The Vigoride-5 OSV was launched on the SpaceX Transporter-6 mission on January 3. As commissioning operations advance, the OSV remains in good health, and the vehicle’s power and thermal systems continue to be within nominal ranges.
The solar arrays are fully deployed and generating power within nominal ranges. Both uplink and downlink communications with the vehicle are healthy. Recent activities have included tuning the performance of the attitude determination system and completing pressurization of the vehicle’s propulsion system
As part of the commissioning campaign, a spacecraft camera has now been activated and has begun returning images of the spacecraft, which Momentus uses for engineering evaluation.
In the coming weeks, Momentus will prioritize testing the vehicle’s innovative Microwave Electrothermal Thruster (MET). Momentus is a pioneer in commercializing this technology. The MET is designed to use water as a propellant and produce thrust by expelling extremely hot gases through a rocket nozzle.
Unlike a conventional chemical rocket engine, which creates thrust through a chemical reaction, the MET is designed to create a plasma and thrust using microwave energy. Using the MET, Momentus aims to offer cost-effective, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly propulsion to meet the demands for in-space transportation and infrastructure services.