Shares of recent special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) IPO and NewSpace company Redwire (RDW 10.04%) lifted off in afternoon trading Monday, rising as high as a 40% gain at one point. The stock is retracing now -- up "only" about 16.6% as of 1:30 p.m.
And it all began with a tweet.
At 12:15 p.m. EDT, a virtually unknown company by the name of "Orbital Reef" tweeted that it plans to build "a commercial space station transforming human space travel and opening access to new markets" and that it has enlisted Boeing (BA -0.73%), Sierra Space (a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation), Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin space company, and Redwire, too, as its partners.
Announcing #OrbitalReef-a commercial space station transforming human space travel and opening access to new markets. Our team developing the premier commercial destination in low Earth orbit: @BlueOrigin @SierraSpaceCo @BoeingSpace @RedwireSpace @ASU https://t.co/PP4wxrfkF3 pic.twitter.com/qJDdYg7BSv— Orbital Reef (@OrbitalReef) October 25, 2021
Within minutes, Redwire had its response tweet ready, confirming its participation in the Orbital Reef project and explaining that its role will be "providing microgravity research, development and manufacturing; payload operations; and deployable structures like our ROSA solar arrays!"
We are proud to be on the #OrbitalReef team, providing microgravity research, development and manufacturing; payload operations; and deployable structures like our ROSA solar arrays! https://t.co/1d1u99gtld— Redwire Space (@RedwireSpace) October 25, 2021
So...exciting times! And a rewarding day for early investors in the former space SPAC. But what does all of this mean for investors in Redwire over the long term?
That's an excellent question because while Orbital Reef's announcement was full of excitement, it was rather empty of details on when, for example, the new space station project might get underway; how much Redwire might be paid for its services; or how profitable this project might turn out to be for the new space company.
All we really know at this point are what can be gleaned from Orbital Reef's new website, which indicates that (1) the new space station won't be operational until "the end of this decade" and -- this could be the biggest news -- that (2) Blue Origin owns the copyright to Orbital Reef's name.
Translation: This is a Jeff Bezos project, and Redwire, Sierra Nevada, and even Boeing are just subcontractors.