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Rocket Lab Selected by MDA to Design and Build Spacecraft for Globalstar
by Staff Writers
Long Beach CA (SPX) Feb 25, 2022

The $143 million contract is the largest spacecraft bus order placed with Rocket Lab to date, encompassing the design and manufacture of 17 state-of-the-art spacecraft for Globalstar's newest satellites

Rocket Lab USA has been awarded a subcontract by MDA Ltd to lead the design and manufacture of 17 spacecraft buses for Globalstar's new Low Earth Orbit satellites. Globalstar, Inc. Rocket Lab will lead the development of the spacecraft buses, while MDA will act as prime contractor to manufacture Globalstar's satellites, lead the development of the payload, and perform the final satellite assembly, integration, and test.

The partnership between Rocket Lab and MDA brings together two of the space industry's most innovative satellite companies. The total initial contract value for Rocket Lab is US$143 million, with options to provide the satellite operations control center, launch dispensers, launch integration, and up to nine additional spacecraft with flexibility in timing to order such spacecraft. The satellites will integrate with and replenish Globalstar's current constellation, ensuring service continuity. Globalstar expects to launch the satellites by the end of 2025.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with MDA to develop Globalstar's new satellites and are honoured to have the trust and support of two of the space industry's most innovative companies," said Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab.

"With this contract Rocket Lab is executing on its strategy to go beyond launch and lead the new space economy by delivering complete mission solutions spanning spacecraft manufacture, satellite subsystems, flight software, ground operations, and launch."

"Cross-company collaboration and co-development is key to bringing new capabilities to market quickly to meet growing customer demand for advanced satellite technology," said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA. "Rocket Lab is a strong fit for MDA and working with them on this system is an opportunity to flex, expand, and strengthen the capabilities of both companies, now and in the future."

All 17 of the 500kg spacecraft will be designed and manufactured at Rocket Lab's Long Beach production complex and headquarters, where a new high-volume spacecraft manufacturing line is being developed to support growing customer demand for Rocket Lab satellites.

Leveraging Rocket Lab's vertically integrated space systems capabilities, the satellites will feature components and subsystems produced by Rocket Lab's recently acquired companies including solar panels and structures from SolAero Technologies in Albuquerque, New Mexico, software from ASI by Rocket Lab in Denver, Colorado, and reaction wheels from Sinclair Interplanetary in Toronto, Canada. The telemetry and control radio for all spacecraft will also be a C-band variant of Rocket Lab's Frontier Satellite Radio (Frontier-C).

The contract is the result of a very detailed and highly competitive bid and evaluation process and Rocket Lab is honoured to have been selected by MDA. We believe Rocket Lab's proposal met MDA's and Globalstar's stringent technical and schedule requirements, offered efficiencies through Rocket Lab's high level of vertical integration, and that there is also strong cultural and operational alignment between the companies to deliver innovation and agility in today's satellite market.

Rocket Lab's suite of spacecraft components and subsystems include reaction wheels, star trackers, space solar power, radios, flight software, ground software, and separation systems. More than 1,000 spacecraft globally have successfully flown with hardware from Rocket Lab and the four companies it has acquired since 2020.

Related Links
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Ankara, Turkey (SPX) Feb 24, 2022
Plan-S Satellite and Space Technologies, a Turkish provider of end-to-end satellite solutions for global IoT services, have signed a series of agreements to launch three IoT tech demo satellites onboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 via Exolaunch, a global leader in launch, in-space logistics and deployment services for small satellites. The satellites being built by Plan-S will be launched in the second half of 2022 as part of SpaceX's SmallSat Rideshare Programme. Plan-S was established mid-2021 as one of t ... read more

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