Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reports that the rocket company Astra Space, Inc., which has been launching rockets from Kodiak, intends to be the first maker of small rockets to become publicly traded in the U.S. The company plans to use what is called a “blank-check company, in a transacting value of $2.1 billion.
“One of the few space startups with flight-proven technology, Astra said it is teaming up with billionaire telecommunications investor Craig McCaw to take advantage of the surging popularity of such transactions across an array of evolving high-technology sectors. SPAC stands for special-purpose acquisition company, a vehicle for swiftly taking entities public,” the Journal reported.
Astra is based in Northern California and has about 120 employees.
Although the rockets it launched from Kodiak in 2020 did not reach orbit, the company’s founder, Chris Kemp, formerly with NASA, expects another test soon and a commercial mission as early as summer.
“In going public, Astra seeks to stand out from a bevy of small-rocket competitors by locking in funding despite fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and an anticipated shakeout of rivals targeting the same market segment,” the Journal reported.
Astra’s mission is to launch a new generation of space services by making space more accessible through affordable, regular launches.