Bridge the gap (5/16/23)
Good morning. On this day in 2010, the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis woke up in space to Lynyrd Skynyrd crooning Sweet Home Alabama. You’re welcome if that’s stuck in your head the rest of the day.
In today's edition...
🚌 Terran Orbital Q1
🎙️ Pathfinder #0047
⭐ Astra Q1
🔁 On the move
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Terran Orbital Reports Q1 Results
Image: Terran Orbital
Terran Orbital’s ($LLAP) losses piled up despite progress on its monster $2.4B Rivada contract, the satellite bus manufacturer revealed Monday in its Q1 financial results.
By the numbers:
Revenue of $28.2M, up 115% YoY
Net income of -$54.4M, a 24% annual improvement
Cash of $57.4M
Backlog of $2.5B and 360 satellites
Rivada's three-year, 300 satellite contract accounts for the vast majority of the backlog. Terran received its first milestone payment from the contract last month as it inches closer to ramping up manufacturing.
Outlook: Terran expects the Rivada contract to begin paying dividends in the second half of the year. CEO Marc Bell said in a statement that the company’s newest expansion will come online in the next few weeks, with a capacity increase expected in Fall 2024. As a result, the company projects revenue to jump, driving an estimated $250M in total sales for 2023.
Cash: Heavy investment to meet the massive backlog has drained the company’s liquidity. Terran burned through $36.2M last quarter, leaving it with just $57.4M in its coffers.
Management announced it will continue to explore raising additional funds in the capital markets to bridge the gap until the Rivada contract begins generating revenue.
+ Market reaction: As of market close Monday, $LLAP traded down 17.7%.
Verve closes the gap between ideation & design decision
Requirements Management + Digital Thread
What if you could manage your entire engineering team’s design decisions & assumptions in a central, accessible, revision-controlled location?
What if you could finish your 6 month project in 6 weeks by eliminating common friction in your engineering processes?
With Verve, you can.
Built by engineers from SpaceX, Slingshot Aerospace, & SRI International, Verve manages the messy human layer of engineering, generally considered “Requirements Management.”
Complex engineering teams from aerospace to medical devices can drastically decrease time-to-market for critical world-changing products.
Verve works where you do, capturing & managing engineering requirements inside your tools & across complex datasets. Formal requirements and other design descriptions are captured once and used everywhere, presenting themselves according to each respective user's role, drastically enhancing time-to-value.
With an inclusive digital engineering workflow, your engineering team can streamline the integration of diverse data sets from multiple design systems & tools.
Securing Space and Pathfinder #0047 with Even Rogers
The US national security community’s view of space has come a long way, from a benign safehaven to a wild, wild West where “juicy targets” are at risk from adversaries’ rapidly-improving tech to take out satellites.
True Anomaly CEO Even Rogers argues his company is in a prime position to take advantage of this shift in thinking as officials realize our space assets are not designed to defend themselves.
Weapons in space? Not exactly. True Anomaly develops spacecraft and software solutions to make space a protected harbor for the US and its allies. They are focusing on offering:
Space domain awareness
Their initial offering includes the Jackal spacecraft, which operates autonomously near satellites to collect intelligence, and the Mosaic software suite, which empowers operators to interpret space activities and maximize mission effectiveness.
The company emerged from stealth last month announcing $30M of total funding, including a $17M Series A led by Eclipse.
A deep dive
In today’s Pathfinder podcast, host Mo Islam chats with cofounder and CEO Even Rogers. Before founding True Anomaly, Even held a number of different space jobs, including Air Force space operations officer, where he helped lay the foundation for the establishment of the Space Force. While serving, he witnessed a shift within the space community from focusing on counterinsurgency operations to addressing vulnerabilities and threats in space systems amid the rise of China.
Even and Mo talk about the story behind True Anomaly, deterrence in space, and transitioning from the military to Silicon Valley. They also discuss:
True Anomaly’s product suite
Striking the right balance of former military personnel and engineers
Jackal’s demo mission this fall
Why VC investors are backing defense companies
Security and data integrity in space
And much more…
Pathfinder #0047 is live now…
Astra Reports Q1 Results
Astra ($ASTR) reported earnings for Q1, revealing significant cutbacks in spending as the company pushes ahead on Rocket 4 development.
By the numbers
Gross profit of $0
Net loss of $44.9M
Adj. EBITDA of -$42.3M
$5M in capital expenditures in Q1
$62.7M in cash on hand
$ASTR stock was trading at $0.39 at EOD Monday.
Closing contracts: Astra is continuing its Launch System 2 development and progressing toward a Rocket 4 launch as it chases down deals. The company clinched an $11.5M USSF contract to launch a mission on Rocket 4. It also delivered eight spacecraft engines and closed a deal with Apex to supply five propulsion kits.
Astra had a rough 2022. After the company failed to launch a NASA mission last summer, it pulled in $0 in Q4 revenue, received a delisting warning from Nasdaq in October, and laid off 16% of its workforce in November.
Astra hasn’t been the only launch company struggling with the public markets—last month, Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure additional funding.
Last month, Nasdaq granted Astra a six-month extension to get its stock price over $1, which the company could achieve either organically through performance—a difficult road for a launch company in these times—or through a reverse stock split.
Register For Our Next Marketing Webinar on May 18th
The Payload team is excited to be hosting a webinar on "Integrating Marketing and BD in DC." In this conversation, we will be talking about how marketing and BD can work together to sell to the federal government
- Creating KPIs for marketing and BD
- What channels can I use to reach the federal government
-The importance of marketing and BD working together
In Other News
Beresheet-2, a lunar lander mission led by Israeli startup SpaceIL, lost its chief donors.
China issued a call for low-cost commercial cargo transportation to Tiangong.
Ax-2 got the green light to launch on Sunday after a flight readiness review.
Space Forge unveiled new tech to recover and reuse in-space manufacturing satellites.
Rocket Lab ($RKLB) is expecting to launch the second half of the TROPICS mission on May 22.
Earth is safe from a killer asteroid impact for the next 1,000 years. Probably.
NASA’s Juno probe will fly by Jupiter’s moon Io today.
On the Move
SpaceX hired former NASA human spaceflight chief Kathy Lueders as general manager, reporting directly to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell. Lueders retired from NASA last month after 30+ years of service (H/T CNBC).
CesiumAstro welcomed Hinrich J. Woebcken, former CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, as a senior executive advisor to help the company learn from automotive manufacturing best practices.
NASA's associate administrator for the space technology mission directorate, James L. Reuter, announced his retirement after 40 years at the space agency.
The National Academy of Sciences elected Ohio State University astronomer David Weinberg as a member.
True Anomaly named Kristin Cody as director of communications. Cody has 15+ years of comms experience.
Fortuna appointed former NFL athlete Frostee Rucker as VP. Rucker will head up the firm’s new investment origination, including space sector opportunities.
ThinkOrbital welcomed Frank Tybor, former SpaceX engineer, as CTO.
The View from Space
The James Webb Space Telescope spotted water vaporizing from a comet in the main asteroid belt for the first time.