Goldman, Lockheed Martin Back Company That Makes Tiny Satellites

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. are backing a company that makes tiny satellites.

The two firms took part in a $36 million funding round for Terran Orbital Corp. The company, which has worked with the Pentagon and NASA, manufactures nanosatellites, some of which are small enough to fit in your hand.

With the new cash, Terran Orbital said it will hire staff and buy more equipment for a 40,000-square-foot design and production facility. Satellites have become cheaper and smaller in recent years, and launch costs have fallen, sparking an explosion of new uses. The changes are upending the industry, and Terran is trying to take advantage.

“Originally, lots of satellite companies built these monster satellites, like Iridium, and they all went bankrupt. They spent billions and billions of dollars. Now, you can spend millions of dollars and get the same functionality” Marc Bell, chairman of Terran Orbital, said. “The economics of space is changing.”

It’s the second Terran investment for Lockheed’s venture capital arm, which took a stake in 2017. After that first deal, the U.S. government purchased some Terran’s work through a Lockheed contract, Chris Moran, executive director of Lockheed Martin Ventures, told the Washington Post earlier this year.

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