Rocket Startup Astra To Debut In Milestone For Space Stocks

Small satellites launch provider Astra Space (ASTR) will start trading Thursday amid a wave of space stocks that have turned to blank check companies to go public.

Astra is the first space launch company to trade on the Nasdaq, according to the company.

Rival Virgin Orbit, the sister company of Virgin Galactic (SPCE), is reportedly in talks to go public through the SPAC NextGen Acquisition II (NGCA). The company launched its first commercial satellites into space on Wednesday.

Small satellites are becoming popular for expanding internet access across the globe. Astra can launch satellites weighing 100 pounds but plans to increase that load number. The company plans to start commercial launch service for customers this summer and then move to daily launches by 2025.

Astra launched a rocket from its Alaska site in December, but it failed to reach its target orbit. The company expects the rocket to fly again this summer after some fixes are implemented. Astra plans to have monthly launches in the back half of 2021.

Astra Space shares have not yet started trading on the stock market today. Among other space stocks, Virgin Galactic was up 0.6% early Thursday.

Astra Space is going public via Holicity in a deal that valued it at $2.1 billion. The company is among a growing group of space companies going public via SPAC.

Special purpose acquisition companies, also known as “blank check companies,” offer a way for private companies to go public without a traditional IPO.

Momentus is going public via Stable Road Capital (SRAC), and Vector Acquisition (VACQ) will take Rocket Lab public in a deal that values the space company at $4.1 billion. Redwire Space is merging with Genesis Park (GNPK) to go public.

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