Hosted Payload Services for Caltech Continues on Vigoride-5
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 28, 2023--
Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS) (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a U.S. commercial space company that offers orbital transportation and in-space infrastructure services, has deployed all customer payloads from its Vigoride-6 Orbital Service Vehicle launched in April 2023 aboard the SpaceX Transporter-7 mission.
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To date, Momentus has deployed a total of 15 customer satellites over three missions conducted over the past year and has also placed three Vigoride Orbital Service Vehicles (OSVs) into orbit. While these initial three missions were demonstration missions focused on testing the performance of the Vigoride OSV, Momentus is proud to have orbited a number of customer satellites in the missions summarized below:
Vigoride-3 launched in May 2022: Momentus’ inaugural mission deployed six satellites for FOSSA Space Sytems and the SelfieSat satellite for Orbit NTNU from Vigoride. The Company also used a third-party deployer to deliver a satellite to orbit for CalPoly Pomona for a total of eight satellites deployed from Vigoride-3 and a third-party deployer.
Vigoride-5 launched in January 2023: Momentus’ second mission included the deployment of the Qosmosys Zeus-1 payload. The Company is providing ongoing hosted payload services to Caltech’s Solar Power Project Demonstrator (SSPD) mission. Caltech reports that its payload recently demonstrated its ability to wirelessly transmit power in space and to beam detectable power to Earth. Momentus will continue to provide hosted payload support to SSPD over the coming months as it continues its operations.
During the Vigoride-5 mission, the Momentus team also tested its Microwave Electrothermal Thruster (MET) that uses water as a propellant. This included 35 firings of the thruster that demonstrated its ability to perform its intended use cases in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO).
Vigoride-6 launched in April 2023: The Vigoride-6 mission successfully deployed the REVELA payload for ARCA Dynamics, the VIREO CubeSat for C3S LLC., the DISCO-1 CubeSat for Aarhus University, and the IRIS-C payload for an Asian customer booked through ISILAUNCH.
During the Vigoride-6 mission, Momentus also deployed two CubeSats into Low-Earth Orbit as part of the NASA LLITED (Low-Latitude Ionosphere/Thermosphere Enhancements in Density) mission. These two CubeSats, housed behind a single deployer door, were released from the Vigoride OSV earlier than scheduled. While the CubeSats were deployed at the intended altitude of 495km, they were deployed at a different inclination than the intended target orbit needed for the science experiment. NASA has confirmed the two CubeSats are functional, and the team will be able to operate the science instruments onboard. Momentus conducted a thorough investigation and identified the root cause as human error in the mapping of a software command. The Company is implementing corrective actions to prevent a recurrence.
LLITED launched in April as ELaNa 40 (Educational Launch of a Nanosatellite) managed by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative.
“One of the upcoming events that we are looking forward to conducting on the Vigoride-6 mission is a test of the Tape Spring Solar Array (TASSA), a Momentus technology demonstration of a new kind of solar array,” said Momentus Vice President of Program Management Krishnan Anand.
The TASSA features 11-meter-long metal sheets with flexible solar cells bonded to them. To stow, they are tightly coiled around a mandrel. After launch, motors unroll the mandrel, deploying the solar array. The goal of the TASSA program is to reduce the cost per watt of power generated by 50% over arrays currently on the market. Momentus aims to drive down vehicle production costs and streamline on-orbit operations, while reducing the cost of power for the satellite, with this technology once operational.
Along with Vigoride-6, Momentus is concurrently operating its Vigoride-5 spacecraft that launched in January 2023. As mentioned above, the Vigoride-5 spacecraft is providing ongoing hosted payload services to Caltech’s Solar Power Project Demonstrator (SSPD) mission.
The Company’s next flight is targeted for no earlier than November 2023 aboard the SpaceX Transporter-9 mission. During this mission, Momentus will use a deployer to place three satellites into Low-Earth Orbit for three different customers:
The AMAN-1 Earth Observation satellite will be deployed for SatRev. The satellite can also be used for other services such as land survey, precision agriculture, weather, environmental and smart cities.
The JINJUSat-1 satellite will be deployed for CONTEC Co. of the Republic of Korea. JINJUSat-1 is spearheaded by three entities: Jinju City, Korea Testing Laboratory, and Gyeongsang National University. Once in orbit, cameras mounted on the satellite will carry out a mission to take pictures of the Earth.
The Picacho satellite will be deployed for Lunasonde - a U.S. sub-surface imaging company with the goal of making underground resources – like water and minerals – easier to find. The Picacho CubeSat is a technology demonstration of Lunasonde’s sensors. It will measure the power spectral density of low-frequency radio signals in the ionosphere, which will help inform designs for the company’s future satellites.
Additionally, Momentus now plans to launch its Vigoride-7 OSV, originally scheduled for launch in October 2023, on SpaceX’s Transporter-10 mission targeted for no earlier than February 2024. On the Vigoride-7 mission, Momentus will aim to deploy several customer satellites in Low-Earth Orbit and provide services to a hosted payload. The Company will also release a target satellite and maneuver the OSV into proximity with the target satellite for a Remote Proximity Operations demonstration. The revised mission plans will enable Momentus to launch Vigoride-7 with a fuller load of payloads for deployment in LEO with better mission economics, while still meeting the needs of customers requiring orbital delivery in 2023.
Momentus is a U.S. commercial space company that offers in-space infrastructure services, including in-space transportation, hosted payloads and in-orbit services. Momentus believes it can make new ways of operating in space possible with its planned in-space transfer and service vehicles that will be powered by an innovative water plasma-based propulsion system.
This press release contains certain statements which may constitute “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Momentus or its management team’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future, projections, forecasts or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, and are not guarantees of future performance. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of Momentus’ control. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to risks and uncertainties included under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Annual Report on Form 10-K filed by the Company on March 8, 2023, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Relations section of our website at investors.momentus.space. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and, except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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Source: Momentus Inc.