Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW) announced it will be developing the only commercially owned and operated spaceflight-qualified plant growth platform capable of growing plants from seed to maturity in space. Redwire Greenhouse, scheduled to launch to space no earlier than spring 2023, will be the first-ever commercially owned greenhouse installed on the International Space Station (ISS).
“Redwire Greenhouse will expand opportunities for scientific discovery to improve crop production on Earth and enable critical research for crop production in space to benefit future long-duration human spaceflight,” said Dave Reed, Redwire Florida Launch Site Operations Director, and Greenhouse project manager. “Growing full crops in space will be critical to future space exploration missions as plants provide food, oxygen, and water reclamation. Increasing the throughput of crop production research in space, through commercially developed capabilities, will be important to deliver critical insights for NASA’s Artemis missions and beyond.”
During the inaugural flight, Dewey Scientific will grow industrial hemp in the Greenhouse for a gene expression study. The company collaborated with Redwire, contributing technical details about the 60-day experiment and describing its potential to demonstrate the capabilities of the facility while advancing biomedical and biofuels research.
“Building on our long track record of partnering with commercial organizations like Tupperware, Eli Lilly and now Dewey Scientific, Redwire Greenhouse is another groundbreaking step forward in Redwire’s demonstrated leadership in establishing a viable commercial economy in low-Earth orbit. Through partnerships with Redwire, space is open for business,” said John Vellinger, Redwire’s Executive Vice President of In-Space Manufacturing and Operations.
The Redwire Greenhouse will leverage already flight-qualified Redwire plant growth technology, including Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS) devices developed in partnership with Tupperware Brands and currently operated by Redwire on the ISS. Larger, scalable versions of the Greenhouse can be flown for customers with varying crop-growing requirements or alternate plant support systems. Besides PONDS, Redwire has managed plant investigations in the NASA-owned Advanced Plant Habitat since 2018. The Redwire Greenhouse is being developed through an award from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, manager of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.
Despite the announcements, the market has reacted negatively sending its share price down by 16% since the 16th of August
Despite the announcement of the ground-breaking news, investors haven’t reacted positively as the stock price went down by 15.9% as seen in the graph above. This can nonetheless be attributed to the latest analysis from Jefferies Financial Group that lowered their Q3 2022 earnings estaimtes on Sunday, August 14th. Jefferies Financial Group analyst G. Konrad now anticipates that the company will post earnings of ($0.12) per share for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of ($0.10).
Previous quarter’s actual performance were disappointing shareholders as the company reported a net income decrease compared to last years’ performance (USD -77 million down by 384% YoY) for the quarter ending June.