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Terran Orbital wins ESA contract

October 26, 2023

Satellite builder Terran Orbital has won a modest $4.7 million (€4.5m) contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) for an “in-orbit servicing mission”.

The news is extremely timely as Terran is holding a Town Hall virtual meeting today (October 26th) for shareholders, some of whom have expressed displeasure with the CEO and Board of Directors in general. The Town Hall takes place at 3pm ET.

The order goes to Terran’s international subsidiary Tyvak International s.r.l., which will be prime contractor for an ESA proximity operation and in-orbit servicing mission that will deploy a nanosatellite spacecraft from Space Rider, the European uncrewed robotic laboratory. This contract is in partnership with a consortium of Italian industries and research institutions, including Polytechnic University of Turin, the University of Padova, and StellarProject SRL.

Terran says the deployed nanosatellite will perform proximity operations maneuvers around Space Rider, demonstrating unprecedented in-orbit servicing capabilities. Space Rider will allow technology demonstration and benefit research in pharmaceutics, biomedicine, biology, and physical science. At the end of its mission, Space Rider will return to Earth with its payloads and land on a runway to be unloaded and refurbished for another flight. Tyvak International develops the nanosatellite to be onboarded and deployed at any time during the experimental Phase in orbit, on one of the ESA’s Space Rider flight missions, paving the way for future recurring servicing missions.

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