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Masten Gets $4.5 Million Bid For Asset From Astrobotic Technology – Parabolic Arc

A rendering of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander is shown with three of NASA’s water detection payloads (MSolo, NSS, and NIRVSS) highlighted in blue. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

Updated on August 12, 2022 at 12:02 PM to add information about SpaceX launch credits.

by Douglas Messier

Mojave, Calif. — Astrobotic Technology made an initial bid of $4.5 million last month to acquire the assets of Masten Space Systems, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sought protection from creditors. The bid will serve as the floor price in subsequent auctions of his Masten assets.

Astrobotic also agreed to provide Masten with a $1.4 million Debt Ownership (DIP) loan to keep the company functioning after bankruptcy.

“Ultimately, Masten was able to reach an agreement for a loan (“DIP Loan”) with Astrobotic Technology, Inc. (“Astrobotic”). The process of selling substantially all of Masten’s assets. In addition, Astrobotic signed another contract under which Astrobotic would act as a stalker horse for virtually all of his Masten operations. Importantly, as part of this planned sale, Astrobotic will purchase his SpaceX credits,” the company said in a filing.

SpaceX’s credit includes $14 million paid by Masten to the company to launch Masten Mission 1 to the moon. In April 2020, NASA awarded the company her $75.9 million contract to deliver a MoonRanger rover and a suite of scientific instruments to the moon’s surface under the space agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Service (CLPS) program. rice field.

SpaceX canceled the June launch after Masten failed to pay the company the additional $4.6 million required under the contract. Credit for the amount Masten paid is a valuable asset in bankruptcy.

Astrobotic’s $4.5 million proposal is known as the Stalker Horse Bid. This essentially sets a lower bid limit that other parties cannot drop below when Masten auctions the property next month. Masten wants the auction to run by September 6th. Details of her two deals with Astrobotic were revealed in documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court on Wednesday.

“Masten intends to use this Chapter 11 lawsuit to sell substantially all of the company’s assets, including SpaceX’s launch credits, as a means of funding the company through the sale process. More above. As fully explained, the Debtor has sold some or all of its programs and assets, and ultimately, after discussions with a number of parties, the Debtor has entered into a $4.5 million deal with Astrobotic. We have entered into a provisional stalking agreement, subject to a post-petition marketing process and higher bids and eventual approval by this court,” Masten said in a statement.

Masten has built and flown a series of vertical take-off/vertical landing vehicles at the Mojave Aerospace Port in California. The company develops many space technologies and is typically funded by NASA.

NASA’s $75.9 million award under the CLPS program did not cover the full cost of Masten Mission 1 to the Moon. Masten failed to raise additional funding to fill the gap, leading to bankruptcy declaration. All three companies also declined to buy Masten earlier this year, largely because of debt related to lunar missions.

NASA has awarded Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic two separate CLPS contracts to deliver rovers and scientific instruments to the lunar surface on two missions.