Momentus is building in-space shuttles that carry satellites and spacecraft from common orbits frequently visited by launch vehicles to custom orbits and other regions of space. Our shuttles are propelled by a revolutionary new type of plasma thruster that uses water as a propellant. This new technology allows us to be more efficient and compatible with the future needs of space travel. No one has implemented water-based plasma propulsion on this scale, and our rapid prototyping approach is key to our current and future success. With a test vehicle already in orbit, we have already demonstrated the benefits of the technology and are working to continually push towards the highest performance and most efficient spacecraft possible.
Our lab in Santa Clara, located near the historic Moffett Field NASA Ames Research Center, is filled with state-of-the-art vacuum systems, rapid prototyping equipment, test facilities, and a well-equipped machine shop with 3D printers and all the gear, fittings, and equipment our research engineers and technicians need to go from concept to test in hours. It is critical for our engineers and scientist to design experiments for both speed and efficiency as the pace employed by more traditional aerospace companies does not allow for enough design iterations to make the progress needed to meet the needs of our customers.
Rapid prototyping is an important tool for fast-cycle innovation, invention, and discovery. Although this approach was pioneered by the great inventor Thomas Edison (now called the ‘Edisonian approach’), it has been rediscovered recently by people like Elon Musk and is a critical component of Momentus’ business strategy. Rapid prototyping is an operational method based on our company’s core values: Agility, Efficiency, Optimism, and Daring Innovation. We make improvements to existing technology and innovative new concepts by quickly constructing and testing hardware prototypes. This test-on-the-ground method embraces early failures as learning opportunities. Our VP of Innovation, Jason Hummelt, and Director of Innovation, Jim Small, work together to lead a team of 15 engineers and scientists in a group we call our Acceleration Team. While rapid prototyping and a focus on innovation is pivotal to the work the Acceleration Team does, these principles are embraced by the entire company.
All employees at Momentus, including engineers, scientists, technicians, and even our business support staff participate in the innovation process. Our technical staff is carefully chosen for their passion for invention, natural inquisitiveness, and willingness to fail in the lab. We firmly believe that success in orbit starts with people back on earth (if you want to be part of this impressive group, we’re hiring!).
The mission of Momentus is to provide outstanding in-space services to our customers and our rapid prototyping culture will enable us to achieve that goal faster!