Momentus Space is developing Vigoride, a space tug. It can support a total payload weight of 750 kg into LEO. Spacecraft can be propelled up to 2 km/s by using the vigoride, which can also change the inclination of orbital planes. Small satellite operators can also get power, communications, and station maintenance while riding with the tug thanks to this. Water is used as the propellant in the Vigoride and is propelled using a microwave electrothermal thruster (MET).
Momentus is proceeding with a second deployment later this year despite the fact that its first space tug, which had mechanical issues soon after launch in May, has already deployed additional satellites. A total of four satellites were launched in Julyfrom the Vigoride-3 tug, the business reported on August 2. This is in addition to the two satellites that were launched from the Vigoride-3 tug three days following its launch on the SpaceX Transporter-5 rideshare mission on May 25. On the Transporter-5 launch, a second port was used to launch the seventh satellite, Bronco-Sat 1.
Five centimeters on a side “PocketQube” satellites from FOSSA Systems, a Spanish firm building an internet-of-things constellation, were used for all six of the satellites that were launched from Vigoride-3. Seven such satellites were aboard the tug for the corporation. In addition, the tug carried SelfieSat, a two-unit cubesat created by Orbit NTNU, which is a Norwegian student space organization, and an eighth PocketQube from an unnamed customer.
Its orbital transfer vehicle technology was primarily showcased on Vigoride-3. Aside from communications troubles, the spacecraft also experienced issues with the deployment of its solar arrays following launch. Midway through June, the corporation stated that it was “much less confident” that Vigoride-3 could successfully complete its mission. However, up to the August 2 declaration, no more updates had been made.
Momentus claimed that its engineers had discovered the underlying source of the Vigoride-3 anomalies, but it made no further mention of the issue. The results reached by the company’s engineers were supported by a third-party review team.
“We have concluded our internal reviews and accepted an independent oversight team that conducted a full examination of our first mission,” Momentus CEO John Rood stated in a statement. ” We have already gained a great deal of knowledge from the first Vigoride demonstration mission, and we hope to get as much knowledge as we can during the mission.”
The Vigoride-5 vehicle, planned to launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-6 mission in November, is the organization’s next vehicle, according to him. The incorporation of corrective measures on that vehicle in readiness for the launch, according to Rood, is something the firm is “intently focused” on doing. After the business release on August 2, Momentus shares saw a trading session finish with an increase of 11.3%; nonetheless, they remain close to a 52-week low.