In the ever growing field of space startups, Rivada Space Networks is hoping to find its niche in high-capacity broadband internet with a 600 satellite constellation launched by SpaceX's Falcon 9..
In the ever growing field of space startups, Rivada Space Networks is hoping to find its niche in high-capacity broadband connectivity. The 300 satellite constellation will be operating in polar shells, similar to that of the OneWeb satellite internet constellation. Targeting a launch window between April of 2025 and June of 2026, Rivada is hoping to fly approximately one flight a month with SpaceX’s Falcon 9, totalling twelve flights during the construction phase of Rivada’s project. Rivada’s future expansion includes targeting a 600 satellite constellation, double that of its initial operational phase. Rivada’s constellation is targeted to have a throughput of 10 gbps, double that of standard 5G internet systems. This is also accompanied by a goal of 150 ms delay time, allowing for data to be easily and quickly transported worldwide near instantaneously.
Graphic of Rivada's Internet Constellation
According to officials from Rivada, SpaceX was the only viable option for the company as they had the necessary mass to orbit requirements along with a manageable launch cadence timeline. Arianespace, ULA, and Blue Origin had all been under review as possible launch service providers, but all fell through on delivery timelines. This same trio is already servicing Amazon’s Kuiper satellite internet constellation, and collectively have 83 purchased launches to service the broadband internet constellation, on Arianespace’s Ariane 6, ULA’s Atlas V and Vulcan, and Blue Origin’s New Glenn rockets. This contract has already begun to starve out commercial competition that was potentially looking at using these rockets for launching other payloads.
Vulcan, New Glenn, and Ariane 6
The remaining choice for Rivada was SpaceX’s Falcon 9 came from a combination of cost and launch readiness. Rivada will be launching 25 500kg satellites per flight with SpaceX, completing the 300 satellite constellation within 12 launches. This launch contract now places <X> number of internet constellations being launched under SpaceX’s Falcon 9 program, joining the likes of Starlink and OneWeb.