Vigoride™ First Flight

Momentus’ first demonstration flight culminates more than a year of extraordinary and diligent work by our talented team. When this flight occurs, Momentus will become one of the few U.S. companies to operate an orbital transfer vehicle in space.

Momentus: The Space Infrastructure Company

Like how the railroads connected people and ideas while enabling movement and growth – and eventually the industrial revolution – space infrastructure is bound to do the same.

Momentus plans to offer the backbone infrastructure services to support the growing space economy.

There are three services that we envision being commonplace demands of the future:
1) in-space transportation to carry customers’ satellites to precise custom orbits;
2) hosted payloads to provide customers’ satellites with continual power, orbit keeping, orientation and communication services or Satellite as a Service;
3) in-orbit services like refueling, repositioning, repairing, and de-orbiting satellites.

Core to our ability to deliver these services is the Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle that we will use to provide in-space services in Low-Earth Orbit. Its first flight will be on the SpaceX Transporter-5 targeted for launch in June 2022.

First Flight – A Demo Mission

On this first flight, Momentus plans to take some customer payloads to orbit and to generate a small amount of revenue. However, the mission's primary goals are to test Vigoride in orbit, learn from any issues that are encountered, and incorporate lessons learned into future Vigoride vehicles. The entire mission will last up to 180 days. Once customer payloads are deployed, Vigoride will be put through a variety of tests to push and understand the vehicle’s performance parameters.

Momentus has a variety of secondary milestones that we’ll aim to achieve during our first flight that will continue to push the vehicle and demonstrate its capabilities.

Vigoride™

Vigoride is a versatile and innovative orbital transfer vehicle. This vehicle is capable of providing transportation and hosted payload services to deliver small, nano, and cube satellites to precision orbits.

We believe Vigoride, once in orbit, will be able to change orbital planes and deliver payloads to a variety of altitudes in Low Earth Orbit.

Following the demo mission, we intend to work on expanding Vigoride’s initial capabilities. While the first Vigoride vehicles will be expendable, we aim to bring a reusable version of the vehicle into service in the middle of the decade.

MET

Microwave Electrothermal Thruster

Our propulsion was built ground-up to be low-cost, efficient, low risk, safe, easy to refuel, reusable, and scalable. The use of Microwave Electrothermal Thrusters (MET) is the cornerstone that makes our service offerings possible. The MET produces thrust by expelling very hot gases through a rocket nozzle – very much the same way a rocket creates thrust. However, unlike a conventional chemical rocket engine, which creates heat through a chemical reaction, the MET heats propellant using microwave energy – similar to a household microwave oven.

The MET can transmit a very large amount of energy into a small amount of propellant and turn it into a hot plasma – reaching about half the temperature of the Sun’s surface. This technology is well-suited for use in Vigoride – and future vehicles Momentus is developing. We believe our MET thruster can be tuned to balance the cost of launched mass with opportunity cost of the transit time for our customers. The choice of water as a propellant also leads to the simple, reliable, and low-cost design of the propulsion tank feed system, and eventually of the entire vehicle.

Our Customers

It is our pleasure to support our customers who will be flying with us on our first mission. We believe that opening access to space is a critical enabler of the space economy, and we look forward to helping our customers achieve their mission objectives. Thank you for entrusting us with your payloads.