Spaceflight Industries disrupting rocket launch market

Blake said about Morgan Stanley’s analysis, “I think it means that people, and Wall Street, are starting to see this industry as a valuable one and they’ve identified our company as … a disruptor, which is a great term.”

The note is the latest in Morgan Stanley’s “Space Disruptor Series,” which features commentary on 90 companies by Morgan Stanley’s “Space Team,” which is led by Jonas.

Spaceflight Industries has two businesses: The all-in-one launch services unit, known as Spaceflight, and a satellite imagery unit called BlackSky. The former “has launched 210 satellites” to date, Morgan Stanley said. Spaceflight isn’t slowing down, either, with contracts to launch about 100 satellites this year.

BlackSky represents the company’s reach into satellite operations. The unit successfully launched two satellites at the end of last year, Global-1 and Global-2, and expects to launch six more this year. Spaceflight Industries aims to eventually have constellation of 60 satellites to provide high-resolution photos of Earth nearly on demand.

The company announced a $150 million fundraising round in March for the first 20 satellites of the BlackSky constellation.

Additionally, BlackSky is one of several companies working with Amazon Web Services for the recently-announced AWS Ground Station business. Amazon’s cloud business is building a network of satellite connection facilities, representing the e-commerce giant’s first public move into space-related hardware.

Ground stations are a vital link for transmitting data to-and-from satellites in orbit, used by companies engaged in a variety of activities like weather forecasting, communications and broadcasting. AWS Ground Station aims to remove the heavy capital costs for these companies of building their own ground station networks off of satellite operators.

Morgan Stanley hosted its first “Space Summit” in New York City in December and is telling clients to pay attention to space companies.

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