Lockheed Martin increases its bet on satellite manufacturer Terran Orbital with $100 million investment • TechCrunch

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Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is deepening its investment in the satellite maker Terran Orbital With an investment of $100 million and a cooperation agreement to develop and sell smallsats until 2035.

Terran also announced that it will now build a massive $300 million spacecraft manufacturing facility in Irvine, California, not Florida. As originally planned. CEO Mark Bell He told the press That the company decided to move the facility to California, where Terran Orbital already has a large footprint, because it can move to facilities faster than Florida. It’s a huge loss for Space Florida, the state’s space-focused economic development agency, which would have provided channel funding for the facility.

Terran Orbital Corporation, based in Florida, Boca Raton, is a contract manufacturer, which designs and manufactures satellites for US government and commercial clients. Bell estimated to TechCrunch in an interview last year that about 95% of the company’s work is related to the Department of Defense and NASA.

Lockheed Martin made its first investment in Terran in 2017; The following year, she led a $36 million investment round. Terran said in a statement that the new money from Lockheed would go toward acquiring additional assembly space and increasing production of the satellite modules. The smallsat manufacturer also said it plans to expand its offering to include a production line of synthetic aperture radar satellites, satellite components and sub-assemblies, such as reaction wheels and star trackers.

The company originally planned to launch and operate its own constellation of satellites, called PredaSAR, but decided to switch from those plans and offer the technology as a product instead. Terran said the conflict in Ukraine demonstrated the need for advanced satellite imagery.

Terran Orbital is one of the few space projects brought to the public by merging with the Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle, or SPAC. The company’s stock price saw a short price jump with news of the deal with Lockheed, closing on October 31 at $2.62 a share. Like other companies after the SPAC merger, Terran’s stock has plummeted since its merger For the first time in the public market: It is currently down 72% so far.

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