Space Contracts, Raises & Deals: Raytheon, Millennium Space, SES, Capella Space and More

Lots of raises, contracts, grants and more as we powered through the second week of 2023. Let’s take a look.

Partnership

Voyager Space and Airbus Defence and Space are partnering to develop and operate Starlab, a free-flying space station set for launch in 2028 that will serve NASA and a global customer base of space agencies and researchers. Airbus will provide technical design support and expertise for the Starlab station.

Funding

European Investment Bank announced a seven-year €300 million (US $325.3 million) loan to SES to fund the production and launch of three satellites that will provide advanced broadcast and broadband services to Africa, Middle East and Western Europe.

Capella Space raised $60 million in growth equity funding from the US Innovative Technology Fund. The satellite manufacturer will expand its Earth observation capacity and develop new data products to meet customers’ demands for frequent, timely and high-quality synthetic aperture radar imagery and analytics capabilities.

Montreal-based NorthStar Earth & Space closed a US $35 million Series C funding round with Cartesian Capital Group, LLC through an affiliated entity, Pangaea Three Acquisition Holdings III, LLC. The round includes investment from Telesystem Space Inc., Luxembourg Future Fund – Co-Investments SA, Investissement Quebec, and Luxembourg Space Sector Development Fund SCSp. NorthStar will used the investment to accelerate its product launch and commercialization of its space situational awareness services.

SpiderOak, the leader in zero-trust cybersecurity solutions for next generation space systems, has raised $16.4 million in a Series C round. The round was led by Empyrean Technology Solutions, a space technology platform backed by funds affiliated with Madison Dearborn Partners. Method Capital and OCA Ventures contributed to the oversubscribed round.

Two Finnish space companies were selected for European Innovation Council (EIC) grants to develop new technologies. Aurora Propulsion Technologies will receive funding to develop its deorbiting and collision-avoidance plasma brake.

Skyfora was selected for a €2.5 million (US $2.7 million) EIC grant to accelerate the development and scaling of the company’s artificial intelligence-powered weather forecasting system.

Infinite Orbits of France was selected for an EIC grant that will fund development of the company’s in-orbit satellite servicing technology.

Contracts

C4ISRNET reports that Raytheon and Millennium Space Systems have received an additional $605 million from the U.S. Space Force (USSF) to build prototypes of satellites capable of detecting and tracking ballistic and hypersonic missiles from medium Earth orbit. USSF exercised options on 2021 contracts for the development of sensors for the satellites. Raytheon received $396 million, for a total contract worth up to $727 million. Millennium was awarded $209 million in a deal worth as much as $412 million.

Maxar Technologies was awarded a pair of contracts worth up to $35.8 million from the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Maxar will deliver high-resolution geospatial intelligence data characterizing land cover over unmapped areas. The company will also provide an enhanced interface for searching the company’s 125-petabyte high-resolution commercial imagery archive.

Bechtel Corporation has selected Sidus Space to manufacture cables for the NASA Mobile Launcher 2, which will be used for the Space Launch System. Sidus was previously awarded a contract to fabricate custom cables and populate unique electronics cabinets supporting the launch control subsystem and ground special power subsystems.

Terran Orbital Corporation‘s GEOStare SV2 spacecraft has completed a commercial data services imagery contract for Lockheed Martin. GEOStare SV2’s main payload consists of two MonoTele telescopes designed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is a dual-use system suitable for both Earth observation and space domain awareness.

Sparkwing will supply solar arrays for Astroscale‘s ELSA-M satellite servicer, which is designed to remove multiple pieces of space debris during a single mission.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Planet Labs PBC completed its acquisition of Salo Sciences, a San Francisco-based climate technology company that provides cutting-edge solutions to measure Earth’s constantly changing ecosystems. Planet will further develop its offerings to enable customers to quantify carbon stocks globally, monitor forest changes and mitigate climate risks.