Rivada Space Networks is a company headquartered in Munich, Germany, that aims to build a business-to-business broadband satellite constellation. The company signed a contract with SpaceX to launch a total of 300 satellites on twelve Falcon 9 missions that are scheduled to liftoff between April 2025 and June 2026. No details have been released about how much Rivada paid SpaceX for this multi-launch agreement.
On its website, Rivada calls its constellation a “European alternative to Starlink,” indicating that it aims to create an internet satellite network in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) similar to SpaceX’s Starlink system. Rivada’s constellation will consist of at least 600 satellites in LEO. The company partnered with Terran Orbital to manufacture the first fleet of 300 satellites which weigh around 500-kilograms each. According to a press release, Rivada is paying Terran Orbital a $2.4 Billion contract to design and manufacture the satellites.
The European Union wants communications satellite technology that is operated by European companies to not depend on United States or China LEO satellites. The European Union currently relies on Starlink to help Ukraine during the Russia war. Starlink has demonstrated to be reliable to coordinate operations that keep civilians safe. Rivada is working to build a satellite network to serve the European Union.
Unlike SpaceX, Rivada will only offer its satellite internet service to businesses, large private customers, and government – not independent residential customers. “We will not offer Internet for end customers," Clemens Kaiser, a managing director at Rivada, told 1E9 reporters. “We are concerned with high-volume connectivity with 100 megabits to one gigabit per second for companies and governments.” They shared that their satellites will also use “optical laser links” to offer “point-to-point connections completely independent of terrestrial infrastructures.” This sounds similar to SpaceX’s Starlink second-generation satellites which have inter-satellite communication laser-links.
Currently it is a revolution, but a gateway-less #network in #space is also the next logical step in the evolution of #satellite connectivity and it will make a huge difference for our customers:— RivadaSpace (@rivadaspace) February 16, 2023
truly global reach
end-to-end connections pic.twitter.com/NXH0SIs2dQ
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About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.