I'm Marc Bell, CEO of Terran Orbital ($LLAP) a leading manufacturer of small satellites primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry. I’m here to answer your questions about our vision for the space industry, how Terran's spacecraft designs and NextGen Earth Observation constellation can advance human space exploration, and what to expect following our debut in the public markets this week.
25 questions answered
With Russian conflicts ongoing, will there be a much more collaborative effort among USA based aerospace and defense industry companies to achieve the common goal of space exploration?
Hi Kenneth, thanks for a very important question. On the one hand, as we saw just this week when NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned to Earth with two cosmonauts on a Russian Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, the USA and Russia continue to cooperate on space mission operations despite conflict on Earth. However, US-based aerospace and defense companies are among the most innovative in the industry, and public-private partnerships between US-based space companies and US government institutions have been increasing for several years now in an effort to both advance human space exploration and support our national defense space capabilities. Terran is proud to partner with US-based industry leaders as well as government institutions like NASA and the Space Development Agency to continue advancing the entire US space industry.
How do you envision the future of space industry?
Thanks, Zulkar. As satellites have become easier and less expensive to launch, and demand for space-based data continues to exponentially increase, our corner of the space market sits at a turning point, with analysts expecting that over 50,000 satellites will be launched over the next decade. Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will provide the backbone of the short- and medium-term space infrastructure for commercial and government users across the world.
What is your outlook on the usability and effectiveness of companies such as Astra who uses reusable rockets to deliver satellite payloads?
Thanks for your note, Sheen. Generally we have had great success launching with launch partners like SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, and Rocket Lab, among others. One of the critical reasons that the LEO satellite market is so attractive right now is that satellite launch has become more affordable and easier than ever before, in great part because there is a diverse offering of excellent launch providers delivering satellites to orbit. It makes our job — producing and providing end-to-end satellite solutions — much easier when we know we have trusted, affordable and available launch partners.
Does your company plan on partnering with any private space travel companies to expand in any of those ways?
Terran Orbital has built strong partnerships with many of the private launch vehicle providers which also include private space travel companies. Thanks to its unique expertise in proximity operations and formation flying, Terran Orbital is uniquely positioned to provide companion satellites that, just like drones, can provide logistical support (e.g. images, security, refueling, etc.) to companies currently working to make private space travel a reality.
Do you plan on going international in the near future?
We are already international! We have an engineering and manufacturing facility in Torino, Italy, which houses about 40 employees. And a lot of our customers are from friendly countries, like Australia, Israel, United Kingdom, and Italy. While our core focus is solutions for the US DoD and IC, there is a great deal of demand internationally for our services. So I'll say we are focused on the US market, while responding to the continuously increasing demand around the world.
Does your company have a mission statement and how has it contributed to your brand's growth?
At Terran Orbital, we offer Small Satellites and Big Solutions. Our customers come to us with the most pressing problems because they know we will provide the technology necessary to find the answers.
Would you be interested in partnering with spaceX to further advance the technology that you are currently using ?
Terran Orbital has built strong partnerships with many of the private launch vehicle providers which also include private space travel companies. Terran Orbital is one of SpaceX's first Rideshare customers and is continuing to maintain a special relationship thanks to the complementarity and mutual respect between the two companies. I would also direct you to our investor relations site for more information on other current partners (https://investors.terranorbital.com/).
Hi, Marc. I’m on the Community Team at Public and will be sharing some of our member-voted questions for you. The first one is: What is Terran Orbital’s 5-year vision now that you’ve become a publicly-traded company?
We're thrilled to have gone public with our stock listed on NYSE under the symbol $LLAP. In the near term, our core objectives — which we believe will continue to elevate us and enable us to further define the small satellite industry — remain to execute on two previously announced projects: to build one of the world's largest, most advanced persistent earth observation constellations, and to build one of the world's largest vertically integrated satellite manufacturing facilities. We expect to leverage these pioneering projects to continue to deliver best-in-class satellite solutions to our military, commercial and civil customers.
Another Public community-voted question for you, Marc: Many of our members are curious about the space economy but unfamiliar with the role of satellites. Can you explain some of the use-cases for small satellites?
Sure, thanks for this question. Generally, and depending on the purpose of the constellation, the data provided by small satellites in LEO can be applied to a number of use cases — weather prediction, agriculture (like remote monitoring of crop’s health or droughts), monitoring air and shipping lanes, securing imagery of terrestrial events (like the explosion in the port of Beirut, troop buildup on Russian border), among a number of other use cases with commercial, civil, and government applications. At Terran Orbital, we are planning to build the world's largest advanced earth observation constellation to provide tactical intelligence data in real time to our US government, civil and commercial customers.
Another from our community members: Why did you select the ticker $LLAP?
Hi, I love this question. I have always been a space-nerd, consuming all types of space-related media, and I even built my house along a Star Trek theme. We chose this ticker to reflect the excitement about space and fervent belief in Terran Orbital that we feel, as we share this passion with Star Trek, Star Wars, and space exploration fans around the world! Live Long And Prosper!
Via our community members: Can you share an overview of Terran’s current revenues, and anticipated future revenues over the next few quarters?
We are pleased to have listed on the NYSE as $LLAP, and as a public company have new disclosure responsibilities — we look forward to beginning the quarterly reporting cycle to keep our investors up to date on our financial results and material events. We recently announced full year 2021 total revenues greater than $40 million. You can find our complete public disclosures — including our 2021 audited financial statements — on our investor relations page (https://investors.terranorbital.com/).
Our community is wondering: Many retail investors are interested in the people that make up the companies they invest in. How would you describe Terran Orbital’s company culture? What values do you prioritize when hiring?
As an entrepreneurial company we view being fast and flexible as a badge of honor and we look for individuals who embody those traits. Terrans are all entrepreneurial in spirit and enjoy independently tackling tasks. Terrans believe in the space sector and believe small satellites are the solution to a lot — if not all — problems. Our founders are still with us. When hiring we look for people who are looking for a place to grow and expand their potential.
Hi Marc! Another question for you as voted on by our community: What would you say Terran’s biggest priorities are for the remainder of 2022?
We have already had an extremely busy 2022, listing on the NYSE this week as $LLAP! However we have a number of upcoming projects that we are plan to execute in 2022, including delivering, among others: (1) LunIR, a satellite for NASA to support surface characterization, remote sensing, and site selection observations of the Moon and launching on the Artemis I mission; (2) Capstone, a satellite for NASA that will serve as a pathfinder for the Lunar Gateway, a future Moon-orbiting human outpost, to demonstrate orbital stability and maintenance requirements; and (3) Ten microsatellites to Lockheed Martin in support of SDA's Tranche 0 of the Transport Layer and, in the future, 42 microsatellites to Lockheed Martin in support of SDA's Tranche 1 of the Transport Layer. Additional expected customer missions in 2022 can be found in our listing day press release here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/terran-orbital-begins-trading-on-the-new-york-stock-exchange-under-ticker-symbol-llap-and-announces-revenue-backlog-now-exceeds-200-million-301511543.html.
What are some of the biggest challenges players in the space industry face, and how is Terran Orbital addressing these challenges?
Great question. As I've noted, the space economy is really at an inflection point as demand for space-based data exponentially increases, and we're seeing an increased focus on national defense space capabilities. Our government partners have faced an ongoing challenge — they require data extremely quickly and at an extremely high resolution, and they need to be confident this information will be delivered reliably. Terran Orbital’s vertically integrated, end-to-end satellite solutions business delivers both the immediate data and the certainty of mission success — we have already built a strong manufacturing footprint and legacy of mission success, and we are planning to build one of the world's largest advanced earth observation constellation to provide that real-time, high-definition, tactically relevant data.
Another question voted on by the community: What word best describes your leadership style as founder and CEO?
MBWA — Management By Walking Around. I like to see what everyone is doing and learn from the amazing people that work here. I try very hard to make sure my people are happy and enjoying the work they do.
Good morning Marc, My question is, in aerospace and defense we as a country rely on multiple companies to create a reliable defense system. Does Terrain Orbital have the capability to “shake hands” and communicate or work with other proven defense systems that we operate?
Thanks Joshua, another important question. Terran Orbital is committed to advancing the USG's space defense capabilities and supporting US military forces around the world, as well as supporting the needs of our government partners in NASA, the Space Development Agency, and others. We are currently integrating for AFRL and OISL to our first PredaSAR satellite which will integrate into DARPA's Blackjack Program.
How much of the manufacturing is in the United States?
Thanks, Harini. Today, we have approximately 120,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities, primarily in the US but including approximately 10,000 square feet in Torino, Italy. Additionally we previously announced that we are working with Space Florida in connection with our plan to build one of the world's largest and most advanced satellite manufacturing facilities on the Space Coast of Florida. You can read more here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/governor-ron-desantis-announces-terran-orbital-will-invest-300-million-in-florida-to-construct-the-worlds-largest-state-of-the-art-commercial-spacecraft-facility-301385743.html.
There is a lot of talk about too much “space junk.” Any viable solutions on the horizon?
The space debris issue is an issue that has been known for years. We call it a latent issue — meaning that although it might not affect you currently, it is only going to get worse unless the entire community decides to take some action. We believe in self-regulation and self-preservation principles because we all understand the problem is just going to expand unless every member of the community works to solve it. For years, Terran Orbital has been coordinating within the community and has even built satellites capable of detecting and tracking debris in orbit, all while sharing our knowledge and technology with the community. This is known as Space Situational Awareness or SSA.
Why is it so important that we go into space?
So many reasons. The science and inventions which came from space exploration are too many to mention. But here are a few you use everyday: GPS, ear thermometers, cordless tools, smoke detectors, tap water filters, scratch-resistant lenses and so many others.
Is there a way to build in a solution to the space garbage problem when the satellites are at the end of their life? Is there potentially a way that the satellites could be collected and recycled?
I think the TV show "Quark" in 1977 has the right idea. While a comedy, they had the right idea decades ahead of the real problem.
What are some of the challenges of operating in a highly regulated industry?
Thanks, Enzo. Terran Orbital serves some of the most demanding customers in the world, including marquee government, civil and commercial partners. By necessity, this means that quality control across all levels of our services is essential, as is ensuring that we have the most capable team and are delivering both innovative as well as reliable technology and services. Our priority is ensuring that we are always able to solve our customers' problems with consistency and dedication — we would expect nothing less from our team or our product.
What are your main competitors? How does Terran Orbital differentiate?
Enzo, while I can't speak to our competitors, I can tell you that Terran Orbital has pioneered the small satellite industry. We combine high-volume manufacturing with fully integrated operations and mission planning capabilities to deliver a complete satellite solution, and we offer these products to the most demanding clients. Our management team features former senior leaders in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Army. Looking forward, we are planning to build one of the world's largest earth observation constellations and one of the world's largest vertically integrated satellite manufacturing facilities. Ultimately, I believe we've delivered a history of outperformance in our space.
How will the increase in interest rates impact the valuation of your company?
As part of our going-public deal last week we raised $255 million in gross capital proceeds including over $80MM of equity and $175 million of debt. Pro forma at 12/31/2021 we would have had about $103 million of cash and all our debt is fixed rate maturing in 2026. We believe we are well-capitalized to deliver on our $200 million+ contracted backlog of programs. And now that we are trading under $LLAP we have access to the public equity markets.
What are the best aspects of working and leading Terran Orbital.
Terrans are at the forefront of technology and we expect to stay at the forefront of some of the most exciting space activities that take place over the next decade and beyond. At Terran Orbital you are able to expand your capabilities as an engineer, manager, etc. at warp speed since you are surrounded by incredibly talented colleagues and customers that continually propel you to new heights. *** This concludes today’s Town Hall, presented by Terran Orbital. Thanks for joining!