Rivada Space wants to build a constellation of 600 satellites.

Rivada Space wants to build a constellation of 600 satellites.
Illustration: Terran Orbital

Satellite manufacturer Terran Orbital has been awarded a hefty contract by Rivada Space Networks to build 288 low Earth orbit satellites, and 12 spare satellites, for its communications constellation.

Terran Orbital announced the deal this week, which makes it the main contractor for satellite communication company Rivada. “Our partnership will show why Terran Orbital continues to be a satellite manufacturer of choice for aerospace and defense companies worldwide,” Marc Bell, co-founder, and chairman of Terran Orbital, said in the statement. “We are ecstatic to work alongside Rivada and look forward to building out their LEO constellation.”

Rivada, with offices in the U.S. and Ireland, wants to begin deploying its constellation as early as 2025 with the launch of four satellites. Florida-based Terran Orbital will be responsible for designing and manufacturing the 500-kilogram (1,100 pound) satellites, as well as assembling, integrating, and testing the satellites. The company will also develop portions of the ground support for the constellation.

Following the announcement, Terran Orbital’s shares jumped by 101% on Wednesday before landing at 71% by the end of the day, CNBC reported. Terran Orbital’s Bell claims this is the largest small satellite deal ever, “I don’t know any deal that is larger,” CNBC quotes him as saying.

The latest deal is a slight shift from Terran Orbital’s recent government contracts to build military satellites for the Department of Defense. Now, the company, which also built NASA’s CAPSTONE Moon probe, is adding commercial customers to its roster. “We’ve been doing a lot of work for the government and the intelligence community, and now we’re doing it for the commercial side as well,” Bell told CNBC.

“We at Rivada see Terran Orbital as a kindred spirit of sorts,” Declan Ganley, Chairman and CEO of Rivada Networks, said in the company statement. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this project to fruition with them.”

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