"This initial orbital raise was a key goal of our Vigoride-5 mission and the MET's performance has exceeded our expectations," said Momentus Chief Technology Officer Rob Schwarz. "Each ignition has been successful, and we've completed more than 35 firings ranging from 30 seconds up to six minutes in duration, which is what we plan to use operationally. Cumulatively, we have accomplished over 140 minutes of firing time of the MET system."
"We have now operated the MET successfully in space at full power across the range of durations for firing that we plan to use operationally to deliver satellites to precise, custom orbits and to provide in-space infrastructure services like hosted payloads," said Schwarz. "The MET has shown its ability to operate as intended to perform these missions in space, and we look forward to using it to support commercial and U.S. Government customers."
The MET is the Vigoride OSV's primary propulsion method that relies on solar power and uses distilled water as a propellant. It produces thrust by expelling extremely hot gases through a rocket nozzle. Unlike a conventional chemical rocket engine, which heats propellant through a chemical reaction, the MET uses a solar powered, microwave energy source to generate a hot plasma at its core that heats the propellant to generate thrust. The use of non-toxic water propellant ultimately enables simpler, safer, and more cost-efficient operations both on Earth and in space.
"The MET technology can provide future missions with higher efficiency than chemical propulsion systems and higher thrust than electric propulsion systems. With the recent discoveries of large deposits of water on the Moon and its presence on asteroids and other planets, a water-based propulsion system that can be refueled on longer missions provides a unique advantage," said Momentus Chief Commercial Officer Chris Kinman.
"With its technology working in space, Momentus is emerging as a trusted provider of in-space infrastructure services. Our proven flight heritage and MET performance, paired with our focus on affordability, flexibility, and speed, positions Momentus to be a key partner for customers looking to make the most out of their orbit."
Momentus has flown three of its Vigoride OSVs in less than a year. The Company launched its inaugural mission, Vigoride-3, in May 2022 and deployed eight satellites to orbit from Vigoride and a third-party deployer.
The Vigoride-5 spacecraft, launched in January, is providing hosted payload support for Caltech's Space-based Solar Power Project payload and deploying a satellite with the Qosmosys Zeus-1 payload. Vigoride-6, launched in April 2023, is carrying satellites for NASA and commercial customers, and a solar array developed by Momentus that will be demonstrated in space.
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters
Virgin to launch commercial spaceflights in June
Prep in the pool for Europe's next astronauts
Cosmonauts transfer airlock between ISS modules
NASA selects Emily Nelson as Chief Flight Director
Rocket Lab successfully launches 2 NASA storm-monitoring satellites
Construction begins at UK's first vertical launch spaceport
Falcon Heavy launches massive GEO satellite for Viasat
SpaceX launches first expendable Falcon Heavy rocket
Check And Double Check: Sols 3821-3822
The mysterious origins of Martian meteorites
Aerovironment awarded $10M JPL to co-design and develop two helicopters for Mars Sample Return mission
Brushing Ubajnara: Sols 3819-3820
Tianzhou-5 cargo craft separates from China's space station
Final frontier is no longer alien
China to promote space science progress on five themes
China to develop satellite constellation for deep space exploration
Sidus Space expands global ground site network with new ATLAS contract
Sidus Space selected by OneWeb to manufacture satellite hardware
Lockheed Martin Space announces changes designed to enhance speed and effectiveness
Toshiba posts 35% decline in full-year net profit
Momentus achieves first orbit raise with pioneering propulsion system
NASA and partners achieve fastest space-to-ground laser comms link
SSTL and Oxford Space Systems to Launch CarbSAR in-orbit demo for innovative antenna
Hong Kong's bamboo scaffolders preserve ancient technique
Invading insect could transform Antarctic soils
Bacteria survive on radioactive elements
Hubble follows shadow play around planet-forming disk
Hunting for life's building blocks at minus 250 degrees Celsius
NASA: Up to 4 of Uranus' moons could have water
New video series captures team working on NASA's Europa Clipper
Work continues to deploy Juice RIME antenna
Juice's first taste of science from space
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters