Several Pure-Play Space Companies Join Russell 3000

Space just got added to your retirement accounts. The Russell 3000, an index that benchmarks the US stock market, added several space companies Monday:

  • Astra ($ASTR)
  • Momentus ($MNTS)
  • Planet ($PL)
  • Redwire ($RDW)
  • Rocket Lab ($RKLB)
  • Spire ($SPIR)
  • Terran Orbital ($LLAP)

Spire and Terran Orbital touted their inclusion in the index. “We are honored to be included in the Russell 3000,” said Spire CEO Peter Platzer. “This is a milestone event for the company and for our talented team who got us where we are today.”

Those left out: It wasn’t a good fit for all the pure-play space equities at this time. Players including Virgin Orbit, BlackSky, Satellogic, Mynaric, and Maxar were left out.

Looking forward. Although the immediate effect on stock price varied across the board at market close yesterday, this could help out your favorite struggling space SPACs in the long term by providing more access to capital. Money managers of all types widely use these indices in their strategies, meaning that demand for shares could increase among both investors and funds that benchmark against the index.

About $12T in assets are currently benchmarked to or invested in products based on the Russell US indexes. Becoming part of a passive investment vehicle could lead to more liquidity and demand over time (though, to be fair, these are not normal times). 

This also means it may be time for companies that may be dragging their feet on investor relations to bolster their IR bench. The main benefits accrue with staying in the benchmark, not just being listed.