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Terran Orbital Releases New Product Line of Seven Satellite Buses

By Rachel Jewett | September 6, 2023

      Terran Orbital’s Nebula spacecraft, the commercial version of its SDA bus. Photo: Terran Orbital

      Terran Orbital is updating its satellite bus product line, announcing a new lineup of seven satellite bus platforms on Wednesday across nano, micro, mini, and small classes. The lineup is based on a flexible architecture with common building blocks, and the designs all have flight heritage. The sizes range from a 6U cubesat with 5 kg of available payload mass to a small satellite with 650 kg available payload mass. 

      The largest bus is the Enterprise, which offers up to 650 kg payload mass and flat packing design that can allow for 24 vehicles per launch. The Ambassador is an ESPA-Grande satellite for rideshare payloads that Terran Orbital expects to be the top offering for the defense/intelligence community. 

      Terran Orbital is calling the commercial version of its Space Development Agency (SDA) bus for Lockheed Martin the Nebula, and it can be configured for a 15-inch ESPA or 23-inch ESPA-Grande-capable launch vehicle.

      Other buses include Excelsior, Voyager, Renegade, and Triumph. Voyager in particular is built for harsh environments beyond Low-Earth Orbit and has both Geostationary (GEO) and Cislunar heritage. Its radios are designed for compatibility with NASA’s Deep Space network.

      CEO Marc Bell said the company still offers fully custom platforms, but this lineup creates a new industry standard. “These standard platforms bring forth our vision to meet mission requirements at scale, drive down the cost of the satellite, and increase their functionality using standard components that roll up into configurations that quickly and effectively satisfy the needs of the DoD and research customers alike,” Bell said.