SAN FRANCISCO – In-space transportation provider Momentus announced agreements June 16 with Bulgaria’s EnduroSat to provide transportation for two cubesats scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare flight in February 2021.
Under the agreement, Momentus will enclose Kuwait’s first spacecraft, QMR-KWT, and EnduroSat’s Shared Platform for Applied Research and Technology Affirmation (SPARTAN) in its Vigoride orbit transfer vehicle for the Falcon 9 launch. At the conclusion of the Falcon 9 flight, Vigoride will transport the cubesats to different orbits.
SPARTAN, a six-unit cubesat, is home to seven technology demonstrations and commercial payloads, according to a June 16 news release. EnduroSat intends the mission to serve as a pilot for its Shared Satellite Service.
For Shared Satellite Service missions, EnduroSat plans to handle integration, validation, testing, launch and operations of the satellite and payloads. EnduroSat customers will have access to payload data in the cloud through a digital ground station, according to the news release.
“The goal is to provide easy access to space for visionary entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists, helping them drive innovation at the final frontier,” EnduroSat CEO Raycho Raychev said in a statement. “EnduroSat is proud to cooperate on this pilot mission with the team of Momentus, and we look forward to the next missions.”
The agreements signal Momentus’ expansion in Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East through its partner EnduroSat, Momentus CEO Mikhail Kokorich said in a statement.
QMR-KWT is an educational mission funded by the Kuwaiti company Orbital Space and EnduroSat. Students around the world will write software to be uploaded to one of the satellite’s onboard computers, according to the news release.
Momentus purchased rides on five SpaceX Falcon 9 smallSat rideshare missions in 2020 and 2021 to showcase the ability of its Vigoride in-space transportation vehicle to move customer satellites 300 to 1,200 kilometers beyond the drop-off point.