Author Topic: Astra Space  (Read 418415 times)

Offline ringsider

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1060 on: 03/08/2024 02:30 pm »
Astra has been raising eyebrows since the beginning.

Kemp described himself as the "CTO of NASA", even as late as the IPO documents. :



You have to wonder how the US Govt. cloud computing is going...

Kerrisdale Capital called it all just about right:

https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Astra-Space-Inc.-ASTR.pdf
« Last Edit: 03/08/2024 02:31 pm by ringsider »

Offline GreenShrike

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1061 on: 03/08/2024 03:20 pm »
How can they legally take the shares for 40% less than market value.
'Market value' is what shareholders are willing to sell for. Shareholders were willing to sell for the value Astra's management offered to pay, so that is de-facto their market value.

They were changing hands in $0.80s up until this announcement. See trading history.

At trickle volumes compared to the number of outstanding shares in the company.

How long do you think an 80¢ price-per-share would have lasted if a major stock holder tried to sell off shares representing a significant percentage of company ownership? Or, more to the point, was there even sufficient demand such that selling off that percentage of the company could even have been successful?

It's like the "value" of Musk's (and Bezos', and every other major stock holder's...) wealth: he's worth $X billions, but only as long as he doesn't actually try converting the $X billions of his stock ownership into spendable cash. If he sold an appreciable fraction of his Tesla stock, that stock -- and the value of his wealth -- would crater.

The 50¢ offer stood for better than a week. If anyone had wanted the company for more than 50¢ per share, they had their opportunity to put in a counter-bid. Apparently no such bid was forthcoming and the board thence decided that Kemp's offer represented the best value they could get for their shares.


I personally think Kemp's behaviour is like those -- and this is NSF, so I'll be polite -- jerks who agree to buy an item from you for $X, show up at your door to pay for and collect the item, but say, "Yeah, I don't like the paint. Here's half of $X -- take it or leave it."

It's rude and somewhat thuggish, but not illegal.

Now if Kemp et al had sabotaged the company to lower its value, that would be different. But there were no such allegations, and I daresay that if there had been any evidence that he had been anything other than perfectly scrupulous in his actions at Astra, the board would have made it known.

I certainly think some sour feelings are justified -- the stock holders bet on Kemp to make Astra a success. He failed, and now he's offering them (figurative, though possibly literal) pennies on the dollar for the (soon-to-be) corpse of his efforts. However, I'm more curious about what the new investors are thinking. Kemp couldn't make Astra a success once under his leadership; why do they think this time will be different?
« Last Edit: 03/08/2024 03:48 pm by GreenShrike »
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Online TrevorMonty

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1062 on: 03/08/2024 03:39 pm »


. However, I'm more curious about what the new investors are thinking. Kemp couldn't make Astra a success once under his leadership; why do they think this time will be different?

They don't have financial reserves to make it in launch industry. Only thing left is sell most of assets and try to .ake a go of Apollo in space propulsion business. From articles I've read they neglgected that side of business when LVs were main focus.

I pity any customer relying on Astra for their satellite propulsion.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1063 on: 03/08/2024 03:53 pm »
Kemp described himself as the "CTO of NASA", even as late as the IPO documents.
Why is that in any way unusual?

Offline gaballard

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1064 on: 03/08/2024 04:01 pm »
Kemp described himself as the "CTO of NASA", even as late as the IPO documents.
Why is that in any way unusual?

That says he was CTO of IT for NASA. His resume just said “CTO of NASA”, which is a huge difference.
"I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land." — FDR

Offline edzieba

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1065 on: 03/08/2024 05:33 pm »
Kemp described himself as the "CTO of NASA", even as late as the IPO documents.
Why is that in any way unusual?

That says he was CTO of IT for NASA. His resume just said “CTO of NASA”, which is a huge difference.
That is one and the same role, there are no and have not been any non-IT NASA CTOs.

Online XRZ.YZ

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1066 on: 03/08/2024 07:33 pm »


. However, I'm more curious about what the new investors are thinking. Kemp couldn't make Astra a success once under his leadership; why do they think this time will be different?

They don't have financial reserves to make it in launch industry. Only thing left is sell most of assets and try to .ake a go of Apollo in space propulsion business. From articles I've read they neglgected that side of business when LVs were main focus.

I pity any customer relying on Astra for their satellite propulsion.

https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/28/astras-apollo-fusion-acquisition-followed-by-delays-and-desertion/

According to this piece, Astra has already killed Apollo due to mis-management.

Quote
...
One source, who spoke to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity, described how, post-acquisition, none of the Apollo Fusion team members continued to report to Apollo CEO and co-founder Mike Cassidy. Nor did they report to the same few managers; instead, they each reported to someone different within Astra’s organization.
...
Decision-making at Astra was also impaired by complex budgeting and approval processes. There would be long debates over decisions like job titles and reporting structures. As a result, sometimes the propulsion team wouldn’t get parts ordered quickly enough, or they were unable to hire people to work on the spacecraft engines, sources said.

“It was a very schizophrenic thing where part of management was saying, ‘We have to invest, we have to do great things with Apollo,’ but there was no investment there. [There were] no hires,” the same person said, speaking of the months after the acquisition closed.
...
The majority of the Apollo Fusion team had cleared out by October 2022, less than 18 months after the acquisition closed. LinkedIn data shows that Astra eventually lost nearly every Apollo Fusion staffer, including the engineers that took the spacecraft engine product from clean sheet to flight heritage.
...
« Last Edit: 03/08/2024 07:38 pm by XRZ.YZ »
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Offline Navier–Stokes

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1067 on: 03/09/2024 03:59 am »


. However, I'm more curious about what the new investors are thinking. Kemp couldn't make Astra a success once under his leadership; why do they think this time will be different?

They don't have financial reserves to make it in launch industry. Only thing left is sell most of assets and try to .ake a go of Apollo in space propulsion business. From articles I've read they neglgected that side of business when LVs were main focus.

I pity any customer relying on Astra for their satellite propulsion.

https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/28/astras-apollo-fusion-acquisition-followed-by-delays-and-desertion/

According to this piece, Astra has already killed Apollo due to mis-management.

Quote
...
One source, who spoke to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity, described how, post-acquisition, none of the Apollo Fusion team members continued to report to Apollo CEO and co-founder Mike Cassidy. Nor did they report to the same few managers; instead, they each reported to someone different within Astra’s organization.
...
Decision-making at Astra was also impaired by complex budgeting and approval processes. There would be long debates over decisions like job titles and reporting structures. As a result, sometimes the propulsion team wouldn’t get parts ordered quickly enough, or they were unable to hire people to work on the spacecraft engines, sources said.

“It was a very schizophrenic thing where part of management was saying, ‘We have to invest, we have to do great things with Apollo,’ but there was no investment there. [There were] no hires,” the same person said, speaking of the months after the acquisition closed.
...
The majority of the Apollo Fusion team had cleared out by October 2022, less than 18 months after the acquisition closed. LinkedIn data shows that Astra eventually lost nearly every Apollo Fusion staffer, including the engineers that took the spacecraft engine product from clean sheet to flight heritage.
...

It's wild how many M&As happen without an appreciation that the real value in a company is the people.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1068 on: 03/09/2024 04:44 am »
So the Astra debate is over.

1. Virgin Orbit
2. Astra
3…
« Last Edit: 03/09/2024 05:07 am by M.E.T. »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1069 on: 03/09/2024 09:53 pm »
It's wild how many M&As happen without an appreciation that the real value in a company is the people.

No kidding. A friend of mine in the finance world once pointed out the stats on M&As that end up destroying net value -- about 80%.

~Jon

Offline Riamaleto

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1070 on: 04/08/2024 11:52 am »


. However, I'm more curious about what the new investors are thinking. Kemp couldn't make Astra a success once under his leadership; why do they think this time will be different?

They don't have financial reserves to make it in launch industry. Only thing left is sell most of assets and try to .ake a go of Apollo in space propulsion business. From articles I've read they neglgected that side of business when LVs were main focus.

I pity any customer relying on Astra for their satellite propulsion.

https://techcrunch.com/2023/08/28/astras-apollo-fusion-acquisition-followed-by-delays-and-desertion/

According to this piece, Astra has already killed Apollo due to mis-management.

Quote
...
One source, who spoke to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity, described how, post-acquisition, none of the Apollo Fusion team members continued to report to Apollo CEO and co-founder Mike Cassidy. Nor did they report to the same few managers; instead, they each reported to someone different within Astra’s organization.
...
Decision-making at Astra was also impaired by complex budgeting and approval processes. There would be long debates over decisions like job titles and reporting structures. As a result, sometimes the propulsion team wouldn’t get parts ordered quickly enough, or they were unable to hire people to work on the spacecraft engines, sources said.

“It was a very schizophrenic thing where part of management was saying, ‘We have to invest, we have to do great things with Apollo,’ but there was no investment there. This is a large company with a large number of customers around the world. They are involved in thousands of deals with different currencies. And as stated in blog cross-border transactions allow for easy allocation of a part of this money to the development of the company. But for some reason the management failed to do so. [There were] no hires,” the same person said, speaking of the months after the acquisition closed.
...
The majority of the Apollo Fusion team had cleared out by October 2022, less than 18 months after the acquisition closed. LinkedIn data shows that Astra eventually lost nearly every Apollo Fusion staffer, including the engineers that took the spacecraft engine product from clean sheet to flight heritage.
...

It's wild how many M&As happen without an appreciation that the real value in a company is the people.


Yes, they claimed they would reach new orbits, but in fact, they forced out the people who constituted the main essence of acquisition and caused a collapse. To me, it looks like sabotage, only it's unclear for what purpose.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2024 07:13 pm by Riamaleto »

Online trimeta

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1071 on: 04/09/2024 03:58 am »
Yes, they claimed they would reach new orbits, but in fact, they forced out the people who constituted the main essence of acquisition and caused a collapse. To me, it looks like sabotage, only it's unclear for what purpose.
The marginally more charitable interpretation would be that it wasn't sabotage, but instead neglect. They never needed the Apollo Fusion thrusters to actually be successful, they just needed to convince investors that they had another line of business beyond "rockets which can't reach orbit reliably." So once the company was acquired and could be mentioned during every investor presentation, its usefulness was over, and Astra had no reason to actually support those operations.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1072 on: 04/09/2024 06:17 am »
Yes, they claimed they would reach new orbits, but in fact, they forced out the people who constituted the main essence of acquisition and caused a collapse. To me, it looks like sabotage, only it's unclear for what purpose.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor
« Last Edit: 04/09/2024 06:18 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1073 on: 04/23/2024 06:58 pm »
Astra filed their delayed Form 10-K on April 18.

https://investor.astra.com/static-files/cc77efed-f4e2-4bff-ab38-7fde3ee77e22

Quote
At various points during the second half of 2023 and thus far in 2024, the Company has considered and even begun preparations to file for voluntary relief under either Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code because the Company faced an inability to fund its ongoing operations. The Company entered into the Merger Agreement as the only actionable alternative to the filing of a petition for voluntary relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, in which case all of the assets of the Company would have been liquidated and the stockholders would have received no value for their shares of Class A Common Stock.

Quote
• Our losses from operations and liquidity condition raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. As a result, there is significant risk in the investment in shares of our Class A Common Stock and you may lose all or part of your investment.
• We have incurred significant losses since inception and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability. Our current financial condition is precarious and we are at risk of insolvency.

Quote
The Company does not have sufficient funds to operate until the expected closing of the Merger. If the Company is unable to secure interim financing, it may run out of money before the Merger can be consummated. In addition, the closing of the Merger is dependent on certain investors providing financing at closing consistent with their equity commitments. If one or more of these investors fail to provide their financing at closing, it could delay or prevent the closing of the Merger.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1074 on: 04/24/2024 04:49 am »
Okay, to summarize: hype train to smallsat launcher, technology acquired, dehydrate

I'll be carefully watching future developments of the orbital-capable Kemp tribe.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1075 on: 04/24/2024 05:14 pm »
Management finally admitting what we all knew on the forum, Astra is doomed.

RL future while not a given seems safe for now. Firefly is making progress but is away of from profitability, NG deal would help plus their AEI owners have access to lot of cash.

No knowledge of ABL finances but long way from making money and yet to reach orbit.

I'm going right off Phantom given Cantrell involvement.

Like how Stoke are dealing to difficult technology early and seem to be financially prudent. Good bet they will make it to orbit.

I use to thing Relativity was a given to reach orbit and succeed but not so sure now. They did an Astra and killed off first LV before making it operational and throwing all resources+ money into larger LV. Spent lot money and time on 3D printing technology that hasn't really gone anywhere. Currently burning through lot of cash and still couple years from first launch and few more before having Terran R at operational flightrate ie profitable.

 Making it to orbit reliably is only half battle as VO demise has shown. LauncherOne failure shouldn't have killed them if their finances hadn't been running on vapors.

Offline BarneyPakofsky

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1076 on: 05/16/2024 08:33 am »
Okay, to summarize: hype train to smallsat launcher, technology acquired, dehydrate

I'll be carefully watching future developments of the orbital-capable Kemp tribe.

Here we are:
https://spacenews.com/terran-orbital-takes-charge-after-switching-propulsion-suppliers-on-satellite-program/
From the above article:Terran Orbital reported $27.2 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2024, down $1 million from the same quarter of 2023. The company said that the revenue included a $13.1 million negative impact from unfavorable estimate-at-completion adjustments, mostly from a single program.
Company executive explained in a May 14 earnings call that charge came primarily from having to switch propulsion systems subcontractors on that program. “Propulsion has been the number-one problem child here,” said Marc Bell, chief executive of Terran Orbital. “Unfortunately, we picked a propulsion manufacturer who was unable to deliver the product. That caused us to do some redesigns to accommodate a new propulsion manufacturer.”
Needless to say that the propulsion manufacturer was Astra...

Online jstrotha0975

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #1077 on: 05/20/2024 06:34 pm »
Has Astra declared bankruptcy yet?

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