Momentus Inc., a commercial space company providing space satellite transport and hosted payload services, today announced a launch service agreement for the deployment of the Skykraft microsatellite on the Vigoride mission in June 2021. Skykraft’s spacecraft, the precursor of a future large LEO constellation, and will be deployed via a new separation ring named EOS and developed by MECANO ID under a CNES contract thanks to partial financing of the Future Investment Plan. The launch service agreement between Skykraft and Momentus provides for another microsatellite launch at the end of 2021, as part of an accelerated demonstration program of four successive iterations of satellites before the launch of the air traffic management constellation Skykraft space station in 2023.
Skykraft is an Australian space company specializing in the conceptualization, design, manufacture and operation of constellations of small satellites for the provision of global space services. As a spin-off of the University of New South Wales in Canberra space program, Skykraft’s rapidly maturing foundation constellation is dedicated to space-based air traffic management services. This constellation will provide continuous global coverage to aircraft at all altitudes, improving both the safety and efficiency of flight operations. Skykraft’s satellite will enable VHF space communication and demonstrate key technologies such as deployable antennas – paving the way for the constellation of 210 Skykraft satellites, ready to begin operations from 2023.
MECANO ID is a French company specializing in the development of predominantly mechanical and thermal systems subjected to difficult environments, mainly dedicated to the space environment. Building on 25 years of successful space projects, MECANO ID is now developing the high-precision EOS deployment device for nanosatellites and microsatellites. Characterized by a lightweight, low-rotation deployment, EOS offers unparalleled ease of integration and access through its fully axisymmetric design and customizable interfaces. The June 2021 mission with Skykraft and Momentus constitutes the flight rating for EOS and opens the door to commercialization.
“The Momentus Vigoride and MECANO ID EOS provide efficient and flexible launch into orbit, allowing us to accelerate the development of our space service delivery constellation,” said Doug Griffin, Chief Engineer, Skykraft. “By enabling Skykraft to prove key design characteristics in the space environment, Momentus is helping us develop and evolve space services in the near future.”
“MECANO ID is proud to fly with Momentus on Vigoride, and to embark the Skykraft spacecraft for the demonstration flight of EOS, our deployer ”, said Didier Zely, Product Line Manager at MECANO ID. Stéphane Galinier, Business Development Manager adds: “MECANO ID selected MOMENTUS mainly for the technical maturity demonstrated during our discussions, despite the young age of the company.
“Moment; delighted to announce our first launch service agreement with an Australian company. We have been amazed over the past year to observe the progress of the incredibly vibrant space community there, and we look forward to supporting Skykraft with the launch of their Explorer and the subsequent deployment of the constellation ”. said Mikhail Kokorich, CEO of Momentus. Fred Kennedy, President of Momentus, added: “This agreement illustrates Momentus’ ability to operate on three continents and make the media space a truly global industry.”