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Terran Orbital outlines Rivada schedule

August 17, 2023

Terran Orbital is building an initial 300 satellite (288 craft plus 12 spares) mega-constellation for Rivada Space. However, Rivada is on an extremely tight launch schedule in order to comply with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) obligations.

Terran has outlined its delivery plans for the next few years as far as the first batch of satellites are concerned and says it is happy that Rivada is meeting its payment commitments.

Terran says that 85 per cent of each satellite’s components are designed and produced in house, which means it has direct control over those manufactured elements. Terran buys in each satellite’s propulsion devices as well as radio communications.

Terran Orbital’s CEO Marc Bell says that design of the fleet started in earnest last month. Rivada received its ITU go-ahead in July.

Terran has recently expanded its production facilities which take its output from the current 10 satellites per month to 20 units per month and a 90-plus target from 2024.

Rivada, which is backed in part by billionaire Peter Thiel (who made his money from PayPal and as an early investor in Facebook) is subject to tough rules from the ITU. It must launch and deploy 50 percent of the 288 constellation by mid-2026. If Rivada proceeds with a second batch of 300 satellites, taking the constellation to 600 craft, then all of these satellite must be in orbit by mid-2028.

Terran says it will complete the initial batch by January 31st 2026 and deliver them by June 10th 2026. SpaceX is already contracted to launch the fleet

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