerospace industry here in the State of Florida, with support from Governor DeSantis as well as our Board Chair and Lieutenant Governor Nuñez,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “Space Florida is working with other economic development partners to create an energized driving force in recruiting these companies to the Sunshine State. The future of this industry is very bright, representing an increasingly important segment of Florida’s economy.

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Redwire Technology Successfully Manufactures Ceramic Part in Space for the First Time

World’s first-ever demonstration of ceramic additive manufacturing in space

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that the company’s Ceramic Manufacturing Module (CMM) successfully manufactured a ceramic part in space for the first time.

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New Era for Space Station Research Ushered by NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 Mission—Astronauts Getting Right to Work

The four Commercial Crew astronauts (front row from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are welcomed aboard the station. In the back row from left are, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., November 17, 2020 (CASIS PR) – Early this morning, NASA and SpaceX made history when the first crew rotation of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, arrived safely to the International Space Station (ISS) after launching from Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A on Sunday evening.

On the SpaceX Crew-1 mission, NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, launched on the first NASA-certified commercial human spacecraft system in history. During their six-month assignment, the Crew-1 astronauts will live and work on the orbiting laboratory, performing multiple research and technology demonstration investigations.

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Redwire Appoints New Made in Space President

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., November 4, 2020 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and infrastructure for the next generation space economy, announced today the hiring of Thomas (Tom) B. Campbell as the new president of its subsidiary, Made In Space, effective October 26.

As a proven business leader and industry expert on space antennas and structures, Mr. Campbell will oversee Made In Space’s product and technology portfolio within Redwire’s broader innovation ecosystem, reporting to Redwire Chairman and CEO Peter Cannito. Campbell succeeds former Made In Space President Andrew Rush, who will fully assume his responsibilities as Redwire Chief Operating Officer.

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Redwire Selects Jacksonville, Florida for its New Corporate Headquarters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., September 15, 2020 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has selected Jacksonville, Florida for its corporate headquarters location.

“We are excited that Jacksonville will be the center of our innovation ecosystem as we continue to position Redwire as the leading developer of cutting-edge space technology and space infrastructure,” said Peter Cannito, chairman and chief executive officer of Redwire. “By strengthening our presence in Florida, we will have access to a skilled aerospace workforce, strategic partnerships, and operational infrastructure to support our growth.”

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Redwire Acquires Made In Space, the Leader in On-orbit Space Manufacturing Technologies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 23, 2020 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired Made In Space, Inc. (“MIS”), an innovative provider of industry-leading on-orbit space manufacturing technologies.

The acquisition also includes Made In Space Europe, based in Luxembourg and a sister company to the U.S. organization, which provides space-capable robotic systems to the global space industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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NASA to Fund Made in Space Project to Develop In-space Laser Welding System

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected Made in Space for a small business award to develop a system capable of autonomously welding structures in space.

The Mobile End-Effector Laser Device (MELD) would be capable of welding “aerospace-grade metals to assemble large, stable structures on-orbit or on the lunar or Martian surface. These include trusses, arrays, habitats, and pressure vessels,” according to the proposal summary.

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NASA Selects Proposals for In-Space Development of Optical Fibers, Stem Cells and More

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Removing the force of gravity from development processes can lead to products that are higher quality, have fewer defects, and are more effective than when developed on Earth. Companies are demonstrating these improved results can be achieved in the unique microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS), which orbits about 250 miles above the planet.

The research opportunities that have demonstrated the unique market value of in-space manufacturing, technology advancement and drug development have come through NASA’s investment in dedicating transportation and research time for ISS National Lab investigations.

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Made In Space 3D Printing PPE to Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

Face shields (Credit: Made in Space)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Made in Space PR) — Made In Space (MIS) is helping in the fight against COVID-19 by providing frontline healthcare workers with much-needed supplies and equipment. 

MIS facilities in Jacksonville, FL and Moffett Field, CA are using our additive manufacturing resources to provide hundreds of 3D printed face shields to local-area hospitals to augment the shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies.

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Blue Canyon Technologies to Support Made in Space’s Archinaut One Mission

This artist’s rendering depicts the Archinaut payload during its deployment in space. The project uses additive manufacturing to produce new or replacement structures including beams and struts too large for today’s conventional rockets to haul to space. (Credit: NASA/Made in Space)

BOULDER, Colo., (BCT PR) — Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been selected by Made In Space, Inc. to support the development of the spacecraft platform for the company’s upcoming Archinaut One mission.

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Made in Space Moving Headquarters to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Gov. DeSantis PR) – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Made In Space has decided to relocate their corporate headquarters and satellite manufacturing operations from California to Florida. The headquarters relocation and expansion effort will involve more than $3 million in new capital investment for Jacksonville.

“As a global leader for in-space manufacturing and assembly, Made In Space has a proven track record of delivering innovative space technology demonstrations at an industry-leading pace,” said Governor DeSantis. “Made In Space’s move to Florida is more evidence of Florida’s success and growth in the aerospace industry. My administration remains committed to supporting that growth and ensuring we maintain an economic climate that allows companies like Made In Space to prosper.”

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