Momentus announces first rideshare mission to Moon
(1 December 2020 - Momentus) Momentus has signed a deal with Canadensys Aerospace Corporation to deliver a payload to low lunar orbit (LLO).
Canadensys will be the first customer to book Ardoride, Momentus’ next-generation rideshare service vehicle.
The agreement signed with Canadensys will deliver a 50 kg spacecraft to LLO in the 2023 to 2024 timeframe. With the signing of the deal, principals from both companies hailed the international and commercial cooperation that will further the development of in-space infrastructure services enabled by Ardoride, an entirely new class of vehicle.
Momentus’ Ardoride (courtesy: Momentus)
“We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Momentus on Ardoride,” said Canadensys Aerospace CEO Christian Sallaberger. “The next decade is set to witness a dramatic increase in the level of infrastructure deployed beyond Earth orbit, and the next five years will feature unprecedented demand for services on and around the moon, from scientific reconnaissance to communications and navigation. Ardoride takes Vigoride’s delivery capability to the next level and will enable us to offer game-changing options for in-orbit services”.
Currently in development as Momentus’ next generation transport and service vehicle, Ardoride will unlock high-altitude orbits like medium Earth orbits (MEO), geosynchronous orbit (GEO), highly elliptical orbits (HEO), or even lunar orbits for small- and medium-sized satellites and cargo. This revolutionary new vehicle is being designed for high delta-V missions of up to 5 km/sec, which will allow small and mid-sized satellites to access orbits at a very low cost.
Fully reusable, Ardoride will be refueled after its initial mission and continue to conduct multiple, subsequent missions in space. The vehicle is being designed to deliver up to 1,200 kg to GEO and up to 800 kg to LLO. To enable low-cost rides to these orbits for nano and microsatellites, Momentus is announcing a regular rideshare program with annual and semi-annual Ardoride shuttle services beginning in 2023.
“Canadensys has been a key partner in the development of our last-mile delivery systems and we are delighted to extend this collaboration to lunar exploration, where they bring unique expertise and flight-ready systems for the new era of rapid, low-cost missions beyond Earth’s orbit,” said Momentus CEO Mikhail Kokorich. “Canadensys has been preparing for extended missions on the lunar surface long before the current wave of lunar interest, and their support has been crucial to Momentus in helping us move mountains in terms of our aggressive schedule.”
As a first-mover in building in-space infrastructure technology, Momentus is at the forefront of the commercialization of space. With an experienced team of aerospace, propulsion, and robotics engineers, Momentus has developed a cost-effective and energy-efficient in-space transport system based on water plasma propulsion technology. Momentus has in-place service agreements with private satellite companies, government agencies, and research organizations.
Canadensys Aerospace is a space systems and services company with a focus on low-cost, high reliability missions from Earth orbit out to cislunar space and beyond. Headquartered in Toronto, Canadensys supports both government and commercial missions with small, low-cost systems specifically tailored for extended performance and longevity in the lunar environment, from long-range mobility and enhanced situational awareness to lunar night survival and shadowed region operations.