Kepler Communications plans to establish an extensive satellite communications network by incrementally introducing new technologies. Credit: University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory

SAN FRANCISCO – Momentus Space announced an agreement Oct. 20 with Canada’s Kepler Communications to arrange the 2021 launch of two satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare flight and delivery to their desired orbital altitude in the Vigoride in-space transportation vehicle.

Kepler’s first two GEN1 satellites, Kepler-4 and Kepler-5, launched in late September on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket. GEN1 satellites are designed to link customers with Kepler’s wideband high-capacity data service and narrowband internet-of-things applications.

The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) built the Kepler-4 satellite and Kepler provided the payload. Kepler-5 was the first satellite Kepler built in its new satellite manufacturing facility with guidance from SFL.

Kepler-5 was the first satellite that Kepler integrated in-house with guidance from SFL.

Under the latest agreement, Momentus plans to integrate two additional GEN1 satellites with Vigoride.

Momentus purchased rides on five SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare missions in 2020 and 2021 to showcase the ability of Vigoride to move customer satellites 300 to 1,200 kilometers beyond the drop-off point.

Kepler CEO Mina Mitry called the Soyuz launch “the start of our aggressive launch campaign,” during the Toronto-based company’s September webcast focused on the Soyuz launch.

In 2019, Kepler announced that it booked 400 kilograms of rideshare capacity with SpaceX  in order to launch an unspecified number of cubesats.

Momentus, a Santa Clara, California, startup, has signed up dozens of customers for Vigoride, which is scheduled to make its orbital debut later this year.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...