An artist’s rendering of a Momentus Vigoride transfer vehicle deploying a satellite in orbit.
Shares of Stable Road Acquisition Corp. entered trading on Monday after the company announced in a securities notification that its merger target, In-space transport company Momentusno longer plans to run missions for customers this year.
“Momentus announced to Stable Road that it is not expected to fly any missions in 2021 and that this determination was based on information from SpaceX that Momentus-related efforts have been suspended while Momentus is working to obtain approvals from the US government “wrote Stable Road.
Stable Road stock fell 13.4% in trading to close at $ 10.42.
The company was the first of several special purpose vehicles (SPACs) to announce contracts with space companies last year It is planned to launch Momentus with a value of $ 1.2 billion. However, Stable Road’s merger with Momentus has stalled this year, largely due to national safety concerns voiced by several U.S. government agencies.
Mikhail Kokorich – the Russian founder of Momentus, who Investors learned that US law prohibited the use of the company’s technology – Resigned as CEO and director in January after the Pentagon declared that “momentus poses a national security risk”. In a statement at the time, Stable Road said Kokorich’s resignation was part of “efforts to expedite resolution” of concerns about the company’s overseas property.
The next month, the deal and Kokorich were under scrutiny by the U.S. Inter-Agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Stable Road announced in February that Kokorich and his wife will “fully dispose of” ownership of Momentus by March 2024, “or as requested by CFIUS”. Also in February, Momentus took out a $ 25 million loan for “growth capital” with an additional $ 15 million loan option – subject to Federal Aviation Administration approval, payloads by the end June to start.
In April, Stable Road filed a motion to shareholders to extend the life of the SPAC by three months to allow more time to complete the merger with Momentus.
A Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Transporter 1 mission in January 2021.
However, in early May, the company learned that the FAA had denied Momentus’ request to launch a payload for a SpaceX mission in June.
“During an inter-agent consultation, the FAA was informed that the launch of the Momentus payload raises national security concerns related to the current corporate structure of Momentus,” Stable Road wrote in a May 10 securities notification.
Despite the FAA’s recent setback, Stable Road received shareholder approval on May 13 to extend the merger deadline from May to August. The extension was completed by a narrow margin, with Stable Road backing 66.2% of shareholders and 65% required for approval.
The SPAC’s release on Monday is the latest blow to the deal. According to the company, Momentus is continuing to seek “US government approvals required for its missions”.