4 Space Stocks Fail To Take Off After Successful Launches


Astra Space Inc ASTR successfully launched a rocket on Tuesday afternoon containing a group of satellites for NearSpace Launch, the S4 CROSSOVER and Portland State Aerospace Society’s OreSat0.

Following the launch, due to radio silence, investors grew weary of waiting as Astra could not confirm the payload was delivered safely. This caused the stock to sharply drop from highs of $3.86 to a low of $3.34.

Astra later confirmed the payload was deployed safely, but not before profit-taking and a short opportunity was developed.

The stock has since rebounded, trading 13.47% higher off of the lows after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk congratulated Astra via Twitter Inc TWTR on the success.

It seems the investor approach for space stocks is to "buy the rumor, sell the news." 

Here are three instances where space stocks sold off after a successful launch.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc SPCE On June 24, 2021, the FAA updated Virgin Galactic’s space transportation license to allow the company to fly customers to space in preparation for a launch expected on July 11, 2021. The news sparked a rally on the stock, pushing it 36.21% higher the following week.

The launch was a success. But, the stock opened on Monday trading 17.30% lower over Friday’s close, triggering a sell-off that has not recovered.

Rocket Lab USA Inc RKLB On Dec. 8, 2021, Rocket Lab launched “A Data With Destiny,” a payload mission to deploy two BlackSky Global Gen 2 satellites. The launch was a success, but the stock experienced a sell-off, falling 3.17% over the following day.

Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc VORB The space solutions company confirmed on Jan. 13, 2022, it successfully deployed into orbit all seven customer satellites onboard its LauncherOne rocket during the recent "Above the Clouds" mission. The stock fell 9.04% over the following trading session.

Photo: Courtesy Virgin Orbit

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