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Wed. 1 Dec 2021, 6:06pm ETBenzinga
In: Analyst Color, News, Small Cap, Global, Analyst Ratings, Trading Ideas

The international space race is heating up, and some investors see major profit opportunities in the future space economy.

On Wednesday, Bank of America analyst Ronald Epstein highlighted the latest developments among companies competing for the lead in the nascent commercial spaceflight industry.

See Also: Space Force General Details Daily Attacks By China, Russia On US Satellites

Here’s a look back at some of the latest news on the space race:

  • On Oct. 29, Terran Orbital announced plans to go public via a SPAC merger with Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:TWNT). The deal values Terran at roughly $1.6 billion. The company plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Florida capable of producing more than 1,000 spacecraft per year.
  • SpaceX successfully returned its Crew-2 mission on Nov. 8 and launched its Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station on Nov. 11. On Nov. 26, SpaceX and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said a production crisis with its Raptor rocket engines is “mush worse than it seemed a few weeks ago” and warned employees that SpaceX faces a “genuine risk of bankruptcy” if the company can’t complete at least one Starship flight every two weeks in 2022.
  • On Nov. 12, German laser communications company Mynaric ADS (NASDAQ:MYNA) completed its IPO. Mynaric has an in-space test of its satellite optical communication terminals scheduled for the second quarter of 2022.
  • On Nov. 15, Russia tested a new anti-satellite weapon by destroying Soviet satellite Kosmos-1408 which had been inactive since 1984. The resulting debris cloud forced the ISS crew to take cover and earned Russia harsh criticism from the international space community.
  • On Nov. 18, Rocket Lab USA Inc (NASDAQ:RKLB) completed its 22nd mission and has now deployed 107 satellites. The company successfully recovered its first stage boosters for the third time.
  • On Nov. 19, Telesat Corp (NASDAQ:TSAT) began trading on the Nasdaq, essentially taking the place of Loral Space & Communications. Loral owned 64% of Telesat. Telesat is looking to construct Lightspeed, a broadband constellation of 298 satellites that will cost an estimated $5 billion and provide high-speed commercial internet access.
  • On Nov. 20, Astra Space Inc (NASDAQ:ASTR) completed its first orbital launch with its Rocket 3.3 model LV0007. Astra shares are up 14% in the past three months after the company went public back in July via a SPAC merger.
  • On Nov. 23, Blue Origin announced former NFL football player Michael Strahan and U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard’s daughter Laura Shepard Churchley will fly on its next New Shepard mission, NS-19, which is scheduled for Dec. 9.
  • On Nov. 24, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NADAQ: SPCE) announced Keisha Schahaff of Antigua as the winner of a charity contest to fly in a future SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight. The event raised $1.7 million for Space for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program.

Benzinga’s Take: It’s still extremely early to pick one or more long-term winners among stocks with exposure to the space race. Musk’s comments on SpaceX’s precarious financial condition are a reminder for investors of how high-risk space investments are at this point in the game.