MAXR stock is in the green this week after NASA’s fiscal 2021 budget proposal called for a 12% increase in the agency’s budget to over US$25 billion.
Space technology manufacturers such as Maxar Technologies (TSX:MAXR) (NYSE:MAXR) look set to be the biggest beneficiaries from President Trump’s calls for an expanded NASA budget, much of which will be directed towards Artemis program projects like a lunar lander and related technologies needed to enable a human landing on the moon by 2024.
NASA is already working with a host of commercial partners, including Maxar, on an authorized vendor list for robotic, uncrewed lunar lander missions to deliver experiments and supplies to the lunar surface starting in 2021. MAXR stock is up over 18% this week following the release of the budget proposal.
“NASA’s top-priority mission is to return American astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and build a sustainable presence on the lunar surface as the first step on a journey that will take America to Mars,” the budget request states. However, this is just an early stage in a long process to determine NASA’s budget for next year. Both the House and Senate appropriators will have to weigh in, and it’s unclear how much of this request lawmakers will keep when they draft their proposals. MAXR shares are currently trading for $19.29.
Maxar Technologies has previous experience working with the space agency, having previously designed six robotic arms, including the one on Insight (currently on Mars) and the Mars 2020 Rover (set to receive its official, inspirational name any day now). Just last week, the company was awarded a NASA contract to demonstrate in-space assembly using a newly developed robotic arm. The US$142 million contract will be named Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot, or SPIDER, and will launch onboard Restore-L in the mid-2020s.
News of that contract sent MAXR stock soaring, and with further space technology development clearly a priority for the Trump Administration, it looks likely that the Colorado-based firm could receive plenty of more work over the coming years.
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